Technical drawings, documents and specifications that arise out of product development and engineering processes must remain available over the entire life cycle of the product. A very important question deals with the document format, which must ensure legibility after 100 years. In this case, PDF/A delivers the answer.
The legal requirements for archiving business documents are increasing the need to also archive e-mail correspondence. This raises the question of which archiving format is most suited for the long-term archiving of e-mails.
Documents must be archived. Electronic archiving has become a universally recognized and practical method of digitally maintaining information. The formats that are used vary from simple raster formats (BMP, PNG and so on) to formats that have complex structures (MO:DCA, AFP) and also include PDF and PDF/A. As the complexity of the individual formats increases, the requirements for the structure and completeness of the documents must be adjusted accordingly and realized consistently. The aim is to ensure that you can reproduce these documents even after a long time. It only becomes clear at the time of the reproduction whether the criteria for a successful reproduction were also consistently implemented and realized.
The archiving of information and documents takes up more and more space in the modern information society. On the one hand, the number of new documents, whether paper-based or already electronic, increases every year. On the other hand, legal and organizational regulations demand that these documents are maintained for many years or even many decades.
When compared with the preservation of data in its original format, there are many advantages to archiving documents and data from digital sources into PDF/A. The source applications are rapidly being developed further. As a result of this, after only a few years, the readability and the authentic display of data can no longer be guaranteed. Furthermore, a company must maintain all of the applications that are used and all of the platforms on which they operate. This incurs considerable costs. Even for documents and files that are created digitally, PDF/A is an excellent choice for long-term archiving and comes with great advantages with regard to uniformity, searchability and cost-effectiveness.
PDF/A documents are not only generated from digital sources a large percentage of documents are created from scanned hard copies received by mail or from files that are being converted to digital form. In such cases, the company has no access to the original files, and the documents that need to be converted into electronic documents are merely paper copies. PDF/A is preferable to other electronic formats because it is an ISO standard and a target format that provides a range of benefits with regard to archiving and reusing content.
The articles in this chapter contain the conference presentations from Track 1: What you need to know about PDF/A, for novice to intermediate level users.
When around 2002 the committee that created the PDF/A standard decided to rely on XMP (eXtensible Metadata Platform) for the inclusion of metadata in PDF/A files they probably had no clue which developments it would kick off in the years to come. Being …
This ISO standard defines a standard format (PDF/A-1) for the long-term archiving of electronic documents and is based on the PDF Reference Version 1.4 from Adobe Systems Inc. (PDF 1.4 is largely equivalent to the functionality implemented in Adobe Acrobat 5). Would you like to learn more about the future development of PDF/A?
All business processes that require documents that are secure and can be reproduced should align themselves to the new PDF/A standard. Three scenarios highlight the fact that missing standards may lead to considerable restrictions in day-to-day operations. Wouldn’t you like to learn more?