by Harry Lewis

2016 was an exciting year for AFP. New members joined the AFPC, adding their voices to shape the future of the architecture. AFP Archive achieved ISO certification! I expect 2017 to build on this momentum as we look to expand our capabilities to better serve AFP users of all kinds around the world.

The first half of this year, we will continue our work on tagging to develop the underlying infrastructure for new accessibility features and advanced workflows. Tagging can be paired with viewer capabilities to make AFP files easier to read for visually impaired users, which is important for reaching underserved audiences – and, in some cases, for maintaining regulatory compliance.

At this time, information security is a definite hot-button. AFP will have the capability to encrypt highly sensitive elements within a document and maintain control of this information right down to the marks on paper in, for example, a blind mailing application. Couple this with AFP’s long history of reliability and accuracy, and you can see why industry segments such as the payment card industry continue to rely upon AFP solutions for handling their most sensitive needs.

In addition to the above improvements, I am hopeful that in 2017, AFP will gain more recognition for just how flexible it truly is. Container capabilities allow users to get the most out of a variety of formats, including JPEG, TIFF and PDF, while still leveraging the power and reliability of AFP. Throughout 2017, the roughly 30 member companies who make up the AFP Consortium will continue to deliver solid new features while maintaining the long term reliable core applications our mission critical users have come to depend on.