PDF/A is one set of standards among a suite of PDF-based standards managed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It was developed to enable the long-term preservation of electronic documents and provides specifications for the creation, viewing, and printing of PDF documents, with the intent of preserving final documents of record as self-contained documents. The standard does not define an archiving strategy or the goals of an archiving system. Rather, it identifies a "profile" for a PDF file that makes it possible to reproduce the visual appearance of the document the exact same way in the future. This profile specifies what must be included in the file, while prohibiting most features that are not suitable for long-term archiving (review the Library of Congress report for concerns with PDF/A-3).
October 20, 2015