In business-to-consumer relationships, the topic of PDF/A also crosses over to the consumer. When individual correspondence is used in communications between companies (or other organizations) and consumers, it is relevant for archiving. The correspondence is sent via e-mail or can be downloaded from a web portal, exposing the consumer to long-term archived documents. This usually concerns documents that are created individually for the end-user, such as invoices, quotations, order confirmations etc., and are more or less generated automatically in large quantities. In such a scenario, you must consider additional prerequisites not only on the side of the creator, but also consumer habits and options in this environment.
In the first presentation “PDF/VT – Overview and relation to PDF/A”, Stewart Rogers from Crawford Technologies, UK describes PDF/VT. PDF/VT (“V” for “Variable” and “T” for “Transactional”) defines a variable data printing (VDP) job exchange format and is a published ISO standard in the family of PDF standards. PDF/VT is the ISO 16612-2 (PDF/VT) standard on behalf of the variable and transactional printing industry.
Uwe Wächter, PDF product manager at SEAL Systems discusses “SAP and PDF/A – PDF/A in product life cycle”
What do ERP systems and PDF/A have in common? This question can be quickly answered: purchase vouchers, invoices and other business documents that are printed out of SAP must often be archived. This is an important field where PDF/A is of growing importance. If you use PDF/A for archiving, you will fulfil legal retention obligations and can guarantee that the archived documents will still be legible after many years. No special prerequisites are necessary for implementing PDF/A, and you won’t have to forego on an elegant display or full-text search.
Harald Grumser from Compart AG concludes this section of the proceedings with an article entitled: “Optimising PDF/A documents for large archives” in which he reports on the characteristics of PDF/A in the environment of mass correspondence. Since the PDF/A standard does not allow you to work with external resources (as you would usually do in the area of high-volume printing) and since embedding resources such as fonts for each individual document may lead to an enormously inflated volume of storage, you must weigh up other techniques and approaches that allow you to work with PDF/A and its advantages.