PDF/A-3 Standard published

PDF/A-3 Standard published

Since the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published the first portable document format/archive (PDF/A) standard in 2005, PDF/A has been heralded by recorded information management professionals and archivists as a mechanism for the secure, long-term preservation of electronic documents.  PDF/A, a subset of the ubiquitous PDF format, doesn’t depend on external programs or information to be displayed.  All information in a PDF/A file is entirely self-contained with the elimination of standard PDF features such as font linking which are not conducive to long-term archiving.

In the continued development of the standard, the ISO recently published ISO 19005-3:2012 Document management — Electronic document file format for long-term preservation — Part 3: Use of ISO 32000-1 with support for embedded files (PDF/A-3).  The standard is available for purchase from the ISO.

According to the ISO, PDF/A-3 “specifies the use of the Portable Document Format (PDF) 1.7, as formalized in ISO 32000-1, for preserving the static visual representation of page-based electronic documents over time in addition to allowing any type of other content to be included as an embedded file or attachment.”

What this means is that a complete archived object in PDF/A may now include embedded files or attachments in formats such as XML, CAD, wordprocessing documents, imaging, etc.  This is a major change from PDF/A-2 which allows embedded files, but only of the PDF/A variety.

To find out more about PDF/A-3, check out the recent webinar, “PDF/A-3: All Change for Document-based Processes” from LuraTech.

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    Sheila Taylor
  • Sheila Taylor is a well known consultant, educator, speaker and writer with more than 25 years of experience in the information management (IM) field.

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    Case in Point

    That's A Lot of Records!
    Often the requirement for a needs assessment is driven by a specific initiative being considered or an immediate problem to be solved, rather than a general desire to establish a corporate (or organization-wide) IM program. We had a client wanting to improve its management of a specific group of critical records – thousands of member files in paper, microform and digital formats containing hundreds of unique document types.
    Assess, Plan and Schedule
    Ergo reviewed the organization’s current practices for managing those records, compared those practices to best practices, and identified risks and areas for improvement. From there we developed a strategic plan with a focus on records storage and retention. The plan identified the operational, financial and technological requirements for implementing the recommended changes, improvements and enhancements in the lifecycle management of the member records. Activities in the plan were classified as short term (next 6-12 months), medium term (next 12-24 months) and longer term (next 25+ months).
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    Implementation of the strategic plan enabled this organization to ensure its member records are properly identified, organized, accessible, protected and retained as long as necessary to meet operational and other requirements.