New workflow in Conversion Service: Archive PDF/A-3

Like the existing and more restricted "Archive PDF/A-2" workflow, the "Archive PDF/A-3" workflow is specially designed to prepare documents for archiving.

This workflow produces output documents conforming to the PDF/A-3 standard and contains the following key features:

  • Source documents, such as docx, xlsx, pptx, can be attached to the resulting output document. This is how Office documents can be archived and still held available for later use, e.g. as templates.

  • If desired, document parts like attachments, can be kept in their original format, e.g. images, XML or proprietary formats.

  • A detailed log of all processing steps, as so-called events, can be accessed via REST API of the 4-Heights® Conversion Service. An event summary of the log can optionally be attached as a text file to the output document. The new Archive PDF/A-3 workflow is available with release 2.5.0 of the 4-Heights® Conversion Service.

New configuration options: Convert or collect?

The workflow offers two new configuration options: The Convert Mode and the Collect Mode. These options specify how the different parts of a document are converted and how they are combined into the resulting output document. The Convert Mode regulates how the content of a document part is processed: converted to PDF/A-3, kept as the original source document or if the part should be skipped. The Collect Mode controls the combination process of the converted document and its attachments to create the output document.

For example: An email with a Word document and a JPEG image can be converted to PDF/A-3 in the following way using default settings.

PDF/A-3 main document containing the mail body and three attachments:

  • Word document, converted to PDF/A-3, with its source docx file attached.

  • JPEG image is kept in the source format.

  • Report/log summarizing all the steps performed during the conversion process.

What is the difference between PDF/A-2 and PDF/A-3?

PDF/A-3 contains one significant change from PDF/A-2: In PDF/A-2, it was already possible to embed PDF/A-compliant documents in the form of attachments. PDF/A-3, however, allows the embedding of any document format, such as Excel, Word, HTML, CAD or XML files.

In this way, the need of companies in various industries has been met to keep original files together with the converted PDF/A files in their original format. Collecting related files in a "collection" has been known since PDF/A-2. A typical application for the PDF/A-3 standard is the archiving of e-mails and their attachments, which can consist of different file formats.

For more information about the differences between the PDF/A-2 and PDF/A-3 standards, please visit our corresponding webpage.

More workflows on the way

Feature release 2.5.0 of Conversion Service also comes with the new "Invoice" workflow, which is going to be introduced in detail in a future newsletter issue. If you cannot wait to find out more about the "Invoice" workflow, please refer to chapter 5.3 in the user manual or contact our sales team.

And this much is revealed: there are more workflows to come. We further develop and release pre-configured workflows to optimally support and automate your document processing jobs at minimum start-up efforts. Stay tuned!

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