AS2 is one of the most popular methods for transporting data, especially EDI data, securely and reliably over the Internet. It essentially involves two computers – a client and a server – connecting in a point-to-point manner via the web. AS2 creates an “envelope” for the EDI data, allowing it to be sent securely – using digital certificates and encryption – over the Internet.
Walmart has become famous for EDI via AS2 and has helped drive its adoption within the retail sector.
EDI via AS2 requires the receiving organisation’s server to be always “listening out” for messages addressed to it. Like a call to a phone with no answering machine, the message will be missed if your server is not available to take the call. So, many organisations decide to use an EDI network provider to provide AS2 connectivity and thus always be available to receive the EDI transmissions. Using an EDI network provider for your AS2 needs provides the following benefits:
- You can comply with AS2 mandates without incurring the expense of the AS2 software, hardware, firewalls and expertise you would otherwise need in order to implement AS2 yourself
- The provider handles the exchange of AS2 set-up information
- The provider completes AS2 testing for you and your partners
- Documents are exchanged in real-time
- You benefit from the provider’s shared infrastructure, skills and security.