Ben Metzer
August 27, 2023
5 min read
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The most common method for transmitting electronic data interchange (EDI) data over the Internet is Applicability Standard 2 (AS2). AS2 is the benchmark for reliability and security for the Internet and cloud-based EDI systems.


AS2 is a continuation of Applicability Statement 1 (AS1). Developed in the late 90s by Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), AS1 dictated how EDI functioned utilizing the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) and Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (SMIME). With AS1, EDI files were sent as attachments coded in SMIME. SMIME provided security encryptions with non-repudiation (secure identification verification) for EDI AS1 transmissions. Currently, AS2 continues to use SMIME in assisting security of EDI data.AS2 works on a client/server system, meaning a successful EDI transmission requires both sides of a transmission to be online. AS2 envelopes data via SMIME digital certificates to encrypt data and verify identities. Thus, when sending EDI data, the receiving party must be connected to the Internet to receive the transmission.Why AS2:

  • Unprecedented security of EDI data when exchanged via the Internet.
  • 24/7 connectivity allows dependable reliability.
  • No need to house EDI hardware in-house.
  • Industry leaders champion AS2. Companies such as Walmart and Target require AS2. AS2 also satisfies HIPAA requirements in the healthcare sector.
  • Immediate Message Disposition Notification (MDN). Once AS2 transmission completes, reception is verified through MDN.

Why not AS2:

  • Cost Prohibitive. EDI AS2 software carries a significant cost. Also, EDI AS2 expertise is necessary for setup and maintenance.
  • Firewall configuration. AS2 operates over the Internet requiring firewall security to filter malicious attacks.
  • Trading partners must also be utilizing AS2. Trading partners often use different EDI protocols.
  • Digital certificates require management. When attempting to send EDI data with an expired certificate, the transmission will be rejected.

EDI Value-added Networks (VANs) are EDI service providers. Many companies outsource their EDI AS2 service to a VAN to minimize the drawbacks of AS2 while optimizing the benefits. EDI VANs stay current on all AS2 updates and manage MDNs and digital certificates. VANs also staff AS2 experts to set up and maintain AS2 connectivity. Also, when outsourcing to a VAN, a company takes advantage of the VAN's state-of-the-art security, software, and firewalls.BOLD VAN makes AS2 as easy as email with simple setup, dependable trading partner onboarding, and BOLD VAN tests all trading partner connections ensuring successful transmissions. Access and manage your EDI data with BOLD VAN's web portal, BOLD Manager.Speak to an EDI AS2 specialist today to learn more (844) 265-3777Want to learn more about EDI Protocols?

Ben Metzer
Content Manager

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