ISO approves PDF for document archives
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has approved the use of PDF/Archive (PDF/A) format for archiving documents electronically.
ISO 19005-1, Document management-electronic document file format for long-term preservation Part 1: Use of PDF 1.4 (PDF/A-1), defines a file format based on Portable Document Format (PDF) which provides a mechanism for representing electronic documents in a manner that preserves their visual appearance over time, independent of the tools and systems used for creating, storing, and rendering the files.
“The PDF/A and PDF/X committees established an effective two-way exchange of requirements and solutions during the development of PDF/A,” says Martin Bailey, senior technical consultant at Global Graphics. “Our work on the PDF/X standard, a subset of PDF for the print industry, first published under ISO in 2001, helped to inform many aspects of PDF/A. This collaborative approach to development is continuing for other PDF-based standards, and will benefit all users of PDF.”
ISO is made up of 148 national-standards institutes from countries large and small, industrialized and developing, in all regions of the world. ISO develops voluntary technical standards that contribute to making industrial production and supply more efficient, safer, and cleaner, and to facilitate trade between countries.
“PDF/A files will be more self-contained, self-describing, device-independent than generic PDF 1.4 files, and should allow information to be retained longer as PDF,” says Susan Sullivan of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. “But Federal agencies and other users should be aware that PDF/A does not stand alone. PDF/A must be implemented in conjunction with mechanisms to manage records according to legal and domain specific requirements.”
—David Greenfield, editorial director, Control Engineering