Electronic government publications

25 January 2010

Bart Schuller

by Bart Schuller

On July 1, 2009, the Dutch Electronic Disclosure Act came into force. The current official published versions of Staatscourant, Staatsblad and Tractatenblad are now available at www.officielebekendmakingen.nl. Sdu Uitgevers, following a government mandate, made the transition from paper to electronic publishing. The government has developed an on-line service desk that mediates between the publications' submitters and producers.

Sdu asked Lunatech to design and build a number of systems to support the new workflow:

  • A comprehensive system supporting the entire work process from order intake to delivering the finished publication

  • Conversion from different XML formats to the new XML format for official publications

  • Converting XML documents to HTML (which must comply with the accessibility standards)

  • Converting XML documents into ODF (Open Document Format), the ISO standard format for 'office' documents

  • Adding metadata to PDF files to meet the PDF/A-1a standard

  • Reports on PDF files: number of pages with images and specific tags

  • Connecting the overall system to the on-line service desk and existing Sdu systems

Technical details

The overall system is built as a web application which makes use of the following technologies:

  • JBoss Seam Enterprise Application Framework

  • JBoss Rules (Drools ) to determine the necessary metadata and workflow for each document

  • SOAP MTOM for communication with the on-line service desk

  • Oracle databases

  • iText PDF library

  • The XML transformations are written in XSLT2 and use the Saxon XSLT processor

  • XML validation by Schematron