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Dresden/Bretten, Germany – As part of the testing and implementation phase for introducing the AS4 communication protocol to electronic communication in the German energy market, IT specialists at Robotron Datenbank-Software GmbH and SEEBURGER AG joined forces to successfully complete a number of tests. The test partners set up a secure TLS connection in accordance with the specifications set out in the "Regulations on the transmission path for AS4" and the "BSI TR-03116-3" and successfully transmitted encrypted and signed electronic messages.
The introduction of the AS4 communication protocol addresses the increasing technical and process-related requirements for securely exchanging data and information and efficiently communicating in the German energy market. It is expected that all players in the electricity sector will meet the technical requirements for the new transmission path from October 1, 2023.
During the testing phase, Robotron and SEEBURGER not only conducted comprehensive tests but also coordinated with the BDEW working group to address specific details in the specifications and provided feedback to reduce the danger of ambiguity in the specifications. The main focus was to ensure the interoperability, stability, and reliability of the AS4 connections. Special attention was given to securing messages and the TLS connection using private keys on hardware security modules (HSM) following the Certificate Policy of Smart Metering PKI.
Both companies sent and received encrypted and signed messages via their test infrastructure, which confirmed delivery with non-repudiation receipts (NRR). This measure ensures the companies have complied with the required security standards for handling AS4 communication.
Robotron's Frank Hermel, Business Unit Manager of the Energy Industry for Strategic Management, says, "Conducting AS4 tests with other market players gives us further assurance that the large-scale, productive use of AS4 in smart metering PKI from October 1, 2023 will run smoothly. AS4 is not a new technology per se, however, combining it with the SM-PKI to deliver an optimal level of protection means implementing AS4 in a specific way with a pretty complex system architecture. Thanks to our many years of expertise in smart meter gateways (SMGW) and SM-PKI, we can now also offer our customers a dependable solution for AS4 market communication."
"With the changeover of market communication to AS4, safeguarded within the Smart Meter PKI, the market is facing the greatest technical challenge since the introduction of electronic market communication back in 2006. Experienced service providers such as SEEBURGER and Robotron working together on tests will ensure interoperability in the market and thus a successful roll-out," says Alexander Schmidt, Product Manager for Market Communication and SEEBURGER representative in the BDEW project group Technologies in Market Communication (PG TiM). "Our many years of experience with AS4 communication in other areas, such as Peppol and the ENTSOG processes, have given SEEBURGER a solid basis for implementing the new requirements in electronic market communication for the energy sector."
Other companies are invited to cooperate in AS4 testing. In order to ensure the smoothest possible implementation, both test partners are working on carrying out interoperability tests with further market participants. Both IT service providers for the energy industry are confident as they begin the final AS4 roll-out phase. The success of these tests ensures that these companies' customers can use the infrastructure on schedule and really benefit from the new technology.
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About Robotron Datenbank-Software GmbH
Robotron is a well-established, privately owned software company that develops future-proof IT solutions to efficiently handle large datasets. The company prides itself as a comprehensive IT service provider and is a digital transformation partner for customers within the energy sector, industry, and public administration. For more than three decades, transmission system operators, grid operators, and energy suppliers in the DACH region and across Europe have relied on the market-leading energy data management systems on the Robotron Energy Market Platform. The high-performance modules on the software platform dynamize market and value creation processes for all market roles. With over 450 employees at 10 locations, Robotron Datenbank-Software GmbH achieved a turnover of €62.9 million in the financial year 2021/22.
For more information, visit www.robotron.de/en.
SEEBURGER is an integration software and services company. Since its founding in 1986, SEEBURGER has been transforming the IT landscape with a fully cloud-enabled, modular integration technology stack that is developed and maintained entirely in-house. As a family-owned company with over 1,000 employees at 26 locations in 17 countries worldwide, SEEBURGER accelerates business-driven innovation through digitalization, automation, and integration. The SEEBURGER Integration Platform as a Service, enabled by the SEEBURGER Business Integration Suite (BIS), provides hybrid integration and automation capabilities to manage a wide range of customer and business partner use cases, including API, B2B, EDI, MFT, A2A, IIoT, and e-invoicing solutions to automate and optimize any business, ready for on-premises, hybrid, or any cloud deployment.
For more information, visit www.seeburger.com.
Direct Contact: SEEBURGER AG Alexander Schmidt Product Managementalexander.email@example.com
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