Earlier this month, Oracle (Front Porch Digital) and Digital Preservation Laboratories became the first vendors to successfully and independently exchange SMPTE standard Archive eXchange Format (AXF) Objects created by their respective storage management applications. Both organizations were able to fully read and recover the file-based payload and encapsulated metadata in each others AXF Object on their first attempt.
The SMPTE AXF working group was formed back in 2006 with the goal of developing an open-standard method to address the challenges of long-term, file-based storage and preservation whist allowing compliant applications to seamlessly interchange complex assets and metadata as well as associated storage media. AXF features and benefits include file and metadata encapsulation, OAIS compliant preservation, object versioning support, operating-system and file-system independence, media spanning, limitless scale and support for all storage and media technologies (including the Cloud).
The SMPTE AXF standard (SMPTE ST 2034-1:2014) was published in late 2014. Front Porch Digital was involved in the SMPTE AXF initiative since its inception and was the first to bring AXF to market in 2011 with their DIVArchive CSM application, in advance of AXF being published as a standard. Now that it’s a standard, there is a growing list of vendors adding AXF support to their solutions to satisfy increasing market demands and it is expected others will also be making announcements regarding AXF support at NAB 2016.
As a testament to the meticulous work of the SMPTE AXF committee, Digital Preservation Laboratories developed their entire implementation from the published standard document without any guidance or assistance and were able to exchange AXF Objects immediately. This bodes well for organizations who have already adopted or plan to adopt AXF in helping to prevent vendor lock-in and ultimately allow them to transparently and independently exchange complex file-based assets and metadata between compliant vendor systems.
This first open and independent interchange between vendors marks a major milestone in the long history of AXF.