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An Easier Way Of Exchanging AS2 Trading Partner Credentials

Posted by John Carl Villanueva on Thu, Mar 26, 2020 @ 10:44 PM

AS2 is no doubt the best option for carrying out B2B exchanges of EDI documents. However, compared to general purpose file transfer protocols like FTP/S or SFTP, it's known to be considerably more difficult to set up. And one of the hardest parts is in setting up the connection (basically, between two trading partners) itself. This method we're about to share with you should greatly simplify things in that regard.

When two trading partners set up a connection, they need to get a number of things right. One is the exact URL of the other party's AS2 service. Note that AS2 can run on either HTTP or HTTPS, so they need to know which one it is. They also need to know the IP address or hostname, the port number, and even the folder or subfolders that constitute the URL.

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Would you prefer to watch a video version of this tutorial instead? You can play the video below. Otherwise, just skip it if you wish to continue reading.

 

 

as2 trading partner URL

 

Another is whether the trading partner's AS2 service requires authentication, in which case, they'll then need the required username and password. If the AS2 service doesn't need authentication, then they'll have to be certain of that as well.

 

as2 trading partner username and password

 

They also need to know what values should be assigned to the AS2-From and AS2-To headers. 

 

as2 trading partner to and from field

 

That's not all. They also need to get a hold of all relevant cryptographic keys. If the trading partner is using HTTPS for their AS2 service, then they need to obtain the SSL/TLS keys. 

 

as2 ssl trading partner-1

 

And even if their trading partner is just using HTTP — they'll likely still need to obtain the keys needed for encryption and digital signatures. For security reasons, these keys need to be sent out-of-band, like, via email, so that too adds a layer of complexity. 

 

as2 trading partner encryption and signature keys

 

If any of these settings and keys are not right, the AS2 connection will fail. That's why it's crucial for the trading partner to provide all the necessary details or credentials in order for the other party to set things up correctly at their end.

In JSCAPE MFT Server, sharing of AS2 credentials to a trading partner is easy. All you need is a trading partner object for that particular trading partner, a valid email address associated with that trading partner, and some basic settings for that trading partner object. 

 

trading partner email address

 

Once you have that, you just need to go to the Trading Partners module, select the trading partner with whom you would like to share your credentials with, and click the Email Specification button.

 

trading partner as2 email specification

 

This should then bring up a customizable email addressed to the email address associated with this trading partner, along with any pertinent information and cryptographic keys needed by this trading partner to connect with your AS2 service. 

So, in this example, when this trading partner receives this email, they can simply copy and paste all relevant information and import all relevant keys or digital certificates into their AS2 solution. 

 

trading partner as2 email specification email message-1

 

Note, however, that this feature will only work if you have already properly set up your own AS2 service as well as your email service. We already published tutorials for those, so I suggest you read them first. 

How to Setup an AS2 Server with JSCAPE - A QuickStart Guide

Tips for Setting Up an AS2 Encryption

AS2 Message Tutorial on Applying Digital Signatures

Applying Digital Signatures on AS2 MDNs (Message Disposition Notifications)

 

More AS2-related tutorials and articles here.

 

That's it. Now you know an easier way of exchanging AS2 trading partner credentials using JSCAPE MFT Server. 

Would you like to try this out yourself? Download the FREE, fully-functional Starter Edition of JSCAPE MFT Server now.

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Topics: JSCAPE MFT Server, Managed File Transfer, Business Process Automation, Tutorials, AS2