Companies are always looking for ways to improve integration with both customers and suppliers. Improving integration with customers results in improved satisfaction and retention and improving integration with suppliers leads to cost savings and efficiency. Standards for B2B Integration provide security, reliability and a common language that everyone can understand. Keeping up with the technology, standards them selves evolve as well.

AS4 is one of the latest standards in B2B and the acronym stands for Applicability Statement 4. This is the next generation B2B standard following the older AS1, AS2 and AS3 standards. It provides a mechanism for exchanging B2B payloads using web services. Yes, there is finally a B2B standard that uses web-services!

This standard uses ebMS v3.0 and WS-* specifications for message, transport, security and non-repudiation. It builds upon the profile defined in AS2 spec and extends it. Using web-services for exchanging B2B transactions is nothing new but industry has been lacking a formal standardized approach to it. It provides push/pull capabilities to allow for sporadically or intermittently connected endpoints, which is common in emerging markets.

Given these capabilities, AS4 is increasingly being adopted by organizations of all types. Governments are using AS4 to standardize the delivery of services to both their citizens and cross-border interactions, such as legal exchanges. And industries such as gas/utility are adopting AS4 to better facilitate the trade of energy. As the adoption of AS4 continues, many organizations can start reaping the benefits of conducting B2B interactions using web services.

Want to know more about AS4 and how you can benefit. Register for our webinar on December 9th in which we will have Software AG's B2B experts joined by Mike Cranshaw who manages the Integration, Channel and IM Competency Centres for Australia's largest superannuation service provider. They will be joined by Pim van der Eijk, who is an OASIS member and served as a co-editor of the OASIS AS4 standard.


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