April 15, 2009

Using IDX as Your AS2 Connection

AS2 (Applicability Statement 2) or AS2 EDI-INT (EDI over the Internet) is one of the most popular methods for transporting data securely and reliably over the Internet. The adoption of AS2 grew exponentially in 2002, due in large part to adoption of the standard by the Retail and CPG industry.

AS2 creates an envelope for a message which is then sent securely, via the use of digital certificates and encryption. This method provides additional security protections that enable users to connect, deliver and reply to data, potentially saving money in network costs, and adding flexibility and control on how the data is utilized or reported.  The US retailer Walmart is a good example of a company who uses AS2 on a point-to-point basis to communicate to each of its suppliers.

With Industry Data Exchange (IDX), you can trade with your customers via AS2 without the need to implement a dedicated EDI solution. The outsourced AS2 option hosted by IDX offers many advantages over implementing a dedicated service:

  • Comply with AS2 mandates without adding infrastructure, expense and expertise
  • No AS2 software, hardware, firewalls, management skills, etc. needed
  • IDX does all the AS2 work
  • Exchange of AS2 set up information
  • Provide testing between your company and your AS2 trading partner
  • Access to a help desk to resolve issues
  • Real-time document exchange
  • Optional translation services
  • Often lower cost than implementing direct AS2 when considering the total cost of ownership and risk-avoidance

The most overlooked aspects of dedicated AS2 implementations are initial testing costs for all new trading-partner connections, day-to-day monitoring costs for failed MDNs (Message Disposition Notifications), and recurrent management costs associated with certificate expiration dates. IDX eliminates these costs among many others for IDEA customers that need to communicate to trading partners through a direct AS2 connection.

References:

Frequently Asked Questions: Retail AS2 DGI. 2009. Drummond Group, Inc. 14 April 2009. <http://www.drummondgroup.com>.

AS2 (Internet EDI). 2008. EDI Basics. 14 April 2009 <http://www.edibasics.co.uk>.

“EDI-INT AS2.” Online posting. 17 Sept. 2002. 14 April 2009. <http://www.tek-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=361288&page=5>.

“Help with AS2 Certification Question.” Online posting. 24 Mar. 2006. 14 April 2009. < http://edi.stylusstudio.com/msg016303.htm>.

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