What Is AS4?
AS4 (Applicability Statement 4) is a message protocol based on web services to securely exchange B2B messages between trading partners. The protocol was developed by the technical committee of OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) for ebXML Messaging Services. AS4's web services capability gives it the opportunity to develop into a cloud-based communication standard.
AS4 and AS2 are very similar by design. During the development of AS4, all advantages of AS2 were analyzed, worked out and inspired by them. In contrast to AS2, AS4 works within a web service context and also has better interaction patterns and delivery notifications. In addition, compared to AS2, AS4 has the option of actively pulling messages by the recipient, since the AS4 server is permanently active.
- Interoperability: The AS4 messaging standard is defined based on the OASIS standard
- Security: A subset of web services security features is used to ensure the non-repudiation of the message and data confidentiality.
- Reliability: by exchanging confirmations, AS4 ensures a one-time delivery
- Independence from use: any type of payload (EDI, XML, ...) can be exchanged
The Messaging Service Handler (MSH) is responsible for setting up the AS4 message exchange with the remote station on the sending or receiving side. Communication with the remote station must comply with AS4 specifications and be able to communicate with an internal business application.
AS4 is increasingly being used in markets that use a service-oriented architecture for B2B messaging. These include the retail trade, the health sector and the utilities sector.
For example, the European gas network operators (ENTSOG) have already defined their own usage profile in 2015. Other uses that rely on AS4 include:
- Peppol (Pan-European Public Procurement Online)
- e-CODEX (e-Justice communication via online data exchange)
- ENTSOG (European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas)
- EPREL (European Product Registry for Energy Labelling)
- JEITA (Japanese Association of Electronics and Information Technology Industries)
- Superstream Pensions
- ATA (International Air Transport Association)
Learn more about how SEEBURGER AG offers its customers an AS4 gateway for various purposes.