Technology briefs

Adobe pushes PDF spec for ISO adoption

Adobe Systems wants to have its entire PDF specification, already a de facto worldwide standard for document interchange, published as a formal standard by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Various specialized PDF subsets, such as PDF for Archive and PDF for Exchange, are already ISO standards. But Adobe’s latest move will take the full PDF specification into the open standards process for the first time.

Kevin Lynch, senior vice president and chief software architect of Adobe’s Platform Business Unit, said the decision is the next logical development in PDF’s evolution.

“By releasing the full PDF specification for ISO standardization, we are reinforcing our commitment to openness,” he said.

Although Adobe has openly published the PDF specification for several years, its development has been under Adobe’s control. As the Web evolves into a repository of merged voice, video and text applications — the Web 2.0 environment — many people expect a growing push for open standards and protocols.

Lynch said governments and organizations are increasingly requesting open formats, and having an external and participatory organization maintain the PDF specification will promote innovation.

As an ISO standard, future PDF specifications will be open to input from many government and industry organizations worldwide that will be able to press more actively for their requirements to be included.

DISA picks Vion for on-demand storage at 18 data centers

The Defense Information Systems Agency awarded Vion a $700 million contract to provide on-demand storage at 17 data centers in the United States and one in Germany.

The Vion award is the second major contract DISA has awarded in its shift to a utility-based computing services infrastructure. Last fall, the agency awarded contracts to four vendors, including Vion, to provide server capacity at its 18 data centers.

The agency said it plans to use the more recent storage contract to provide capacity that can be readily adjusted for changes in processing and throughput requirements. The agency will pay on an as-needed basis.

Storage capacity provided by Vion must support a wide range of computing environments and operating systems, including HP-UX, Sun Microsystems Solaris, IBM AIX, Microsoft Windows, Red Hat Linux, SUSE Linux, IBM z/OS, IBM z/VM and ESX Server.

The contract also requires Vion to ensure 99.999 percent availability.

Labor picks Plateau Systems for talent management solutions

The Labor Department has signed a contract with Plateau Systems to provide electronic learning and employee evaluation systems to support 15,000 agency employees. Plateau’s unified talent management solutions will replace Labor’s existing workforce software.

Labor will work with Plateau to import and integrate the department’s skills and competencies library with Plateau’s talent management applications. The new system will allow managers to collect feedback from employees and supervisors and develop an assessment of each employee’s overall performance and effectiveness.

Plateau will provide systems and modules to Labor’s 19 subagencies.
Labor and the Office of Personnel Management’s Government Online Learning Center awarded the contract. Plateau has been one of the center’s partners since 2002.

55 EHR software products certified for use in doctors’ offices

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) has certified 18 more electronic health record (EHR) products as meeting the commission’s standards for use in doctors’ offices, bringing the total to 55.
Commission officials said about one-quarter of the EHR products on the market have achieved certification, just nine months
after they launched the certification process.

“The rapid acceptance of certification i
the marketplace has far exceeded our expectations,” said Dr. Mark Leavitt, CCHIT’s chairman.

The benefits of certification will increase as the standards for functionality, interoperability and security increase, Leavitt said.

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