PREFORMA starts prototyping phase

The KIK-IRPA is partner of the European project PREFORMA.

The veraPDF consortium, Easy Innova and MediaArea start development on open source file compliance checkers for documents, still images and moving image materials.

The prototyping phase of the public pre-commercial procurement project PREFORMA started on April 14th 2015, with the announcement of the three winners. The aim of PREFORMA is to develop an open-source toolset for the conformance checking of digital files intended for long-term preservation in memory institutions.

After analysing the technical and functional specifications submitted by the six groups that completed the design phase in March 2015, PREFORMA chose the three consortia awarded with contracts for the prototyping phase. This phase will last until December 2016.

The three awardees are the veraPDF Consortium (led by the Open Preservation Foundation and the PDF Association), who will work on the compliance checker for the PDF/A standard for documents; Easy Innova, who will work on the TIFF standard for digital still images; and MediaArea, who will work on a set of open-source standards for moving images, namely: the Matroska wrapper, the FFv1 video codec and LPCM for audio streams.

Börje Justrell, coordinator of the PREFORMA project, said: "For archives and libraries it is imperative that they understand what's in the digital objects they are preserving for generations. The open source PREFORMA toolset, which brings together the three solutions from the awardees, helps cover the currently existing knowledge gap. The openness of the solution will allow extension of the software with checkers for other file formats, should new requirements emerge."

Antonella Fresa, technical coordinator of the project, said: "We are lucky to work with these strong organisations on the PREFORMA challenge - and would like to express our thanks to the three other consortia who also did valuable work during the design phase: Preservica, KU Leuven - Libis Library IT Services and Université Catholique de Louvain."

Suppliers and memory institutions interested in participating in and contributing to the prototyping phase are invited to follow the progress on the PREFORMA Open Source Portal and to join the PREFORMA community.

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