MDN (Message Disposition Notification) is a transmission level
acknowledgment used in the AS2 standard, so that the sender knows that
the receiver successfully acquired the message in a B2B scenario. B2B
(Business to Business) is an integration term used to describe the
sending and receiving of business messages between business partners.
When the business messages are being sent over the internet via HTTP or
SMTP, it is critical to business operators to know that the messages
were transmitted successfully to the right party. In order to give
assurance to the business operators, specific B2B transmission standards
have been developed. We call these standards "Message Exchange
Standards". These include AS1, AS2, AS4, ebMS and RNIF, to name a few.
AS2 is a very common standard for EDI messaging. It is important for
everyone using the standard to do so in the same way, or else
inter-operation becomes very difficult or impossible. Here is a diagram
showing a typical EDI interaction over AS2 between two fictitious
partners named OracleServices and MarketInc.
AS2 provides features
such as Non-Repudiation of Origin, Non-Repudiation of Receipt, and
Message Protection. When sending a message, the sender includes a
digital signature, and the receiver replies with an acknowledgement
called an MDN (Message Disposition Notification) that includes the
receiver's digital signature. Because each message is signed digitally,
the receiver can be sure that original message has really been sent by
the sender, and that the message has not been tampered with, which we
call Non-Repudiation of Origin. When the receiver replies with the
signed MDN, the sender can be sure that the receiver obtained the
message successfully, and that it was the correct receiver, which we
call Non-Repudiation of Receipt. When message encryption is turned on,
then the message can be protected in flight because it can only be
decrypted by the receiver. Read the complete article here.
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