Canadian Standards Association to offer industry's first PDA-friendly standards to go



    TORONTO, Jan. 29 /CNW/ - Canadian Standards Association (CSA), a leading
developer of standards and codes, today showcased its new Mobile Device Format
(MDF) for standards to go at the Standards Publishing Advisory Board (SPAB)
Annual conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The custom-designed document
reader allows content heavy publications to be easily read on a mobile and
hand-held computing devices such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs),
full-size Smart Phones, and Pocket PCs.
    A 2007 survey sampling of 32,000 CSA customers showed that more than half
of the respondents currently owned a PDA, Smart Phone or Pocket PC and that 75
per cent were interested in viewing CSA standards on mobile devices.
    "Mobile devices are gaining popularity across a wide range of vertical
markets in North America and are increasingly seen as a convenient way to
access and share information," said Suzanne Kiraly, President, Standards,
Canadian Standards Association. "As the first known standard development
organization to offer standards and related products in an interactive mobile
device format, CSA is leading the way in promoting new, innovative
technologies with advanced features and capabilities that deliver the best,
most efficient products and services to our clients, members and end users."
    MDF was developed in cooperation with Alcaeus Innovations Inc., of Nova
Scotia, which creates high-end mobile software and web application tools for
companies throughout North America and Europe. The Alcaeus Mobile Editions
Software (AMES) is a custom-designed document reader that reads the converted
CSA PDF publication files. It is specifically designed to function on the
Microsoft Windows Mobile Operating System and will soon be available for
Blackberry devices. MDF standards are "Internet free" and once downloaded, the
standards reside on the mobile device where they can be instantly accessed in
the office, on a job site, or in the field.
    The MDF standards are specifically designed to be economical for mobile
devices. A file of 80 pages in PDF format may consume 3.5 megabytes (MB) of
memory, but in MDF the same file would consume less than 5 per cent or 146
kilobytes. A mobile device with a 256 MB memory card may store as much as
1,300 publications of as many as 600 pages in length without losing any of the
original publication structure.
    MDF standards also include a dynamic search function allowing for input
key terms, clauses or phrases for quick searching; an easy-to-read display
with tables and diagrams automatically adjusted for landscape or portrait
mode; interactive features such as dynamic equations in the standard so that
users can enter variables and calculate answers electronically; easy and quick
retrieval of searched items.
    As an alternative to its print publications, CSA created the first of its
"smart standards" in 2000; CD versions of its publications with interactive,
customizable features and automated tools. At the same time, it also began
offering standards in a downloadable PDF format. In 2006, CSA launched an
Online Subscription Service to makes standards and related documents available
in PDF through a web-based portal. An annual subscription allows unlimited
electronic access to a selection of 10 to 3,000 standards tailored to the
needs of individual customers.
    CSA will offer the new MDF standards through its online store at
www.ShopCSA.ca in spring 2008 beginning with the C22.1 Canadian Electrical
Code. Additional standards in the areas of Oil and Gas, Occupational Health
and Safety, Health Care, and Construction and Engineering will follow as they
are converted to the new format.
    To learn more about MDF standards and for a demonstration, please visit
www.csa.ca/mobile

    About CSA

    Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is a membership association serving
industry, government, consumers and other interested parties in Canada and the
global marketplace. A leading developer of standards and codes, CSA aims to
enhance public safety, improve quality of life, preserve the environment and
facilitate trade. To help people understand and apply standards, CSA offers
information products and training. The Canadian Standards Association is a
division of CSA Group, which also consists of CSA International for product
testing and certification, OnSpeX for consumer product evaluation services,
and QMI for management systems registration. For more information visit
www.csa.ca

    Version française disponible





For further information:

For further information: Anthony Toderian, Senior Media Relations
Officer, CSA Group, T: (416) 747-2620, E: anthony.toderian@csagroup.org

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Canadian Standards Association

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