The PDF Association started in 2006 as the “PDF/A Competence Center”. The mission was to identify – and thereby establish – a common interpretation of the PDF/A-1 specification. With that accomplished through meetings open to all members, the secondary …“PDF can do THAT?!”
PDF files deliver a complete package of information that defines a document; everything that’s needed to represent the text, graphics and layout that the recipient receives. To most people, PDF is “electronic paper” – the digital expression of a cellul …The only digital document format
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Hans Klimmer, DETEC
Im pleased to see that the PDF/A standard for long-term archiving, a very comprehensible and understandable document, is becoming more and more prevalent, both in businesses as well as in educational institutions, administrations and public authorities. The University of Potsdam, for example, uses PDF/A as their long-term archiving format for scientific work and dissertations. They also make very good rated bachelor and masters work available on their publications server uniformly in PDF/A format. In businesses, the PDF/A standard plays a vital role, especially in the area of electronic document transmission.
For example, there are definitive advantages in e-billing for both the sender and the receiver. PDF/A conformance is already important for the invoice sender, since digitally signed PDF documents cannot be subsequently converted to PDF/A without invalidating the signature. Considerable cost savings can also be achieved with e-billing through the elimination of manual processes like invoice printing, postage and handling, and physically distributing the incoming mail.
Many businesses scan their incoming paper mail – and up to now these were frequently archived as TIFF files. Converting the files to PDF/A in an extended workflow can be advantageous in many ways. The automatic text recognition (OCR) makes it possible to search the PDF/A conforming documents for textual content. Newer compression algorithms like JBIG2 and MRC can make image data notably smaller. And only one viewer is necessary to view all of the archived documents.
Energy Service in Biel (Switzerland) created a PDF/A conforming document archive using DETECs software, and now NOWIS – an enterprise in the VRG Group – is using PDF/A for their long-term archiving. The PDF/A conversion has been integrated right into their in-house ERP application, e.g. for the invoices they are generating, providing an easily managed solution that has saved considerable costs according to the customer.
Further below in the main article section you will find a more detailed description about the use of PDF/A in the VRG Group.
In January 2009 DETEC became a 100% subsidiary of Beta Systems Software AG, a strategic partnership that benefits the customers by optimally expanding the product spectrum and services of both companies. Beta Systems and DETEC are also both members of the PDF/A Competence Center, meaning that PDF/A plays an important role in the solutions provided by the two companies.
Head of Product Management & Presales, DETEC Decision Technology GmbH
This summer we made several improvements to the PDF/A Competence Center web site, in order to provide visitors with even better information
The following items are particularly worth mentioning:
1. Recommendations and Guidelines
More and more institutions from numerous countries are giving clear recommendations and guidelines for implementing PDF/A. This further enforces the already advanced worldwide acceptance for PDF/A!
The PDF/A Competence Center is always grateful when you inform us about new recommendations and guidelines.
2. International Members List
In order to better promote international needs, the members list is now sorted by country. National groups are also gradually being formed within the PDF/A Competence Center.
3. Cooperation Partners
The PDF/A Competence Centers cooperation partners are also being more prominently presented:
Since October 2006, the Oldenburger Northwest Information Systems Ltd. (NOWIS) has been using DETEC software for converting files to PDF/A format. The company, which is part of the VRG Group, works in the field of business solutions and deals with such topics as document management, scanning and archiving. Customers deliver documents from a variety of sources and systems to NOWIS, e.g. output invoices, Word documents, TIFF files and in many cases paper copies which first have to be scanned. The files are then processed to meet the legal guidelines for long-term archiving and to ensure that they are legible and searchable by the customer for years to come. By using DETECs PDF/A solution, NOWIS can incorporate the conversion of PDF, TIFF, JPEG, PNG and BMP formats to PDF/A-1b directly into their in-house ERP system. The process runs automatically and error free due to the implicit process controls.
The ship and yacht dockyard of Abeking & Rasmussen in Lemwerder near Bremen (Schiffs- und Yachtwerft Abeking & Rasmussen) is a long-time customer of the VRG Group. A considerable amount of documentation is necessary for their international transactions. This is because every ship must provide a handbook with a description of each component and installation when it is handed over – from the anchor and the engine to the air conditioning and power outlets, including every little screw. This amounts to some 80 standard DIN A4 (8 ½ x 11 in.) binders with important documents per ship. Not only is an enormous amount of space needed, but searching for specific information and documents is a major undertaking. NOWIS is now digitizing these documents and converting them to PDF/A format for long-term archiving.
When NOWIS converts e.g. technical drawings for the Schiffs- und Yachtwerft Abeking & Rasmussen, it is important that the customer can afterwards conduct a full-text search through the documents in the archive and find information in the drawings. This is possible with PDF/A format. Previously, the documents were archived as TIFF files. The archiving of technical drawings and color drawings often didnt work optimally, and full-text searching wasnt always supported.
The compression and OCR functions of myPDFconvert offer the customer considerable advantages. A full-text search capability is now provided, and the lifelong legibility of the files, independent of which version the PDF viewer has, is guaranteed due to the PDF/A ISO standard.
Although NOWIS previously converted to PDF/A only upon customer request, they are now planning to generally manage the entire long-term archiving process, including e.g. output invoices, through DETEC software. For the customers it is especially important with resect to long-term archiving that documents like invoices are saved in accordance with legal guidelines and can be reproduced for year to come. And this is exactly what the PDF/A standard offers.
DETEC, located in Rüsselsheim Germany, specializes in document design and production, data conversion and output management. DETEC concertedly supports the professional internal and external business communication (B2B, B2C) of more than 400 national and international customers.
DETEC products optimize workflow and facilitate the production, formatting and integration of attractively designed business documents for multiple, including parallel, output channels (printing, archiving, electronic distribution) in the output system. In addition, users can produce PDF/A conforming archive documents for Windows, Linux and Unix, with optional file compression and OCR, as well as qualified electronic signatures through use of an integrated third-party software.
The current and future development of DETEC products also addresses the subject of PDF/A. For example, the document composition system DoXite has, since its inception, been able to create documents not only for printing in various output formats but also for output to archiving systems and distribution by email, including in PDF/A-1b format. And with the optionally offered signature solution digiSeal Server, documents remain PDF/A conforming even after they have been electronically signed. This ensures, e.g. with the electronic transmission of invoices by email, that the signed document is also received by the customer as a PDF/A conforming file.
The DETEC technicians are constantly monitoring developments to the PDF/A specification. New requirements are continually being taken into account and implemented in the products. The ISO is currently working on the specification for PDF/A-2. As soon as this standard is released, the DETEC software products will be updated to incorporate the new functions.
Since January 2009, DETEC is a 100% subsidiary of Beta Systems Software AG. Both Beta Systems and DETEC are members in the PDF/A Competence Center. This strategic partnership enables the two companies to optimally expand their product spectrum and ensure a total, global market presence, including in the field of PDF/A.
More information can be found at www.detec.de
We welcome the following companies as members in the PDF/A Competence Center: