The ability to embed any file format into a PDF/A-3 file makes use of PDFs container principle. This feature also has the potential to vastly improve the way we work with documents. For example, source files and their archivable versions can now be integrated into a single file.
Many new potential applications have also come to light in the past year, including e-invoicing and email archiving. It is now possible to combine the visual image of an invoice together with machine-readable data in a single file for exchange between supplier and customer.
This approach is defined by the Forum for Electronic Billing in Germany (FeRD e. V.) in its ZUGFeRD data model. Numerous PDF Association members offer solutions which businesses can use to create ZUGFeRD-compliant invoices. Email archiving is also proving to be an essential application for PDF/A-3. A single file can now contain a PDF/A version of the original email and its attachments, guaranteeing long-term readability, as well as the same attachments in their original format. The result is just one archive-ready object per email, with as many attachments as are required. For a list of all ZUGFeRD-compatible products offered by PDF Association members, please see https://pdfa.org/products/?cn=2102.
Michael Karbe, CEO, Actino Software GmbH, summarized the situation: In the age of increasing demand for reliability, PDF a standardized, open document format proves to be a universal solution for email archiving and e-invoicing. Fixed visual reproduction, the ability to embed any other file format, extensive security functions and the use of the container principle to embed metadata and other file formats these features allow us to design a wide range of user-friendly document processes.
The staff of the PDF Association are dedicated to delivering the information, services and value members have come to expect. Staff members of the PDF Association include: Alexandra Oettler (Editor), Betsy Fanning (Standards Director), Duff Johnson (Chief Executive Officer), Matthias Wagner (CFO & Operations Director), Peter Wyatt (Chief Technology Officer), Thomas Zellmann (PDF Evangelist).