Enhanced archiving capability with Adlib and PDF/A

By Roger Beharry Lall | October 1, 2014

In the latest release of Adlib PDF, we’ve included additional supports for PDF/A. Now, your organization can archive your files in PDF/A-1 through PDF/A-3 and conformance levels a, b and u. As a result, your files will be retained for the long term, no matter which governance guidelines you need to adhere to. While there are many varieties of PDF/A files, one is not necessarily better than the other. In fact, each one has individual qualities which make is right for certain organizations and industries. PDF/A-1 is not “better” or “newer” than PDF/A-3. They are each unique and useful based on your organization’s needs.

Understanding PDF/A compliance

In order for a document to be compliant with PDF/A standards, it needs to adhere to specific guidelines:

PDF/A Guidelines

You may think that by including such strict limits, PDF/A’s restrictions will not allow your organization to archive all of your necessary information. However, because there are many versions of PDF/A with various conformance levels, you may find one which suits your needs. The reason PDF/A has certain limits with regard to external content is that certain file viewers may not exist when your organization needs to access the content. As a result, by keeping everything contained within the PDF file, opening up the document 100 years from now will result in the user being able to read all of the content.

Understanding the benefits of PDF/A

The main benefit of PDF/A is that your organization’s content will all be viewable and accessible, no matter when you need it. It could be 10 years from now or 100. Take a look at the defining characteristics of PDF/A, and what makes them useful for your organization.

PDF/A Characteristics

Selecting the right PDF/A format for your business needs

Given the elaborate mix of features and capabilities, choosing the appropriate PDF format for capturing and storing business information and records can be a challenge. Keep in mind that the progression of numbering (PDF/A-1, PDF/A-2 and PDF/A-3) does not relate so much to an orderly sequence, but reflects more the specific features and capabilities being added over time. Each organization’s specific needs will determine which version is appropriate. Unlike software, where the most current version is typically the most desirable, the most recent PDF/A standard version may not be suitable to a specific organization’s requirements.

Selecting the appropriate format to meet specific business and regulatory requirements can sometimes require expertise outside of your organization to ensure that both the intent of the archiving and the selected format are appropriately aligned. Expert advice in this area can also help you identify any recent additions or changes to the PDF standard or regulatory climate that might affect your decision.

Learn more about PDF/A and how it can benefit your organization in this white paper.

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