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AS2 EDI: What is AS2 and How to exchange AS2 Messages with an trading partner?

  • October 21, 2020 / by Infocon Systems

What is AS2?

Exchanging EDI documents between trading partners, including invoices, purchase orders and other standardized messages requires a secure and common method. In the last 20 years AS2 has become one of the popular and mandated for accomplishing this task. Walmart became well known for EDI via AS2 and major trading partners such as Amazon, Target, Lowe’s, and many others followed suit.

AS2 EDI (Applicability Statement 2) is a http(s) based protocol to transport EDI massages between organizations in any format securely, cheaply and quickly. AS2 involves two computers a server and a client. Both connect to the Internet via a point-to-point connection. AS2 creates an ‘envelope’ for the EDI data that enables it secure transportation over the Internet using digital certificates and encryption. The recipient then confirms the timely delivery of the message to the sender with a receipt.

The AS2 protocol is published by IETF in 2002. This is a group of network specialists working on the further development of the Internet. AS1 and AS3 also exist, but they are not popular.

What is an AS2 MDN?

The Message Disposition Notification (MDN) is the electronic acknowledgment sent in response to an AS2 message. MDNs confirm that massage has been transmitted completely.

The MDN provides verification of the following:

  • Whether he AS2 transmission completed successfully
  • The message arrived at the desired recipient devoid of any unauthorized modifications

What is the step process for establishing an AS2 MDN connection?

  • The sender sends an encrypted and digital signed EDI message and specifies an MDN option
  • The EDI message is transferred over the Internet via AS2
  • The message is decrypted by the sender and validates the sender's digital signature
  • The receiver prepares the requested MDN and applies its own digital signature. It is then sent back to the original sender
  • The sender receives the MDN, validates the digital signature of the receiver

Why AS2 EDI?

  • The AS2 protocol provides end-to-end data encryption, SSL/TLS encryption, and digital signatures.
  • More cost-efficient, as the data transmission takes place via the Internet
  • Can be used almost everywhere
  • Real time data transfer and 24/7 connectivity for AS2 communication
  • AS2 integration allows any type of document transfer and any data type including non-EDI payloads.

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