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Telerik Reporting and PDFA The Favorite Document Format of Future Archaeologists_870x220

Telerik Reporting now supports PDF/A-3, the latest version of the advanced archival file format, to make it easier for you to safely archive all your reports.

The current archaeologist must bother with palm leaves, papyruses, parchments, clay tablets and of course everyone’s favorite, stone tablets. Up until recently our civilization generated huge piles of paper documents, microfilms and microfiches for archival purposes. All those documents must then be classified, managed and stored by trained personnel in storage facilities with climate-control for undetermined periods of time.

It seems like we’re finally moving away from that archival craziness to more planet-friendly, convenient and cost-effective digital archival formats. Initially this was TIFF raster image format, and now the more advanced PDF/A.

The PDF/A ISO standard started development in 2002 by a committee of industry associations, public authorities, library specialists and businesses around the world. The result is a self-containing document format for electronic documents in a manner that keeps their visual appearance and viewer compatibility over long periods of time (centuries).

The first version PDF/A-1, was introduced on October 2005, with the (lengthy) official designation of "ISO 19005-1:2005. Document management – Electronic document file format for longterm preservation – Part 1: Use of PDF 1.4 (PDF/A-1)." In the years that followed two new PDF/A formats were introduced: PDF/A-2 in 2011 and PDF/A-3 in 2012.

What makes PDF/A better then plain old PDF for document archival purposes? In general PDF/A forbids PDF functions that impede effective long-term archiving. Here is a list of some of the prohibited PDF features:

  • Document encryption with passwords
  • Embedded video and audio
  • JavaScript and some actions that may alter the documents

In addition, the format adds some requirements to guarantee reliable reproduction:

  • All required fonts or at least the glyphs must be embedded in the document
  • The color information must be in a platform-independent format with ICC color profiles
  • XMP metadata

Given its usefulness and growing popularity, we added PDF/A support to the Telerik Reporting PDF rendering extension in the R3 2018 release. Telerik Reporting now supports PDF/A-1b, PDF/A-2b and PDF/A-3b. The archival format is enabled with a single device setting called ComplianceLevel that accepts the desired format as string value. This is shown in the following application configuration example:

Telerik Reporting ComplianceLevel Configuration

It’s that easy to start rendering the Telerik Reporting PDF documents with PDF/A compliance level. Thus, future generations can marvel at our tax declarations.

Try it Out and Share Feedback

We want to know what you think—you can download a free trial of Telerik Reporting or Telerik Report Server today and share your thoughts in our Feedback Portal, or right in the comments below.

Start your trial today: Reporting Trial Report Server Trial

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About the Author

Petar Raykov

Petar Raykov is a Software Developer in the Telerik Reporting division. He has been working on Telerik products since 2010. Off work he enjoys traveling, hanging out with friends and reading.

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