AS2 is growing increasingly popular
Now that a large number of trade companies have switched from X.400 protocol to AS2 for understandable reasons (costs, FileWork problems, etc.), many of our customers are also beginning to favor the AS2 protocol. Even though the new X.400 Message Gateway (Server-2-Server docking with Telekom’s X.400 systems) is a serious alternative to the error-prone X.400 FileWork access program, a number of major market players (Markant, OBI and more) are increasingly switching to the AS2 protocol, often also for cost reasons. The advantages are clear. Besides avoiding provider costs, the AS2 protocol includes a whole array of security improvements (MDN = Message Delivery Notification, active encryption of data communication, etc.). It is interesting to note that retailers are not the only group to use AS2 communication; it is also becoming increasingly attractive for global automobile suppliers, e.g., in communication with US companies. In these communication structures, the general standard is no longer classified as AS2 alone. Instead—and particularly in global communication—there are virtually partner-specific variants which often deviate from the general norm. These variants range from various protocol commands (Get-Put etc.) to encryption cascading for the AS2 modules involved.Frequently, it is not possible to map these variants without an internally-developed AS2 module, because the respective partners cannot be implemented unless it is possible to create connection-specific parameters on byte level. Softzoll supplies all externally controlled components with the relevant features and flexibility.It is virtually impossible to engage in any serious work without the relevant skill. From the perspective of our global EDI hub with several hundred customers, it is apparent that an ever increasing number of companies are deciding—for reasons of IT security and/or in order to comply with the relevant guidelines—to proceed with AS2 in order to connect to the data processing center, and no longer trust protocols such as FTP or sFTP. Hence the Softzoll Communicator offers our customers the opportunity to connect, free of charge, to our data processing center in Berlin (ISO 27001 certified) with the protocol of their choice (e.g., AS2, OFTP2, FTP/sFTP). As a courtesy gesture, this client can also be used to connect third parties via any communication channel (data routing etc.). In our opinion, a holistic view of current communication requirements must always be able to reflect and cater to all conceivable forms of data communication. This should even go so far as to cover customer-specific EDI specifications that do not conform to any standards. Keywords Softzoll, X.400, Message Gateway, AS2, USA, Filework, EDI hub, IT security, data processing center, Communicator, EDI specifications.
- Softzoll, X.400, Message Gateway, AS2, USA, Filework, EDI hub, IT security, data processing center, Communicator, EDI specifications