AFP Consortium secures new ISO standard to unite PDF capabilities with AFP reliability

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AFP interchange for PDF standard codifies support for hybrid workflows that deliver the best of both formats, including AFP’s page-level error recovery

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“Customers in the transactional print environment are increasingly creating workflows that include PDF content within AFP documents. This standard allows them to use PDF to create the document content and then embed these PDF pages in AFP with confidence, delivering the best of what both PDF and AF

The Advanced Function Presentation Consortium (AFP Consortium), an international consortium of print industry stakeholders working together to further enhance the Advanced Function Presentation (AFP) document architecture, is pleased to announce the ISO publication of the AFP interchange for PDF standard, which documents the use of PDF within AFP and the synergy between AFP and PDF for AFP jobs.

While AFP has incorporated PDF support for many years, the ISO technical committee for document management applications (TC171) embarked on defining an ISO standard for AFP and PDF in May 2017 with the help of the AFP Consortium. This standard empowers communicators to leverage the wide variety of PDF creation tools out in the marketplace while enjoying the benefits of AFP’s reliability and bidirectional, IPDS-empowered communication.

Working within the ISO process, the AFP interchange for PDF was evaluated by a broad range of international experts. Insights from these evaluations, including many sources beyond the AFP Consortium as well as a variety of experts within the PDF community, were leveraged to create the standard. The end result is that customers do not have to choose between PDF and AFP, Instead leveraging the strengths of both. Since AFP can include PDF inside of it, per the new ISO 22550 standard, customers gain the flexibility to use the PDF creation tools of their choice, and the power to include that PDF in AFP for the performance, reliability, and audit/accounting AFP has built in.

“This certification is important for AFP and the AFP user community,” said Jack Condon, President, AFP Consortium. “Customers in the transactional print environment are increasingly creating workflows that include PDF content within AFP documents. This standard allows them to use PDF to create the document content and then embed these PDF pages in AFP with confidence, delivering the best of what both PDF and AFP have to offer.”

The AFP interchange for PDF standard can be obtained by ordering from ISO as document ISO 22550:2019.

To find out more about the AFP Consortium and its numerous standards, visit [https://www.afpconsortium.org/publications.html.

About AFP and the AFP Consortium
Advanced Function Presentation is a document architecture that offers performance, manageability and integrity benefits meeting the needs of large volume, variable data applications. AFP technology has historically been leveraged for the production of mission critical documents such as bills, statements and policies and contains within it methods for job ticketing, effective server-based resource management and the powerful Intelligent Printer Data Stream (IPDS) for total output integrity. In addition to being a rich, self-contained native document language, AFP is also a powerful container architecture capable of bringing full resource and production management capabilities to bear on encapsulated formats such as PDF and TIFF.

The AFP Consortium is an international open standards body consisting of around 30 companies committed to the continued development of the AFP architecture. Since 2004, the AFP Consortium has developed open standards for accurate and consistent ICC-based color management, high-speed complex text, page group recovery within high-volume production, the IS/3 interchange set for compliance, and metadata support for AFP Archive and future applications, such as accessibility features. The AFP Consortium will continue in its role to grow and maintain the complete set of AFP architecture.

For more information, visit the AFP Consortium website https://www.afpconsortium.org.

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Tracey Sheehy
Breakaway Communications
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