EDI via AS2 - Setup & Testing


AS2 stands for Applicability Statement 2 and it is one of the most popular methods for transporting B2B EDI (Electronic data interchange) documents from one organization to another.

AS2 is a second-generation communications protocol, created by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in 2002 to replace AS1. Today AS2 is used by millions of businesses worldwide, including many major retailers, such as Amazon and Walmart.

AS2 protocol is designed with three core features Security, Integrity, and Non-Reputation

  1. Security: Sensitive data is protected in AS2 through the transport layer which wraps EDI data in a secure "envelope" and sends it over the internet.
  2. Integrity: The data is encrypted, and the identity of the sender and the integrity of the payload are ensured using pre-established digital certificates that are validated upon each connection.
  3. Non-Reputation: The receiver of the data returns a signed message containing a Message Disposition Notification (MDN) confirming the successful transfer.

A simple AS2 setup involves two computers – a client and a server – connecting in a point-to-point manner via the web.  Sending EDI documents via AS2 requires the receiving organization’s server to be always ‘listening”. Similar to a call to a phone without an answering machine, the message will be missed if the AS2 server is not available. As a result of this high availability requirement, many businesses prefer to use an EDI provider such as Commport to provide their AS2 connectivity. Supporting these types of high availability, technical requirements are Commport’s core business.

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How EDI via AS2 Works

EDI Via AS2 - Commport Communications
AS2 Timeline- Commport

Step 1 - EDI Document Preparation

Documents are prepared in a standard EDI format to be sent over AS2

Step 2 - AS2 Packaging

The document is packaged to send via AS2 using three layers of transmission:

Compression – A document may be compressed using a compression algorithm to reduce the size of the data being transferred

Signature – Sender signs the document using the exchanged certificates and keys to ensure data integrity

Encryption - The data is typically encrypted using the receiver's public encryption key, so only the proper recipient will be able to extract the document

Step 3 - Message Delivery

The data is transmitted securely over HTTP/S. A Message Disposition Notification (MDN) is returned to the sender confirming receipt.

Step 5 - EDI Processing

The document is then passed by the AS2 receiver system to any backend process that handles the data. The next systems and workflows perform any additional business logic and make the document available to business users.

Step 7 - Sender Validation (MDN processing)

The sender receives the MDN and validates the receipt signature and completes any other configured data integrity checks that confirm the successful delivery transaction.

Step 4 - AS2 Unpacking

Upon receiving the document at the receiver’s end, the document is decrypted using the receiver’s private key and then verified by using the sender’s public key and finally the document will be decompressed

Step 6 - Confirmation of Receipt

The receiving organization uses AS2 or EDI software to extract the message and send message confirmation receipts such as the MDN and EDI functional acknowledgment (997) to the sender.

Benefits of using a EDI Service Provider like Commport for AS2 Connectivity

  1. Reduce costs by leveraging a specialist in internet-based EDI document transfer
  2. Add more trading partners with lower costs and universal web connectivity
  3. Gain the flexibility to connect to your partners and customers using their preferred methodology without significant infrastructure expenses.
  4. Avoid expenses of implementing and supporting the needed high availability communications including considerations such as software, hardware, firewalls and in-house technical expertise to implement and maintain AS2 yourself
  5. Eliminate manual order processing
  6. Eliminate errors by turning manual processes into automated processes
  7. Unlimited EDI data transfer with no practical limitations on transaction sizes
  8. 24/7 connectivity with minimal downtime
  9. By using your EDI service provider, you can comply with AS2 mandates
  10. Commport will handle the exchange of AS2 setup information and complete the testing AS2 setup testing for you and your trading partners.
  11. Documents are exchanged in real-time
  12. Commport will take care of the entire AS2 infrastructure, security, and skills required to manage the AS2 connectivity
AS2 Benefits- Commport

Commport offers a variety of flexible pricing options

Please contact our sales team to get a free quote today!