Common Output Format


This is the Common Output Format (COF) for export of images and associated financial data from multi-vendor Federal Reserve archives to financial institutions.

Soon all check images exported from image systems located at Federal Reserve Offices will be in a newly developed standard format which has been called the Common Output Format or COF. The COF has been designed to standardize the export of image data regardless of what type of hardware/software was used to capture and store the images. By adapting their software to understand the COF, vendors can be assured that data coming from any Fed office on media will be useable when received. Financial institutions that use Fed Image Export Services and receive CD-ROM or magnetic tape media will need to work with their software vendors to ensure that their software can understand COF.

In COF, the Images File supports multiple types of image compression (T.6, JPEG, ABIC gray, and ABIC binary) as well as multiple image file formats (TIFF and IOCA). On CD-ROM media, identification and financial information about each check is carried in the Data File, along with the offset of the item's corresponding images in the Images File. Index files have also been included on CD-ROM media to make access to images more efficient. COF interchanges on tape media incorporate Images Files of the same format, but include neither Data Files nor Index Files.

COF is not a Federal Reserve proprietary format and can be used for delivery of image data outside the Federal Reserve System if desired.

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