ODS file extension is used to store documents in OpenDocument Spreadsheets format. OpenDocument Spreadsheets is part of generic OpenDocument standard which defines a format to store spreadsheets, word processing documents, charts and presentations in a ZIP-compressed XML format. OpenDocument standard is frequently referred to as Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF).
OpenDocument standard was developed and is managed by Organization for Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS). This format was developed based on OpenOffice.org XML format used in OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice.
Typical ODS file will contain content.xml with actual content of the spreadsheet, styles.xml with formatting styles used by the spreadsheet and meta.xml with meta information about the spreadsheet. It also may contain Pictures directory with pictures used in the spreadsheet.
You can open ODS file and edit it using many popular spreadsheets editing software including Microsoft Excel, LibreOffice, KOffice, OpenOffice.org.
If you don’t want to install software locally to your computer you can upload your ODS file to Google Docs, OneDrive or Dropbox and edit it using online cloud spreadsheet editor. Uploading ODS file to the cloud is also an easy way to send ODS file to a mobile device.
ODS files are transferred over internet using application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.spreadsheet mime type. ODS files are typically compressed using DEFLATE algorithm and further compression won’t get any significant benefit. OTS file extension is frequently used in tandem with ODS and is used to store spreadsheet templates. ODS files could be password protected and encrypted.