International symposium shows that all paths lead to PDF/A

PDF/A Competence Center was pleased to welcome T-Systems at the symposium as its 100th member

(PresseBox) (Berlin, ) Just under 220 attendees from 13 countries, high-powered keynote speakers, fascinating user reports and T-Systems as the 100th member: the third International PDF/A Conference was a complete success for the PDF/A Competence Center. This year's event demonstrated once more the growing importance of PDF/A. International projects show that this format for long-term archiving is finding acceptance worldwide. As PDF/A becomes more established, the PDF/A Competence Center membership continues to increase. The association was pleased to welcome T-Systems at the symposium as its 100th member.

"For increasing numbers of companies and public authorities, the introduction of PDF/A is no longer a question," stated Harald Grumser, CEO of the PDF/A Competence Center. "It is more a matter for the persons responsible to find the right ways and strategies. Here the user reports from various sectors were an excellent source of information for those attending the symposium.

Once again the PDF/A Competence Center succeeded in attracting outstanding speakers for its conference. Bernhard Zöller from the management consultancy Zöller & Partner GmbH explained, for example, why PDF/A is the first choice for format consolidation. PDF/A has particularly clear advantages for archiving colored documents. Stephen Levenson, an IT specialist for strategy and planning at the administrative office of the US courts in Washington, explained how his institution minimized the costs of migration by using PDF/A. Leonard Rosenthol, a PDF standards architect at Adobe Systems, gave a keynote speech with interesting information on the continued development of the ISO standard for long-term archiving of PDF documents, in which he emphasized that PDF/A-1 will remain a valid format and is fully upward compatible with PDF/A-2. "Generally, PDF/A-1 will continue to be used even after PDF/A-2 is adopted. PDF/A-2 should only be used if it is really necessary to do so because of corresponding technical advancements," said Rosenthol.

The two user presentations also found great resonance. Jacob Bielfeldt from the health insurance provider Techniker Krankenkasse showed how his organization introduced PDF/A throughout the company in phases. Dr. Silke Stapel from the EU Publications Office reported on the successful conversion to PDF/A in the digital library.

Each of the parallel tracks for subject and sector issues went into detail. Legal aspects to consider for long-term archiving or storage of e-mail sparked particular interest, as did discussions of the efficient use of metadata and the differences between PDF/A-1a and PDF/A-1b.

The concluding panel discussion which included representatives from the professional associations AIIM, Aproged and VOI underscored the growing international spread of PDF/A. For example, in recent months the governments of Argentina, Brazil, China and Uruguay have adopted PDF/A as a national standard for digital long-term archiving. Betsy Fanning from the AIIM explained how in the USA, many states are developing regulations for the use of PDF/A. In Europe PDF/A is already established in numerous countries.

Just before the symposium, T-Systems joined the PDF/A Competence Center as its hundredth member. Altogether the professional association now has 101 members from about 20 countries.

PDF Association

The ISO 19005 standard (PDF/A) defines requirements for creating documents suitable for archiving based on the widely available PDF format. The standard specifies in detail what content is allowed and what is not. These and other specifications are intended to ensure long-term readability of the documents regardless of the application software and operating system in which they were originally produced. The advantages of PDF/A such as full-text search capabilities have led it to already replace TIFF as the preferred archiving format in numerous international governmental organizations as well as in private industries.

About the PDF/A Competence Center

The PDF/A Competence Center was established as an international association in 2006. The objective of the association is to promote the exchange of information and experience in the field of long-term archiving in accordance with ISO 19005 (PDF/A). The management board is composed of executives from callas software GmbH, Compart AG, intarsys consulting GmbH, LuraTech Europe GmbH, PDF Tools AG (CH), PDFlib GmbH and SEAL Systems AG. Within less than three years, more than 100 companies and various experts from about 20 countries have joined the PDF/A Competence Center. The executive chairman is Harald Grumser, CEO of Compart AG, Dr. Hans Baerfuss, CEO of PDF Tools AG, Switzerland, is the executive vice-chairman.

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