Adobe to Release PDF for Industry Standardization

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AIIM to Facilitate ISO Standards Process for Leading Electronic Document Format
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Jan. 29, 2007 — Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced that it intends to release the full Portable Document Format (PDF) 1.7 specification to AIIM, the Enterprise Content Management Association, for the purpose of publication by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
Read on for more!


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As mentioned, Adobe is releasing PDF to ISO to become an industry standard.  You probably are saying that it "is" an industry standard.  Well, it is more of a "defacto" standard that was held by Adobe, now; the standard will be controlled by ISO thus giving it more play with all.  The Version 1.7 of PDF (that is the version that is shipping in Acrobat 8!)  See the Press release here.  To see a FAQ on this matter, click here.  Adobe will release the full PDF 1.7 specification here.

 

 “Today’s announcement is the next logical step in the evolution of PDF from de facto standard to a formal, de jure standard,” said Kevin Lynch, senior vice president and chief software architect at Adobe. “By releasing the full PDF specification for ISO standardization, we are reinforcing our commitment to openness.”

 

So what does this mean for the AEC/EPC industry?  It will consolidate all of these proprietary formats into one, why would a company that is building a collaboration tool, build it’s own format, they can now use PDF!  The IFC and BIM can now use PDF as the wrapper for the sharing of Building, Engineering and Design data.  Think of a project where all CAD formats, project documents, and form data all preside in one format PDF.  And since this is an Open Standard, all the thought leaders of the industry will be able to build this functionally inside of their own environments!  Standards based on PDF are not new, with PDF/A for archiving, PDF/X for print, and the under development PDF/E for the exchange of Engineering Data.  These where just specialized subsets of PDF. This is a banner day for our industry; this is the first step to true interoperability with in all facets of the AEC/EPC industry!  This is what I see:

 

Architect using Vectorworks

Structural Engineer using Tekla

Architectural Manufacturing using Autodesk Inventor

GIS data using Bentley

Mechanical Design using Revit

Architect using Vectorworks 

 pdfforall.jpg

Instead of using all the proprietary formats of each of the systems, they can use PDF as their Database therefore, Vectorworks PDF would contain all the Architectural data, and then the structural engineer can open the PDF directly and add his/her design information, then save as PDF which now includes all the data, the Architect can now reopen the PDF in Vectorworks and see all the structural data, then the Mechanical Engineer will add the escalators to the PDF using Inventor… you see what is going on here, we can set PDF as the AEC/EPC standard format.  This would not be driven by Adobe, but by FIATECH, or CII (Construction Industry Institute), or an amalgamation of a few organizations.  Taking BIM and IFC to the level.  You will see more on this in future posts.  Let me know what you think!

 

Thanks all

Tim Huff

Acrobat for AEC Blog