Explain What is AS2 Protocol?

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AS2 (Applicable Opinion 2.) is an HTTP protocol that allows you to send messages (especially EDI messages) safely, easily, inexpensively, and efficiently. Over the past 20 years, AS2 has been the most commonly used protocol in EDI across a variety of sectors, including retail and the industry of consumer products.

What is the process behind the AS2 function?

In order to establish an AS2 connection, you will require two computers: both a server and an application. Both are connected to the Internet through a point-to-point connection. To transmit the required data, AS2 creates an ‘envelope that allows secure transmission over the Internet with encrypted digital certificates as well as encryption.

What is an AS2 MDN?

MDN (Message Disposition Notification) is an electronic acknowledgment of reception, which is sent to the sender using AS2 following the time an electronic communication has been transmitted. The acknowledgment of reception proves that the message was fully transmitted.

The MDN mostly tests two things:

  • It needs to be clarified if you believe that the AS2 transfer was successful or not.
  • The message reached the intended recipient without any changes.

The procedure for establishing the AS2 MDN connection goes as the following:

  • The sender will send the encrypted EDI message containing an electronic signature that is sent to the recipient.
  • Transmitting the EDI message via the Internet through AS2
  • The message is encrypted by the recipient, and the digital signatures of the senders are confirmed.
  • The recipient prepares their requested MDN and then applies a digital signature. The MDN is then returned to the sender.
  • The sender is notified of the MDN and validates its digital signature to the recipient.

What do you require for AS2?

  • A single AS2 identification (GLN -Global Location Number) One certificate for each participant
  • The public keys for all certificates that you use by your partners
  • AS2-capable software

What are AS2 Certificates?

AS2 certificates are essential as they allow secure data exchange and satisfy specific security requirements. You can create and verify your certificates using the software you prefer, or you can use certificates issued and certified by an accredited certification authority. They can be exchanged ahead of time with the company partner.

Self-signed certificates may create security alerts and interfere with the transmission of EDI messages.

What are the advantages of AS2?

  • Security is high because the data is encrypted.
  • Cost-effective, since the transmission occurs through the Internet
  • Synchronous response to a message (real-time status)
  • Use it virtually all the time.

What are the possible negatives?

  • Bilateral Partner Management (point-to-point connection and exchange of keys)
  • Ports are open to allow AS2 communication to the firewall.
  • High maintenance work because of the many certificates signed by Trading Partners and yourself, which expire and will require replacement in time.

Many applications provides a solution to solve the issue of expired certificates as well as efficient management that involves multiple connection types:

B2B routing is a messaging service that takes over the transmission of all EDI messages to the B2B partner of your choice.

The benefits that result are:

  • Security
  • simplicity
  • Low cost

Connecting to any Cloud is also possible with only one AS2 connection.

What is an AS2 GLN?

The GLN (Global Location Number) is a 13-digit code that is a unique identifier for a business. Today, increasingly (mostly larger corporations) depend on GLN numbers to avoid confusion between businesses. These GLN numbers are allocated by GS1, an international non-profit organization that ensures that no GLN number will be assigned in two places, which helps to make sure everything is clear.

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