Creating Swiss adoptions of European and International Standards in record time

Company size10 - 50
Used ProductsPDF Toolbox SDK

The Swiss Association for Standardization (SNV) is responsible for enabling and promoting standardization activities in Switzerland. As part of their responsibility, they publish national standards and adoptions in German, French and English.

David Ratcliffe
Director, SNV
After surveying the market and testing two products in practice we are pleased to say that we settled on PDF Toolbox. The sales and support service were excellent - just what we needed as a small company working with tight timeframes. As a bonus, we found that PDF Tools AG is an active member of the Swiss Association for Standardization and participates in the development of ISO standards for PDFs on their behalf. Truly a win-win situation!
Eamonn Neylon
Director/Architect, SNV
PDF Tools support feels like having a specialist colleague: having a support team to talk to made integration straightforward. The team went above and beyond the question asked, pointing out code optimizations that were not part of the issue raised but improved the quality of our solutions.
Marcel Knecht
Head of Standardization & International Affairs, Réalta Online Publishing Solutions Ltd
After the release for publication, the SNV has to adopt the European standards into the Swiss standards repository within 6 months. Since our old procedure requires a lot of manual work, we only narrowly meet this requirement. For us, Réalta is a big step in digitalization. We highly appreciate Réalta's flexibility and openness to continuous process improvements. The extremely high system availability gives us process reliability to be able to serve our customers on time.

Application requirements

The Swiss Association for Standardization (SNV) is responsible for enabling and promoting standardization activities in Switzerland. As part of their responsibility, they publish national standards and adoptions in German, French and English. Some of the more popular adoptions are available in more than one language. At the time of writing, SNV publishes around 5’000 complex documents per year.

In the past, SNV’s publishing team created each adoption in each language by manually editing PDFs. This was a time consuming and error-prone process, making it a real challenge to keep up with the demand to publish an ever-increasing number of documents in more formats while consistently maintaining a high level of quality. Thus, a new and more automated approach was required.

Customer benefits

SNV’s publishing team can now easily see which standards are available in which languages from ISO and CEN, pick the one they want, review the national information generated automatically by Réalta and click a button to create an adoption of an international standard. The publishing process duration was reduced by 50\% and there is no need to manually edit documents anymore – all the heavy-lifting is done automatically behind-the scenes.

This has enabled SNV’s publishing team to shift their focus from lots of repetitive, low value work to providing consistent quality and added value to their customers, like faster access to Swiss versions of adoptions after European or International releases or generating more useful content (e.g. multi-lingual versions).


Réalta and SNV worked closely together to automate the publishing process using a combination of XML and PDF publishing techniques since not all the content is available in XML format. Information about the standards available and the content itself is obtained from ISO and CEN through their API gateways. Réalta uses this, together with SNV’s business rules, to automatically generate XML that creates SNV’s customized cover pages and drives the overall publishing process. This process assembles the final national adoption using a combination of the 3-Heights® PDF Toolbox and another third-party tool (Antenna House Formatter). Additional editing, including stamping the national standards identifier and copyright statement on each page of the document, is then performed (also using the 3-Heights® PDF Toolbox). The final publication is a high-quality PDF document.

During the project Réalta found that they could not meet SNV’s complex requirements with the open-source tool they had been using. The open-source tool could not perform some of the editing correctly and bookmarks were not always maintained correctly. They searched the market for a more robust way to edit PDFs. They found that the 3-Heights® PDF Toolbox provided exactly the functionality and high-quality they were looking for.

The implementation was straight-forward – SNV was up and running with a largely automated process within a month. After that, gradual refinements have been made to address the more unusual cases as the system is used in practice.

Portrait of Réalta Online Publishing Solutions Ltd

Réalta focuses on publishing for standards organizations. Their solutions enable their clients to create high-quality standards, national adoptions and technical documents in different formats from XML and PDF. All the members of their team have practical, in-depth experience in standards, publishing, and XML technologies. As a result, their clients benefit from a purpose-built solution that is streamlined, fast and easy to implement.

Brief portrait of Schweizerische Normen-Vereinigung (SNV)

Delegate of the Swiss Standards Association (SNV) on the ISO Committee (TC 171) As a direct representative of global and European standardization efforts (through the ISO and CEN respectively), the Swiss Association for Standardization (SNV) is Switzerland’s interface with various other national and international standards networks.

Like what you see? Share with a friend.

Grüezi! How can we help?