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  • July 22, 2020

Enhanced Integration with your Business Partners using OIC AS2 Adapter

Michael Meiner
Engineering Director

Introduction to B2B Integration using AS2

 

What is B2B integration? Business-to-business (B2B) integration is the automation of business processes and communication between two or more organizations. It allows them to trade more effectively with their customers, suppliers, vendors and business partners by automating key business processes using B2B based data exchange including EDI.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is a standard means of exchanging data between companies so that they can transact business electronically.

As part of the B2B Data exchange customers and their partners mutually agree on a:

· Document format like X12, UN/EDIFACT

· Transport protocol like AS2, sFTP

 

 

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AS2 is a key transport protocol that is very popular worldwide used for B2B data exchange. It is a specification for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) between organizations using the internet. AS2 uses Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME), which secures data with authentication, nonrepudiation and encryption. The transportation protocol for this specification is HTTP and HTTPS for real-time communication. S/MIME secures data with authentication, message integrity and nonrepudiation.

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The AS2 adapter for Oracle Integration Cloud is being released shortly. The addition of AS2 provides a means for Integrations in OIC communicate across company boundaries using this protocol. Typically, this conjunction with an EDI Translate Action to generate EDI based documents.

 

Note: OIC currently support X12 data standards as part of EDI/B2B and will shortly be supporting UN-EDIFACT standards as well.

United Nations/Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport is the international EDI standard developed under the United Nations.

See here for more information on B2B for Oracle Integration. 

 

Creating an AS2 Connection and the Adapter Capabilities

To create a connection in Oracle Integration:

1.      In the left navigation pane, click Home > Integrations > Connections.

2.     Click Create.

3.     In the Create Connection — Select Adapter dialog, select the adapter to use for this connection. To find the adapter, scroll through the list, or enter a partial or full name in the Search field and click Search.

4.    In the Create Connection dialog, enter the information that describes this connection.

Note: You would be able to use AS2 ‘Invoke’ an outbound AS2 connection or to ‘Trigger’ an inbound AS2 connection. If you are creating a connection expected to do both then, you will select the ‘Trigger and Invoke’ option

 

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Configure Connection Properties:

Enter connection information so your application can process requests.

· Go to the Connection Properties section.

· "AS2 Service URL" field will appear if the ‘Invoke’ role is selected for the connection

Note: User should provide Partner's AS2 Endpoint in the field.

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Configure Security:

 

Oracle Integration provides 2 Security Profiles that enables users to setup

 

· AS2 Basic Policy:

 

This enables users to ability to provide the

-       authentication required for connecting to your partner’s endpoint username and password

-       private key for inbound decryption and outbound signature generation

-       public certificate for outbound data encryption and inbound signature verification

 

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· AS2 Advanced Policy:

 

This enables users to ability to provide advanced configuration options including:

 

-       authentication required for connecting to your partner’s endpoint username and password

-       Handling synchronous and asynchronous MDN’s

-       AS2 decryption and encryption capabilities

-       AS2 signature generation and verification

-       MDN signature generation and verification

 

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· Testing an outbound AS2 Connection for Invoke

 

Once the Connection is a 100% configured then you can use the ‘Test’ connection option to perform a connectivity test

 

 

All is well if you see a success message.

Use Cases

The AS2 Adapter provides the following benefits:

  • Establishes a connection to the AS2 compliant B2B system to enable sending or receiving messages.
  • Receive and send Business messages or MDN Acknowledgements
  • Enable user to configure Outbound and Inbound message delivery using the Adapter Endpoint Configuration Wizard.
  • Adapter Outbound can send Business Message and consume synchronous MDN Acknowledgement. It can produce encrypted, signed and compressed Business message.
  • Adapter Inbound can consume Business message and MDN Acknowledgement. It can delivery synchronous as well as asynchronous MDN Acknowledgement.

How to use it in an Integration?

 

Once you have a connection created, let’s look at how to use this in an integration.

 

· Configuring an ‘AS2 Receive’ Endpoint:

 

To use AS2 connection as a Trigger, select the required AS2 connection from the list. Once you select your required connection you will see the following options.

 

1.      Name your AS2 Endpoint

 

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2.     Configure what type of messages you want this AS2 endpoint to handle

 

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3.     Specify the AS2 to and from ID’s

 

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4.    Once you validate the summary, you are done with your AS2 Trigger endpoint

 

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5.     Once the endpoint is created, map the AS2 content to EDI-Payload as an Input to the EDI-Translate Action

 

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6.    Once the Integration is activated you will be able to generate the AS2 URL that you can provide your Partner for Connectivity

 

7.     Here is a sample of how ‘AS2 Receive would look within an Integration

 

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· Configuring an ‘AS2 Send’ Endpoint:

 

To use AS2 connection as an Invoke, select the required AS2 connection from the list. Once you select your required connection you will see the following options.

 

1.      Name your AS2 Endpoint

 

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2.     Define AS2 to and From Identifiers

 

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3.     Define AS2 Headers and configuration for the Messages

 

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4.    Define MDN processing options

 

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5.     Once you validate the summary, you are done with your AS2 Invoke endpoint

 

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6.    And, you are set to send AS2 Messages as part of your Integrations once you map ‘edi-payload’ to ‘Message Payload – Content’

 

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7.     Here is a sample of how ‘AS2 Send’ would look within an Integration

 

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Summary:

With the Introduction of AS2, Oracle Integration introduces powerful B2B Integration capabilities as part of its Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) enabling users to bring their Integrations into a single platform as part of their Digital Modernization and re-platforming initiatives.

Note: This article was co-authored by Arvind Venugopal

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