The PDF Technology
Below you find basic papers and useful information about PDF and PDF/A in general and about Soft Xpansion´s PDF technology. Moreover, the page offers details on the DMS and archiving projects Soft Xpansion has conducted.
Centralizing Process Management and Optimizing Digital Archiving: Case Study and Process Example in the Banking Sector
In various large-scale banks and financial institutions with a wide and global client base, Soft Xpansion has successfully carried out several consecutive projects to centralize the process management including digital archiving procedures. As an example, a case study shows the basic tasks that had to be performed, the structure of the solution (based on EMC Documentum) and how the solution has been put into practice in a bank of the Raiffeisen Bank International AG network. The study also exemplifies the optimization of a specific process within the bank.
Similar projects have been performed for ING Bank (Central & Eastern Europe), BNP Paribas Group (Ukrsibbank Ukraine) and ProCredit Bank Georgia. In all cases, the project teams fully tailored the solutions to the specific client requirements.
More Information on the solutions for digital archiving and process centralization is available on the web pages for Soft Xpansion´s project and services solutions.
General Information on PDF and PDF/A
Click on the links below to download details. The first five links lead you to the web pages of the PDF Association. These pages are run and administered within the sole responsibility of the PDF Association.
PDF Format and PDF Basics
PDF (Portable Document Format) is a file format for representing documents in a manner independent of the software, hardware and operating system used to create them and of the output device on which they are to be displayed or printed. A PDF document consists of a collection of objects that together describe the appearance of one or more pages, possibly accompanied by additional interactive elements and higher-level application data. A PDF file contains the objects making up a PDF document along with associated structural information, all represented as a single self-contained sequence of bytes.
A document’s pages (and other visual elements) can contain any combination of text, graphics and images. A page’s appearance is described by a PDF content stream, which contains a sequence of graphics objects to be painted on the page. This appearance is fully specified; all layout and formatting decisions have already been made by the application generating the content stream.
In addition to describing the static appearance of pages, a PDF document can contain interactive elements that are possible only in an electronic representation. PDF supports annotations of many kinds for such things as text notes, hypertext links, markup, file attachments, sounds and movies. A document can define its own user interface; keyboard and mouse input can trigger actions that are specified by PDF objects. The document can contain interactive form fields to be filled in by the user, and can export the values of these fields to or import them from other applications.
Finally, a PDF document can contain higher-level information that is useful for exchanging content among applications. In addition to specifying appearance, a document’s content can include identification and logical structure information that allows it to be searched, edited or extracted for reuse elsewhere. PDF is particularly well-suited for representing a document as it moves through the successive stages of a prepress production workflow.
The white paper starts with a short introduction to the PDF format and its general advantages. Then, a detailed description of the special advantages and requirements of PDF server solutions follows. Next come the alternative ways that PDF files may be created and distributed in networks. Finally, the document gives insight into a possible solution, PDF Render Center.
Forms standardize written communication between participating persons, companies, institutions and public authorities. Nowadays, electronic forms embedded in PDF files are commonly used. This white paper discusses the following topics: basic considerations about the use of forms, electronic forms and their advantages, form requirements, basics about PDF forms, the structure of PDF forms, form design, FDF files (Forms Data Format), XFA forms, filling and using forms.
PDF Xpansion is soft Xpansion’s PDF technology. Its implementation in the PDF Xpansion SDK is intended for software developers. Using this solution, software developers can integrate all the important PDF functions into their own applications. The SDK can be used in business as well as in consumer products. The current version of PDF Xpansion is based on the Adobe® PDF Specification 1.7 and addresses almost all PDF-related tasks (creating, displaying, editing, signing, etc.), including bi-directional conversion between different file formats (to and from PDFs). This guide illustrates the basics and advantages of the Adobe® Portable Document Format (PDF), the version history and the requirements and scope of different PDF Xpansion generations. It also gives recommendations and hints for using the PDF Xpansion SDK, explains the license model and outlines the included samples.
After defining the general terms and types of metadata, this white paper details the metadata that appears in Microsoft Office files. The main part of the document concentrates on metadata in PDF files, i.e., on general data and on data imported from Office documents, including some examples directly comparing the conversion input and its result. Finally, some information on the presentation/display of metadata in PDFs and on removing data from Office files is available.
Digital signatures provide a safe and legally-binding method of digital communication (e.g., via email). But how should a digital signature be created? How can a company ensure that the recipients of digital documents – like PDF files – can trust those documents just as they would trust traditional paper documents? This article describes the requirements for and methods of implementing digital signatures.
Smart cards are small computers integrated into plastic cards. Confidential information can be saved on the cards and protected against unauthorized access. The data stored on the microchip embedded in the card can be relatively complex. This feature qualifies smart cards for many interesting applications, like two-factor authentication for enhanced access control methods. This article describes the basics, practical application areas, the application of smart cards in lending processes and in thin-client solutions in the context of two-factor authentication. A small glossary of important terms is also included.