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Understanding the Basics of EDI

Understanding the Basics of EDI

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What is AS2 EDI?

AS2 EDI is a facet of Electronic Data Interchange communication methods that supports all EDI communication and any other transmittance of information through the Internet using HTTP. Internet-based EDI communication has been available for some time, but popularity increased in the early 2000s with the use of AS2 EDI and its products. In 2002, AS2 EDI was adopted as standard practices by the Retail and CPG Industry, which increased the usage of AS2 EDI across various industries.

AS2 EDI Internationally

AS2 EDI is an internationally recognized and approved method for transmitting business documentation and data over the Internet in a both secure and authentic manner. AS2 EDI is a natural step for companies whose trading partners are already hooked up with EDI communication, as it is a method to decrease costs and improve overall performance without restructuring the formats of EDI documents themselves. Many companies have already transitioned to AS2 EDI communication, and many more are poised to do so in the coming years.

AS2 EDI Performance

Technically, AS2 EDI stands for “Applicability Statement”, with the “2” specifying exactly how to transport the data. AS2 EDI is a method of connecting to an organization’s computer system, delivering the EDI document(s), validating the document for correct “to” and “from” directions, and providing a receipt to the sending party that the EDI document was received.

There is sometimes confusion about the extent of AS2 EDI. It’s important to note that AS2 EDI has no bearing on how the EDI document is forwarded to the proper contact within the organization or how the EDI document is translated. Once the EDI document is transmitted successfully, AS2 EDI has done its job.

Why AS2 EDI?

Companies are changing to AS2 EDI because of three main reasons—confidentiality, authentication, and non-repudiation. AS2 EDI communication can save companies significant money in network costs, add flexibility to the EDI data, and increase control over how that data is reported.

Specifics of AS2 EDI

Part of AS2 EDI’s popularity and efficiency lies in its usage of digital signatures, receipts, data compression, and encryption codes, all of which increase security of EDI communication and information transmittance.

Another appeal is that AS2 EDI doesn’t depend on additional software that must be added at the supplier’s end of the communication chain. Because AS2 EDI technology is “push” technology (Peer to Peer, also known as P2P), the speed of AS2 EDI communication is instantaneous, with delivery methods occurring at a much faster rate because the document doesn’t have to be stored then forwarded, unlike EDI communication using Value Added Networks (VANs), modems, or Bulletin Board Systems (BBS).

Every AS2 EDI document can automatically be responded to with the built in system of AS2, alerting the sending party that the document was received successfully, or if unsuccessful, a message alerting them that the document will be queued for re-sending.

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