Preface – Proceedings 2010

Rome – Can you think of a better place for a conference on long-term archiving than the Eternal City? We are pleased to conduct our 4th International PDF/A Conference in Rome and hope we have organised an interesting program and event in cooperation with our Italian partner, 4IT Group.

“All roads lead to Rome”, and we have come a long way getting here. The PDF/A standard was published by the ISO five years ago in the fall of 2005. Since then, users in different countries and various industries have recognised the benefits of PDF/A as it definitely helps them meet requirements in the digital world for safe long-term archiving and guaranteed access to documents.

The PDF/A Competence Center was founded in the fall of 2006 and, due to the large interest, has over 100 members today. The information about PDF/A that we make available, with technical explanations and application scenarios, has helped to turn a “formal ISO paper standard” into a well understood and accepted document format in the real world. The first phase was to provide information about PDF/A in German-speaking countries, and then the scope was extended internationally and to sector-specific topics. Today there are numerous active country chapters which provide additional information on a local level, e.g. in Italy, Germany, France, BeNeLux, the US and the UK.

Experience gained in deploying PDF/A solutions has produced benefits in many different sectors, including banking, insurance and engineering. Governmental organizations, archives and libraries now recommend the use of PDF/A, or even require it through legislation. “Mission Accomplished”, you might think?

In Europe, PDF/A has achieved widespread usage and the PDF/A Competence Center has contributed extensively in bringing it forward. While “invented” in the US, the adoption of PDF/A there is much slower than in Europe, and Asia is still in the preliminary phases. There are still many things to learn about applying PDF/A in various industries.

The formal name of the PDF/A Competence Center is the “Association for Digital Document Standards” (ADDS). This name was chosen intentionally; we always planned to extend our scope when appropriate. Rome will likely be the starting point.

For this conference, our focus remains on PDF/A, and there have been many developments! The next part of PDF/A, PDF/A-2, was technically completed in the summer of 2010. The formal ISO process leading to publication will still take several months. Approximately five years after the first standard was released, the new part incorporating technological enhancements and reflecting practical experience will be published. Therefore, PDF/A-2 is a central topic of this PDF/A Conference!

We would especially like to thank our partner, 4IT Group, who have done a tremendous job in planning, promoting and organising the 4th International PDF/A Conference. Furthermore, we would like to say thank-you to the authors of these interesting articles, and to the organizers and helpers who have played a part in arranging this compendium.

When the 4th International PDF/A Conference is history, this Conference Proceedings will also remain forever – as a PDF/A file!

Rome, September 2010
Harald Grumser
PDF/A Competence Center
Chairman of the Board

About Harald Grumser

He founded, together with other shareholders, Compart AG in 1992 and has headed it since its inception. After several years studying physics at the University of Karlsruhe he changed to data processing. In his early years he worked in both software development and as an editor (Hüthig-Verlag, Heidelberg) and published numerous papers in the (at that time) new area of PCs and microprocessors. After several years as project manager of a European computer project with IBM he was selected as president of a Böblinger software company.

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