Berlin/Hannover. The intensive collaboration between the Forum for Electronic Billing in Germany (Forum elektronische Rechnung Deutschland or FeRD) and the PDF Association has begun to bear fruit. Visitors to CeBIT, from the 5th to the 9th of March 2013, will be able to see this for themselves. Based on PDF/A-3 and designed to simplify e-invoicing, the Central User Guidelines of the Forum for Electronic Billing in Germany (ZUGFeRD) – and the data format defined within them – will be one of the highlights in Hall 3. A number of suppliers will present prototypes of ZUGFeRD-compliant software solutions, while the ECM Forum will shed some light on the subject in a live event. The PDF Association will also be involved, and Association members will provide a foretaste of this live event with a guidebook, a webinar and more.
One PDF Association member travelling to CeBIT with its first ZUGFeRD-compatible tools is callas software GmbH (Hall 3, Stand A20). The pdfaPilot will be on show at their stand: a tool for users to create, validate and process the PDF/A documents and XML data sets required for this new format. OEM customers have already begun to integrate this function into their solutions. This includes COI GmbH, which (also in Hall 3 at Stand A20) will demonstrate an invoice-processing workflow based on the pdfaPilot. LuraTech Europe GmbH (Hall 3, Stand D34) is also among the first wave of suppliers to have integrated PDF/A-3 into its applications and to support new standards. With the PDF Compressor, a software application for compression, conversion to PDF(/A) and full text recognition, users can create PDF/A-3 files with embedded XML data, meeting the ZUGFeRD specification. LuraTech will give a practical example of how an ERP system can create FeRD-compatible PDF invoices with nothing more than a single mouse click, and how XML data is read out from a PDF/A-3 invoice. Executive Director Carsten Heiermann can also report on the company’s dedicated work, and the latest progress made, on the standardisation project. As PDF Association board members, he and Dr Bernd Wild, Executive Director of intarsys consulting GmbH, represent the Association in FeRD’s working groups.
Naturally, intarsys has developed its own ZUGFeRD-compatible solutions, too: PDF/A Live! is a tool for converting documents to PDF/A, checking for compliance with the standard, and automating archiving and production processes. From version 6.0.2 onwards, PDF and XML files can be turned into ZUGFeRD-compatible invoices using any program’s printer dialog or a command line interface. Individual processing steps can be defined using the Java API and scripting tools.
VIP event in the ECM Forum
Alongside supplier presentations, the PDF/A-3 standard and FeRD’s data format will receive great attention in the ECM Forum (Hall 3, Stand D17). There, on the 5th of March from 3:30pm until 4:00, a VIP event will be held with Dr Philipp Rösler (the Minister of Economics and Technology in Germany), Dr Hans-Peter Friedrich (the Minister of the Interior in Germany) and Professor Dieter Kempf (President of BITKOM). The title of the event will be “Working together for e-invoicing: Stronger cooperation through economics and administration”.
On the 6th of March, experts from the worlds of finance, administration and standardisation committees, will hold podium discussions examining what the ZUGFeRD standard really means and how businesses can benefit from it. These will take place from 11:00am until 11:30 in the BITKOM and VOI ECM Forum, and from 12:30pm until 1:00 in the “Marktplatz Kommune” forum (in Hall 7). On the 7th of March, from 4:00pm until 4:30, Thomas Zellmann (Managing Director of the PDF Association) will give a presentation on PDF/A-3 with ZUGFeRD.
Guidebook, webinar and more
Before CeBIT even begins, the PDF Association’s website will provide comprehensive information about ZUGFeRD. This includes a guidebook titled “PDF/A-3 as a carrier format for ZUGFeRD” in which Dr Bernd Wild details the embedding process. Users can learn about member products which can create FeRD-compatible PDF/A-3 files, and in PDF/A Newsletter 27 they can learn about basic architectural approaches. In addition, LuraTech is inviting you to a webinar on the subject of “PDF/A-3 as a basis for e-invoicing”. It will take place on the 28th of February 2013 from 11:00am until 11:45. The focus will be on creating and processing FeRD-compatible PDF/A-3 invoices. The webinar is primarily aimed at suppliers who create invoices using their own solutions (such as ERP systems) or who process digital invoices. Participants will learn about the PDF/A ISO standard and its third part, get to know the ZUGFeRD initiative and explore the process of creating and processing PDF/A-3 invoices with embedded ZUGFeRD XML.
About the PDF Association
Formerly known as the PDF/A Competence Center, the PDF Association is an international organization promoting awareness and adoption of open standards in digital document applications using PDF technology.
The association facilitates networking and communication, and the sharing of expertise and experience with interested parties worldwide. The current membership includes over 100 enterprises and numerous individual subject-matter experts from more than 20 countries.
The management board includes industry leaders from Actino Software GmbH, Adobe Systems Inc., callas software GmbH, intarsys consulting GmbH, LuraTech Europe GmbH and NetCentric US. The association’s chairman is Olaf Drümmer, CEO of callas software GmbH. Duff Johnson, President of NetCentric Technologies is the vice chairman.