pdfaPilot pdfaPilot

pdfaPilot is the solution for conversion of PDF or native documents and emails into robust, searchable PDF or PDF/A files for long-term archiving. It uses the same rock-solid PDF/A technology as used in Adobe Acrobat and is available for desktop use, through watched folders or ready for integration into existing systems through a command line interface or software development kit.

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Close integration

pdfaPilot SDK is a software development kit that allows for integration of the pdfaPilot functionality in the closest possible way inside your own application. Because pdfaPilot SDK doesn’t rely on command-line or hot folder integration, it provides seamless development integration with the highest level of control for the parent application.

Supported environments

pdfaPilot SDK provides a native C library that provides easy integration in C code or – through included header files – in C++ projects. Additional wrappers cater for .NET or Java environments. pdfaPilot SDK is available for Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, Sun Solaris and IBM AIX making it an extremely flexible way to integrate the pdfaPilot functionality.

Jumpstarting your development

pdfaPilot SDK comes with developer documentation but also with a number of extensive samples to show off the broad feature set of the SDK and to get you started in your development project. These samples are of course not production code, but they provide a jump-start for your developers that will facilitate quick integration of the SDK.

Great ROI with proven quality and reliability

Building on pdfaPilot SDK gives you immediate access to all of the PDF/A capabilities of pdfaPilot, embedded in your application. callas software keeps close tabs on existing and emerging PDF/A developments and makes sure your applications remain up-to-date. This allows you to concentrate on your own strengths while using a reliably, easily customizable library to take care of your PDF/A requirements.

The speed, quality and reliability of the pdfaPilot engine are undisputed; more than 60 OEM customers use the SDK worldwide; amongst those many well-known names such as Adobe, Foxit, Mitsubishi, Quark, Xerox. The list is a testament to the quality of pdfaPilot SDK and to the professional way in which callas software supports its customers.

pdfaPilot SDK versus pdfaPilot CLI

Because callas provides two integration solutions for the pdfaPilot engine - pdfaPilot CLI and pdfaPilot SDK – the question comes up which of the two would be the ideal for your workflow. In general the differences between the two solutions are minimal and in the end much will depend on your integration resources and your familiarity with command-line or library integration. Some of the important differences are:

  • pdfaPilot SDK provides a complete set of callback functions to let you control PDF processing as it takes place. This provides a closer integration than possible with pdfaPilot CLI which relies on return codes and information through stdout and XML reports.
  • Both solutions fully support parallel processing: pdfaPilot CLI through parallel processes (organized by the operating system) and pdfaPilot SDK through parallel threads (through the use of a special extension package bundled with every library).
  • Variables to customize quality control and PDF fixing are supported by pdfaPilot CLI and pdfaPilot SDK alike. Additionally pdfaPilot SDK has possibilities to manipulate preflight profiles (allowing to duplicate, merge or modify preflight profiles in code).
  • If your application already integrates with the Adobe PDF Library, pdfaPilot SDK offers the additional benefit of allowing you to open PDF documents with the Adobe PDF Library and then manipulating them with pdfaPilot SDK. This sort of cooperation is not possible with pdfaPilot CLI.

pdfaPilot for OEM customers

pdfaPilot is used by many OEM customers worldwide integrated into their own products, mainly for document and email archiving based on the PDF/A standard, and for analysis, processing and conversion of office and print PDFs. Our OEM customers’ products are used in government agencies, finance or in the industry for archiving, document management, email management, product live cycle management and much more. For more information, click here.

Pricing

If you are interested in pdfaPilot SDK, let us know and we'll make you a quote.

PDF Association brochures

If you want to download the PDF Association brochures, please click here:

System requirements

  • Mac (Intel): macOS, version 10.7 or newer, 64-bit-compliant
  • Windows:
    • Windows 7 or newer
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 or newer
  • Linux: The minimum required Linux OS versions are shown below (Linux OS versions with a higher number are always supported as well):
    • Debian 7 (and derivates like Ubuntu 12.x )
    • RedHat RHEL6 (and derivates like CentOS6)
    • SuSE SLES11 (and derivates like OpenSuSE11)
    • Note: other Linux distributions are also supported if the version of the glibc is at least v2.10
  • Solaris (Sparc and Intel): Solaris 10 (v5.10) or newer
  • AIX (PPC): AIX 5.3 (oslevel 5300-07) or newer
Recommended are at least 2 GB of free storage.

Benefits

Closest possible integration in your environment

  • Real SDK (software development kit) – integration using libraries
  • Control processing as it takes place through a complete set of callback functions
  • Parallel processing through multi-threaded library
  • Duplicate, merge and modify preflight profiles in code
  • Combine usage of Adobe PDF Library and pdfaPilot SDK
  • Native C library
  • Support for C++ environments through headers, .NET and Java through custom wrappers
  • Available on Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, Sun Solaris and IBM AIX

Quick development

  • Easy-to-use SDK with full documentation
  • Extensive samples to showcase broad pdfaPilot SDK feature set

Great ROI with proven quality and reliability

  • Immediate access to all quality control and PDF manipulation possibilities in pdfaPilot, embedded in your application
  • Don’t worry about supporting evolving and emerging PDF standards; pdfaPilot provides regular updates
  • Built on the Adobe PDF Library and Adobe technology to provide conversion from and to PostScript / EPS, transparency flattening and more
  • Used by a multitude of OEM customers such as Adobe, Foxit, Mitsubishi, Quark, Xerox

Key features

Close integration

  • C library for easy integration in C project or C++ headers (through custom headers)
  • Easy support for .Net and Java projects through custom wrappers
  • Full set of callback functions to take close control of processing
  • Parallel processing through multi-threaded library
  • Perform preflight by running any pdfaPilot profile or process plan
  • Generate an unlimited amount of preflight reports from a single preflight
  • Duplicate, merge and modify preflight profiles in code
  • Combine usage of Adobe PDF Library and pdfaPilot SDK
  • Available on Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, Sun Solaris and IBM AIX

The best and most complete PDF quality control on the planet

  • Checks PDFs for compliance to the PDF/A-1, PDF/A-2 and PDF/A-3 standard (ISO 19005-1, 19005-2 and 19005-3)
  • Converts PDF files to PDF/A-1 and implements all necessary corrections
  • Converts emails into PDF/A
  • Converts PDF files to EPUB and HTML
  • Supports all PDF/A conformance levels (from PDF/A-1b to PDF/A-3u)
  • Improves PDFs to facilitate the creation of PDF/UA files
  • Reporting of problems through different types of predefined PDF reports
  • Customizable PDF reports based on HTML templates for maximum adjustment to your brand and users (including easy adaptation of colors, layout, icons and logos and textual content)
  • Integrated fixes allows quickest handling of PDF documents
  • Secured fixing by using PDF comparison technology; easily identify when a fix causes visual differences
  • Build process plans: customizable lists of fixes that can be executed on PDF documents conditionally
  • Guaranteed conversion to PDF/A by re-distilling (generating PostScript and distilling back into PDF) or by rasterizing each page with problems

Customize quality control and fixing

  • Insert variables into checks or fixes
  • Modify values for variables in each job
  • Decide on the fly whether checks or fixes need to be run for a specific document

Release notes

11.0.527 22 January 2020

Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features

11.0.525 13 December 2019

Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Fixes

  • Problem solved where the HTML based PDF report (PTB_eCChip) failed (ThreadSafe) [CA1028901]
  • Problem solved where variable evaluation was broken (callback was no longer called) [CA1028933]

11.0.524 28 November 2019

Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features

  • Based on pdfToolbox 11.0.523 and pdfaPilot 9.0.320 (new features and fixes)
  • Important: We changed the default to the thread safety variant - if you need the single threaded variant or use the IPL or PDDoc interfaces, you will find the library inside var/legacy

Fixes

  • Improved callback structure in the .NET wrapper (no static and allowed lambda syntax) [CA1028478, CA1028471]
  • Improved PRC API (C/C++) for standard settings (embedded files and PDF/E) [CA1028536]
  • Problem solved where junction of directory failed under Windows (ThreadSafe) [CA1028553]

10.2.509 15 July 2019

Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features

Fixes

  • Problem solved where file size calculation for files over 2GB are wrong [CA1028429]
  • Problem solved where repairing PDF tagging structure crashed [CA1028438]
  • Added flag to force LibreOffice/OpenOffice in the email conversion [CA1028430]

10.2.505 21 May 2019

Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Fixes

  • Problem solved, where the flags parameter from PTB_Preflight / PTB_ConvertPDFA was not considered (eg. PTB_epfNoOptimization) [CA1028302]

10.2.504 8 May 2019

Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features

Fixes

  • Improved error handling if invalid Fixup configuration is used [CA1028211]
  • Improved Variable evaluation - type safety [CA1028049]
  • Updated language dictionaries: cz, da, fi, ko, nl, no, pl, pt, sv, zh_CN, zh_TW [CA1028207]

10.1.492 6 February 2019

Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Fixes

  • Problem solved where PTB_ConvertSysToUTF8 and PTB_ConvertUTF8ToSys incorrectly convert strings containing special characters (such as umlauts) [CA1027992]
  • Improved stability (ThreadSafe extension) [CA1027990]

10.1.490 21 January 2019

Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features

Fixes

  • Problem solved where conversion failed when file path contains unicode characters [CA1027889]

10.1.487 14 December 2018

Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features

Fixes

  • Based on pdfToolbox 10.1.484 + pdfToolbox 10.1.482
  • Improved PTB_PRCEngineImportAcroRepos and PTB_PRCEngineImportAcroReposFromUser2 [CA1027175]
  • Improved performance on Variable evaluation [FP51750]
  • Problem solved where PDF reports displayed wrong characters (special characters such as umlauts) [FP51757, CA1027738]
  • Problem solved where dirty PDF files were not saved before corrections were applied when identical to the input file [CA1027752]

10.0.471 31 August 2018

Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features + Fixes

Fixes

  • Problems solved where the URL was not compared in PTB_OIAdd [CA1027023]
  • Problems solved where same Variables listed multiple times

10.0.469 6 July 2018

Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features + Fixes

    • Based on pdfToolbox 10.0.469 (new Features and Fixes)

10.0.466 31 May 2018

Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features + Fixes

    • Based on pdfToolbox 10.0.463 and pdfaPilot 8.0.290 (new Features and Fixes)
    • Based on pdfToolbox 10.0.465 (new Features and Fixes)

9.4.447 24 January 2018

Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features

  • Based on pdfaPilot 7.2.277 and pdfToolbox 9.4.447 (new features and fixes)
  • PTB_SaveAsPDF7: extended logfile parameter for HTML to PDF

Fixes

  • Problems solved where implicit email conversion failed [CA1026835]
  • Problems solved where conversion failed when profile with HTML template runs twice
  • Problems solved where conversion failed when the current working directory contains unicode characters (ThreadSafe) [CA1026828]
  • Problems solved where temporary items not created or cleaned up correctly [caused by 9.4.443]

9.4.445 22 November 2017

Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features

  • Based on pdfToolbox 9.4.445 and pdfaPilot 7.2.276 (new features and fixes)

Fixes

  • Problems solved where interprocess shared memory file was not removed properly (ThreadSafe) [CA1026700]
  • Problems solved where PTB_OIAdd crashed and created unnecessary files [CA1026715, CA1026732]

9.4.443 7 November 2017

Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features

  • Based on pdfToolbox 9.4.442 (new features and fixes)

Fixes

  • Problem solved where export of profiles with HTML template resources failed [CA1026582]
  • Problem solved where JavaScript variables were not evaluated correctly by using process plans [CA1026584]
  • Problem solved where ICC profile was missing when exporting OutputIntent [CA1026578]
  • Problem solved where the creation of the temporary working directory failed [CA1026578]
  • Problem solved where PTB_PRCEConditionLogic for a Rule was always AND [CA1026660]
  • Problem solved where syntax problems were not reported (hit callback) [CA1023718]

9.3.434 24 August 2017

Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features

  • Based on pdfToolbox 9.3.432, pdfToolbox 9.3.434 and pdfapilot 7.1.271 (new features and fixes)
  • Added PTB_PRCEngineMetaProfilesEnumSequenceSteps into the C-API [CA1026301]
  • Added addPath into the Java-API [CA1026414]

Fixes

  • Improved stability and performance (ThreadSafe extension) [CA1026447]
  • Problem solved where the SDK does not work on Chinese operating systems [CA1026411 CA1026039]
  • Problem solved where input file will be overwritten by using process plans [CA1026268]

9.2.425 30 May 2017

Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features

  • Based on pdfToolbox 9.2.425 (new features and fixes)

Fixes

  • Improved stability and performance (ThreadSafe extension)

9.2.424 13 April 2017

Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features

  • Based on pdfToolbox 9.1.413 and pdfToolbox 9.2.423 + 9.2.424 (new features and fixes)
  • Most recent version of Adobe PDF Library integrated (v15.0.4PlusP2a) for Windows, MacOS and Linux

Fixes

  • Based on pdfToolbox 9.1.413 and pdfToolbox 9.2.423 + 9.2.424 (new features and fixes)
  • Fixed memory leak in ThreadSafe extension where objects cannot be released in a case of an error
  • Problem solved where the Java wrapper does not work on Mac 10.11 with activated System Integrity Protection [CA1025662]
  • Improved stability and performance (ThreadSafe extension)
  • Fixed the custom profile parameter for PTB_ConvertPDFA [CA1025869]

9.1.411 15 November 2016

Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features

  • Based on pdfToolbox 9.1.410 and pdfToolbox 9.1.411 (new features and fixes)
  • Most recent version of Adobe PDF Library integrated (v15.0.1PlusP1e) for Windows, MacOS and Linux

Fixes

  • Based on pdfToolbox 9.1.410 and pdfToolbox 9.1.411 (new features and fixes)

9.0.399 24 August 2016

Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features

  • Based on pdfToolbox 9.0.392 and pdfToolbox 9.0.397 (new features and fixes)
  • Added ability to extend/skip Normalizer default directories (PostScript to PDF) [CA1025150]

Fixes

  • Improved stability (ThreadSafe extension) [CA1024919; CA1025126; CA1025130]
  • Problem solved where fixups are no printed correctly on language change [CA1025119]

8.3.375 2 May 2016

Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features

  • Based on pdfToolbox 8.3.375 (new features and fixes)

Fixes

  • Problem solved where the Java wrapper does not work on Mac 10.11 with activated System Integrity Protection [CA1024834]

8.3.373 29 March 2016

Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features

  •  Based on pdfToolbox 8.3.371 (new features and fixes)
  • Added ability to set maximum pages after this limit only pages with problems/hits will be stored
  • Added ability to hide checks with severity for the report creation

Fixes

  •  Improved performance [CA1024560,CA1024430]
  • Improved memory usage for the Java wrapper [CA1024430]

Adobe PDF Library

  •  Updated to version 10.1.0PlusP4q for all supported operating systems

8.2.362 15 January 2016

  • Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Fixes

  • Problem solved where the email conversion failed if no template (default) is specified

8.2.361 16 December 2015

  • Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features

  • Based on pdfToolbox 8.2.361 (new features and fixes)

Fixes

  • Improved Acrobat DC support (Acrobat DC Continuous and Classic are now supported) [CA1024424]
  • Problem solved where PTB_LibSetPath returns PTB_eerrUnknown if called before PTB_LibInit [CA1024414]
  • Problem solved where a process plan caused an abort in PTB_PreflightRelease [CA1024355]
  • Problem solved in PTB_SplitPDF where input file has no extension (.pdf will be forced now) [CA1024359]
  • Problem solved in the ThreadSafe extension to handle unicode strings [CA1024375]
  • Problem solved in IPL_GetErrorStringFromErrorCode where empty string are returned [CA1024367]
  • Problem solved where copying profile data with meta data caused a crash

Adobe PDF Library

  • Updated to version 10.1.0PlusP4n for all supported operating systems

8.1.356 9 November 2015

  • Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Fixes

  • Problem solved where input file will be overwritten by using process plans [CA1024339]
  •  Problem solved where the result after increase line width was not expected [CA1024209]
  • Problem solved where increase line width with custom check was not functional [FP29816]

8.1.355 29 October 2015

  • Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Fixes

  • Improved PDF/UA-1 validation
  • Improved structured HTML export for tagged PDF
  • Improved error code for the PDF reports where the input file was encrypted [CA1024272]
  • Problem solved where a relative path for the reports fails [CA1024185, CA1024206]
  • Problem solved where multichannel TIFF files cannot be opened [CA1024316]
  • Problem solved where collection with HTML template fails [CA1024017]

8.1.354 19 October 2015

  • Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features

  • Based on pdfToolbox 8.1.354 and pdfapilot 6.0.245 (new features and fixes)
  • Added ability to convert non-PDF attachements to PDF for the email conversion [CA1022965]
  • Added .NET 2 wrapper for backward compatibilty on Windows [CA1024233]

Fixes

  • Problem solved where the result of email conversion was not expected [CA1024244, CA1024204, CA1024203, CA1023987, CA1024009]
  • Problem solved in PTB_PRCEngineImportAcroReposFromUser2 with Acrobat DC [CA1024173]

Adobe PDF Library

  • Updated to version 10.1.0PlusP4j for all supported operating systems

8.0.338 10 August 2015

  • Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Fixes

  • Problem solved where email conversion was broken (no header fields and xmp metadata) [CA1024026]
  • Problem solved where office conversion fails with special locale [CA1024052]

8.0.334 7 August 2015

  • Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features

  • Based on pdfToolbox 8.0.332 and pdfToolbox 8.0.333 (new features and fixes)
  • Moved to VS2013 and .NET 4 on Windows

Fixes

  • Improved possibility to obtain information during ZUGFeRD failures that prevent the conversion (e.g. XML schema errors) [CA1023968]
  • Problem solved where password protected archives coud not be processed [CA1023988]

7.6.319 27 May 2015

  • Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Fixes

  • Problem solved where OutputIntent handling and API was broken [CA1019444]
  • Problem solved where SoftMask without Resource Dict was not properly handled [CA1023878]

7.6.318 6 May 2015

  • Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features

  • Based on pdfToolbox 7.6.317 (new features and fixes)

Fixes

  • Problem solved where string values could not be converted corretly in the thread-safe SDK [CA1023815]
  • Problem solved where property 'PDFVT::NumberOfTimesXObjReferenced' lead to crash [CA1023748]
  • Problem solved in PTB_SaveEmailAsPDF where 'noconvert' generated reduntant entries for overview and bookmarks [CA1023836]

7.6.315 19 March 2015

  • Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features + Fixes

  • Based on pdfToolbox 7.6.314 and pdfapilot 5.5.230 (new features and fixes)

Adobe PDF Library

  • Updated to version 10.1.0PlusP3n for all supported operating systems

7.5.303 10 October 2014

  • Update of pdfEngine SDK is free of charge for owners of a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for pdfEngine SDK, pdfToolbox SDK or pdfaPilot SDK

Features +  Fixes

  • Based on pdfToolbox 7.5.303 and pdfaPilot 5.2.221 (new features and fixes)

Adobe PDF Library

  • Version 10.1.0PlusP3c for all supported operating systems

Testimonials

Empowered by callas to keep documents available now and forever …

Fabrizio Toninelli, Administrator PA DIGITALE
Fabrizio Toninelli, Administrator PA DIGITALE

PA Digitale SpA is a leading software solutions provider on the Italian Public Administration market. It specifically targets the document and data management sector.

PA Digitale offers an integrated management information system, called URBI Smart that covers all functional areas of management and provides to Directors/Executives a support tool for real time management. Thanks to the availability of static and dynamic data reports it also offers a complete framework for integration with other data sources that is always up to date.

URBI Smart is completely web based, available in the Cloud, accessible from any PC and mobile device, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The PA Digitale software solutions also offer advanced electronic document management, from creation and classification to archiving and digital preservation. These functionalities are available in an integrated Web Portal for a more efficient Public Administration, “closer” to citizens.

With its new WebTec solution, PA Digitale is now not only entering the private market, but also introducing one of the first digital preservation solutions formally approved by the Italian government. callas pdfaPilot enabled PA Digitale to make a big leap forward in terms of management and digital preservation of electronic documents.

“Without a digital preservation service there is no dematerialization of paper workflows. Digital preservation is a key factor for the sustainability of the dematerialization process, to ensure that information and documents are stored in a way that guarantees integrity, authenticity, accessibility and readability.”
May 2014, Agenzia per l’Italia Digitale - www.agid.gov.it

Electronic documents or cultural heritage?

An electronic document, like any document processed by a Public Administration (PA), must be classified, sorted and sent to an archive. Moreover, any Public Administration document is considered a cultural heritage and, for this reason, must be preserved according to government laws.

Public Administrations as well as private companies are obliged to manage the digital preservation of documents in various areas, where law requirements are in effect or imminent. Such documents are for example: electronic invoices, daily PA register protocols, administrative records, contracts, and any kind of document including a digital signature. They are all electronic documents and for this reason subject to digital preservation.

Within the private sector especially for financial accounting documents requirements exist enforcing digital preservation by Italian law. Digital preservation has to deal with the protection of legal validity, authenticity, integrity, reliability, availability and immutability of electronic documents.

Always valid, future-proof PDF/A documents

PA Digitale’s preservation software solution is developed with the latest innovative technology, including callas pdfaPilot libraries for PDF/A document management. callas pdfaPilot allowed PA Digitale to design a software able to convert any document (generated from any management software on the market) to always-valid future-proof PDF/A documents, ready for the digital preservation process.

“The particular methodologies and technologies used to design and realize our systems also allow us to perform maintenance activities, software updates, etc… without any service interruptions. These features, combined with the web based access mode optimized for mobile devices, allow us to ensure access to the system in any place at any time.”
Explains Fabrizio Toninelli, Administrator at PA Digitale.

This was achieved by replacing the analog model with the digital one and by changing the management processes with the digital preservation objective in mind. Thanks to the callas software solution PA Digitale drives its customers in the right direction.

Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG in the driving seat with pdfaPilot from callas software

Fabrizio Tuena
Fabrizio Tuena, IT - Business Consultancy & Service Management at Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG

Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG wanted to achieve greater transparency, uniformity, security, and compliance in its document storage. With its decision to use consistent electronic long-term archiving in PDF/A, the company is very much following the current trend. Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG was looking for a flexible, powerful, and stable solution. Today, pdfaPilot from callas software, provider of powerful PDF technologies for publishing, print production, and document archiving, is used for the fully automatic conversion to PDF/A of the 30,000 or so order-related documents that arise each year. Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG will therefore be able to give up its physical archive and benefit from the advantages of long-term, uniform, digital storage.

Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG is a subsidiary of Stuttgart-based Daimler AG. As a sales and marketing company with around 400 employees, the company is involved with the registered brands for passenger cars Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz and ‘smart’ and the Mercedes-Benz and FUSO brands for commercial vehicles. For the many documents produced during order processing for vehicle fleet business with suppliers and dealers the company used a document management system in conjunction with its system for order processing, but this did not include an archiving function that enabled documents to be stored electronically in compliance with legal regulations. Instead, the scanned documents were saved in image format and the original documents archived on paper. This resulted in duplicate data retention and a large amount of space required for the physical archive.

In October 2011, when Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG decided to replace the order processing software, one requirement was that the documents should only be archived electronically. It was clear that the company should use PDF/A, the most suitable format for long-term archiving, in order to meet legal requirements. The search began for a suitable product to put this into practice. “We wanted to offer users the most flexible solution possible. We also needed the conversion to PDF/A happen in the background within the application. We were therefore looking for a stable solution to convert image formats and MS Office documents to PDF/A,” explains Fabrizio Tuena, IT - Business Consultancy & Service Management at Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG.

The analysis of the market resulted in comprehensive tests on three products that made the shortlist – one of which was pdfaPilot from callas. “We were particularly looking for reliable, compliant conversion to PDF/A format and good performance,” says Fabrizio Tuena. “And of the three tools we tested, pdfaPilot turned out to be the most reliable.” The company chose the pdfaPilot Software Development Kit, the programming library that can be integrated easily and flexibly. During subsequent implementation, various questions relating to installation in a multithreading environment were quickly clarified. Tuena states: “The collaboration with callas was competent and very fast, from sales consulting and implementation right through to support for the ongoing project.”

PDF/A conversion fully automatic and flexible

Document-intensive processes are common at Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG: The company uses them to commission its suppliers to alter vehicles to meet customer requirements – e.g. including interior fittings for commercial purposes or labeling them accordingly. Dealers then take on final tasks such as handover including registration of the vehicle with the authorities. All order-related documents such as the contract, orders for bodies, delivery documents etc. are scanned and uploaded to the new order processing software. There, pdfaPilot converts all documents to PDF/A, thus making them ready for long-term archiving.

The documents are then given a digital signature to meet the legal requirements regarding proof of immutability. Finally, the documents are archived in a document management system from OpenText.

Summary

The project has been concluded in February 2013, and Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG is very satisfied with the results. “Because conversion is fully automatic, no manual intervention is required. In addition, pdfaPilot is a flexible solution that permits a wide variety of scan formats,” concludes Fabrizio Tuena.
Entry-level PDF/A support, standalone, inside Acrobat or fully automated as Server version

For businesses and government agencies, archives and libraries, that store and long-term maintain documents, callas pdfaPilot is the professional desktop tool to validate and/or create PDF/A-files. It turns all kinds of PDFs into ISO 19005-1 conform PDF/A documents:

  • PDFs created in Office applications
  • interactive forms
  • invoices
  • construction drawings
  • technical documentation
  • presentations
  • newspapers
  • books

With pdfaPilot it is a snap to check whether your documents comply with the PDF/A standard. And if they don’t, callas pdfaPilot contains a wealth of tools to bring them in line. Working as a plug-in inside Adobe Acrobat or as a fast standalone application, callas pdfaPilot offers the broadest PDF/A support on the market in the easiest package. callas pdfaPilot works on single documents or – using its batch functionality – on complete folders at a time.

To process higher volumes of files or to free up operators by hands-off automation, callas pdfaPilot Server provides just that. The hot folder interface lets you setup different watched folders that automatically pick up files and process them. The engine inside callas pdfaPilot is fully multiprocessor aware so it takes advantage of all of the speed available in your server. Additionally callas pdfaPilot Server has load distribution capabilities to enhance performance by using multiple servers. Both the Desktop and Server version run on Mac and Windows. A command-line interface and a full developer SDK are available when closer integration or more fine-grained control is of the essence. With their additional availability on many Unix flavors, the CLI and SDK allow painless integration in a wide range of operating environments. Other supported platforms are Sun Solaris and IBM AIX.

Rosendahls: front-runner for PDF/A compliancy in Denmark

Jens Bjerre Kirkegaard
Jens Bjerre Kirkegaard, Document Accessibility Specialist

The Rosendahls group is a company with a rich tradition and roots going back to 1902. Located in Copenhagen, Odense and Esbjerg, it has offered a comprehensive range of services in the areas of communication, publishing, warehousing and distribution for more than a century. Rosendahls is on top of new developments and continues to be a technology front-runner to support its customers. As many of those customers traditionally come from public administration organizations, Denmark’s embracing of the ISO PDF/A standard had a direct impact on Rosendahls.

PDF/A, the ISO standard for PDF files to be stored in long-term archives, has been steadily increasing in importance, especially for use by governments and public administrations. In April 2011, the Danish Ministry for Economics, Innovation, and Education decided to require accessible PDF/A documents as the compulsory format for all public sector documents. As a full-service provider, it was important for Rosendahls to be able to convert existing documents to PDF/A and check compliancy with the ISO standard when needed.

Well prepared with callas pdfaPilot

The standardisation by the Danish government on PDF/A didn’t take Rosendahls by surprise. While HTML was still the required format for agencies, Rosendahls already saw the European trend towards PDF/A. It started looking for a solution to support this upcoming standard early; the corresponding market research culminated in a visit to the 4th international PDF/A conference in Rome in the fall of 2010. The conference provided a wealth of information and access to experts from the different technology vendors with PDF/A technology.

“This is when we decided to use pdfaPilot by callas software”, Jens Bjerre Kirkegaard, Document Accessibility Specialist at Rosendahls, recalls. “Our requirements for creating valid PDF/A files were best met by pdfaPilot, which also offered convincing reliability and an easy-to-use intuitive operation”. Rosendahls faced additional challenges because it had to be able to provide accessible PDF/A files, which requires support for the technically ‘more challenging’ parts of the PDF/A standard known as PDF/A-1a, but pdfaPilot easily meets those challenges. “On top of that,” continues Jens Bjerre, “callas pdfaPilot offers a range of additional features such as splitting PDF documents or creating hand-outs for example and those come in very handy in our daily use”.

callas pdfaPilot is ideal for the demanding workflow at Rosendahls because it supports direct conversion to PDF/A from a wide range of formats such as Microsoft Office, Open Office, Postscript and a variety of image files. It is built using the same technology licensed by Adobe for Adobe Acrobat and provides seamless scaling for large-volume environments. The fact that so much of the work can be automated gives Rosendahls additional time for the manual steps required for accessible conversion.

Accessibility equals workflow-heavy

For the media services provider who often receives individual documents from many different sources – which creates very different requirements opposed to high volumes that always have the same structure – the ability to automatically convert to and validate PDF/A is particularly important. “We convert either to PDF/A-1a or PDF/A-2a“, Kirkegaard explains, “We usually have to process Word, InDesign, or PDF documents, and callas pdfaPilot automatically resolves many stumbling blocks for us. E.g. it checks for and removes unnecessary metadata, marks or corrects incorrect color spaces or embeds fonts retroactively”.

The fact that the pdfaPilot can ‘repair’ problematic documents or – if this is impossible – recreates them completely from scratch, saves Rosendahls a lot of time and work. But there is still a lot to do for the accessibility specialist Jens Bjerre Kirkegaard: “Provisioning of accessible documents is a demanding and often finicky task which requires a lot of know-how and a few manual steps”, he explains. It is impossible to setup a completely automated workflow, especially when receiving diverse and often-problematic native document formats. But here as well pdfaPilot comes to the rescue by providing manual editing of metadata, colors, images and many other PDF properties.

Meeting challenges in a changing environment – support included

For challenges surrounding PDF/A and accessible documents Jens Kirkegaard benefits from the fast and competent support of the callas distribution partner Actino Software. “Media service providers such as Rosendahls are often confronted with the fact that customers want their heterogeneous documents provided as PDF/A files but they have no idea how complex the required work really is”, Actino director Michael Karbe explains.

Since the installation of the first version, Actino has been supporting their customer Rosendahls reliably and has worked closely with callas software to resolve any questions or problems that arose during the project. callas software integrated all improvements into further development of pdfaPilot. “The continued development of the PDF/A standard also requires adjustments to the PDF/A toolsets”, Dietrich von Seggern, Business Development Manager at callas software explains. “We are highly dedicated to this area and thanks to constant updates to pdfaPilot, we can ensure comprehensive implementation of all requirements and therefore provide optimal conformity.“

Today: Accessible PDF/A documents with pdaPilot 3.0 and axaio MadeToTag

Rosendahls recently migrated to the latest version of pdfaPilot: version 3.0. This version allows embedding documents inside a PDF/A file and implements support for the PDF/A-3 standard. This allows Rosendahls to embed all documents belonging to a certain project or file inside their accessible PDF/A documents. And whenever they want to take advantage of PDF/A-3, the solution is ready for them.

Accessibility and creating accessible PDF files is a topic that really drives callas software and its sister company axaio software. The InDesign plug-in MadeToTag was created by axaio software to simplify and speed-up preparation of Adobe InDesign documents before they are converted into accessible PDF/A files.

Jens Kirkegaard explains its importance: “Accessible PDF files require a clear structure and this is accomplished by adding tags to the PDF. These tags provide additional information about the structure and order of text, provide alternative text to clarify what embedded graphics represent and can discriminate between real content and design elements. These tags are essential for good accessible documents.”

Using axaio MadeToTag, which is now in public beta, it becomes much easier to quickly and reliably add those tags to InDesign documents. Once the document is then converted to PDF, it becomes a high-quality accessible PDF/A document.

“The effort involved in converting agency documents to barrier free PDF/A documents depends on the complexity of the layout. Sometimes one simply reaches the limits of the cost-benefit ratio. For my work, it is a considerable relief to know that a lot of the steps which previously had to be completed by hand are now done by callas pdfaPilot”, Kirkegaard explains.

The PDF/A trend is really taking off in Denmark, so Rosendahls is expecting a major increase in its future order volume. Thanks to callas pdfaPilot and the service from Actino Software, they are already well prepared and equipped for it.

Infocamere, Italy: Deeds in PDF/A for the Companies

Michele Piva, Head of Marketing for the document area of the Italian Chambers of Commerce IT department

When legislation and practice converge, complying with the regulations is simpler. That’s been the case with the deeds that firms deposit with the Chambers of Commerce Companies’ Register - computer documents that from this year on have to be produced in PDF/A format. Infocamere carries out systematic compliance checks on them using procedures from callas software’s pdfaPilot application, which has been entrusted with the prompt validation of the files sent to the Register.

Michele Piva, Head of Marketing for the document area of the Italian Chambers of Commerce IT department: “We’re dealing with a standard that was already widely in use before the Ministerial Decree (of 10 December 2008 sanctioning its use) came into effect, exactly because it derives from the PDF which firms had been widely using for some time”.

Leading edge standard

Of the possible candidates for the long term archiving of electronic documents the PDF/A won out over XPS (XML Paper Specification), TIFF G4 and JPEG. “The PDF/A – Piva adds – was set as the standard ahead of the legislation. Infocamere has invested in it both for the necessity of making available documents that must keep their legal integrity and value over time — considering that the elimination of paper is a must in public administration — and because it considers that, as it is a reinforcement of the PDF, the shift over to it could be taken for granted”.

And the statistics are indeed showing this: whereas from the beginning of March to the middle of April already 47% of the deeds presented to the Companies’ Register were compliant with the new measures, the documents deposited in the following month and a half achieved a format validation of over 58%.

“Looking in particular at company constitution deeds, the most frequent type received in total by the Chambers of Commerce among the over 580,000 analyzed in the period under consideration (excluding the documents classified as ‘other deeds’) turns out to have been in PDF/A compatible format. And for a good 89 of the 105 Chambers the percentage of valid ones is over 80%. This is the proof that the adoption of the PDF/A is being generally and rapidly confirmed over the whole of Italy”.

According to the ISO 19005-1 standard, PDF/A offers a mechanism “for representing electronic documents in a manner that preserves their visual appearance over time, independent of the tools and systems used for the creation, memorization and rendering of the files”.

In other words, the PDF/A files are self-contained and, since they incorporate the information (content, colour, image, text and so on) necessary to display the document, they do not require any additional data for its correct visualization. However, exactly on account of this property, the format must exclude determined functions allowed in normal PDF files such as transparency and multimedia content, and cannot include macro-instructions or rely on links to external resources.
The validation check

“In order to facilitate the file production operations — continues Piva — we have also chosen the blandest compliance to the standard – which corresponds to the sub-category PDF/A-1b, for which no explicit logical structure is needed. Despite this we have noted that there are some recurring errors: on the one hand, the poor indexing­ and aggregation of the deeds attached to the form; on the other, the widespread habit of creating a copy of the document which then doesn’t have the original’s representation (and its metadata) and so loses its validity”.

As well as all this, the possibility of visualizing a document “in PDF/A form” is not in itself synonymous with standard compliance: “It happens — even with Adobe Reader 9, which provides this indication — a source of a widespread error. Thus the only way to ensure adherence to the standard is the validation control”.

To check this it is necessary to use products such as Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro or pdfaPilot from callas software. The alternative is the free service, accessible from the tools section of the WebTelemaco site, which employs the same pdfaPilot tool used by the Companies’ Register office and which enables the validation of any document whatsoever supplying the result online, complete with details of any non-conformities encountered.
Negative outcome — rejected form

“For our validation procedures — explains Piva — we have used the server version of pdfaPilot, which the application we’ve developed makes appropriate calls to, determining the correspondence to the PDF/A-1b specifics. A good number of the people we work with, from service professionals to notaries and accountants, get a great deal of benefit from the tool on WebTelemaco. And, once we’ve received the files, we regularly repeat the checks. If the outcome is negative, the form is rejected”.

“The management application was created over the space of three months from the approval of the Ministerial Decree and required an investment of ­­­­around 30,000 Euro. An expense which has already been repaid by making available a standard that guarantees long term document validity and integrity: a guarantee of uniformity to a defined standard and, therefore, also of quality. Among the further benefits, apart from the return on image, is the improvement of cash flow, since compliance to the standard ensures that homogeneousness which is a key element for its subsequent conservation and concession ­— on payment — to distributors and information agencies who use it for commercial purposes”.

Support

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Do you have a complete price list in Euro / USD?

Yes, the latest price list is available via distributor Four Pees. To access the Reseller Guide, go to https://www.fourpees.com. Once you have registered as reseller, and your account has been approved, you will be granted access to the reseller guide containing full pricing information for all products in Euro and USD. With any questions regarding exact pricing for specific customers, bundles etc... please contact orders@fourpees.com.

System requirements

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