The communications adapter establishes a secure connection between the sender and recipient. In principle there are two variants: indirect communication via Value Added Networks (VANs) and direct communication such as over the Internet or via ISDN.
With a VAN, each business partner has a mailbox through which documents are sent and received. Messages are automatically relayed to the correct mailbox. A VAN is a secure private network supplied by specialist providers.
With a direct connection, the business partners link up with each other individually and directly (point- to- point), which can mean managing hundreds or thousands of separate connections. It is a flexible, controllable, and secure approach for use between, say, customers and suppliers.
The transmission method used depends on the transmission frequency, the data volume, and the number of items in the message. In addition to well-known channels such as SMTP (e-mail) and FTP (file transfer) there are many domestic, international, or product industry-specific transmission channels for communication in the EDI environment.
Standard transmission channels for EDI messages:
- Direct Connections
OFTP(2), AS2, FTP(S), SFTP, http(S)
- Value Added Network (VAN)
Atlas, AT&T, EXITE, IBM, KPN, OpenText GXS, Telebox X.400, Tradanet
In practice, many more communication protocols are available, supported by a modern EDI Solution.