In the latest issue of EDI Academy we are discussing the los communication protocols most widely used in the area of B2B. This time, we want to go a step further and focus exclusively on AS2 connections. This type of communication is increasingly widely used due to its special security conditions and the facilities offered by internet.
What is AS2?
An electronic communication standard via internet that came into being in 2002, with the spread of the World Wide Web. Through it we can exchange all kinds of documents securely, using the https protocol, with encryption and digital signature. This ensures data integrity, privacy and authentication.
These conditions have allowed the use of AS2 connections to expand into several sectors, such as retail or the automotive industry. Bear in mind that, as in any EDI relation, it makes no difference which type of message we need to send, or its format. In AS2 communications it is also possible to include mapping processes (translation) to adapt the documents to the standards required by partners.
How does it work?
We could say that AS2 works in a similar way to a telephone call, but via internet and applying these security constraints mentioned earlier. The sender can initiate the transaction from anywhere with network connection. However, to make communication possible, the receiver must be available and connected at the same time.
For this reason, the majority of businesses decide to outsource the service to a service provider like EDICOM, which is always on the alert, ready to send or receive any document. So, with a specialized solution it is no longer necessary for members of a business relationship to remain connected simultaneously to exchange their data. This way, it is possible to maximize the system’s advantages.
What are the benefits?
As in any EDI communication, companies can exchange their documents more securely and automatically. This lets them increase savings and boost productivity. But in addition, AS2 connections have the advantage of being extremely flexible, so they can be adapted to any sector or size of business. We must also take into account that in this case the communication is even more reliable and the economic cost lower than in other types of connection.
Moreover, the EDICOM AS2 Server solution adjusts to meet each company’s needs. Small businesses can connect to the server through EDICOMNet, without having to carry out maintenance, administration or configuration tasks in their local network. However, larger sized companies have the option of installing the in-house solution to be able to quickly set up secure point-to-point communications with their customers, with no need to have a mailbox in the EDICOMNet network.