Archiving Content in SharePoint with PDF/A by Adlib

Many organizations use Microsoft® SharePoint® in addition to
existing ECM solutions from companies like EMC or OpenText, to
manage their unstructured content. This is typically a large number
of documents of various file types: Microsoft Office, graphics
files, CAD drawings, etc. In some cases, this content would be
converted to PDF to make it more suitable and accessible for
sharing with employees, partners, and customers.

Eventually, this content will be archived for compliance with
content retention standards, and to reduce costs associated with
storage, backup, disaster recovery for this growing collection. For
long term storage of digital content, the PDF/A format is best suited for
this task.

Most people are not aware that there are the various flavours of
PDF, one of which is PDF/A, a variation of PDF that is suitable for
long-term archiving. As with PDF, PDF/A is an open standard that is
published by the International Standards Organization (ISO). With
the recent publication of PDF/A-2, companies should consider
whether to forego PDF and use PDF/A whenever a PDF rendition of a
document is required.  PDF/A-2 allows a number of popular PDF
features including layers, transparency, and  OpenType

An example of PDF/A adoption is the
European Publications Office
. It digitized its historic archive
of approximately 130,000 publications (13 million pages) dating
back to 1952 for long-term preservation, print-on-demand and to
make the entire collection accessible for free online


Other examples of countries where the PDF/A format is either
recommended or mandated include:

  • European Commission
  • German government
  • French government
  • Dutch
  • National Archives of Sweden
  • Austrian National Library
  • National Archives of Norway


While SharePoint does not include the capability to convert the
wide variety of content it manages to PDF or PDF/A, this is easily
accomplished with the addition of a partner product such as the
Adlib Content Transformation Platform. Adlib reduces the cost of
archiving content in SharePoint by enabling the automation of
converting documents to PDF/A.

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