AS4 is succeeding as core protocol of European gas distribution cooperative
AS4 is being implemented as the B2B communication standard for the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG), an initiative years in the making that recently passed the proof-of-concept stage and is now being shared out to implementation teams in the member nations.
ENTSOG’s mission, to create a unified market for gas on the European continent with a safe, robust and reliable transmission system that will be scalable in future years, is an ideal proving ground for new and innovative B2B communications methodologies. ENTSOG’s effort encompasses every feature of integrated B2B partnership, including supply chain dynamics, payments, analytics and capacity planning, customer interaction and disruption.
Educating its technical membership this past fall in Brussels, ENTSOG System Operation shared out the results of its AS4 proof-of-concept phase, the goal of which was to validate AS4 as the communications standard between its Transmission System Operators (TSOs).
AS4 is an ideal standard for such a purpose, encapsulating the versatility, robustness and enhanced security features of ebXML, in a simplified and easy-to-implement version. Use of this common protocol among TSOs and their partners is expected to yield considerable savings, reduced error in messaging and significant process improvement, according to ENTSOG.
An advantage of AS4 is the ease with which it can also integrate with existing government systems in each member nation, facilitating regulatory compliance without the need to modify back-end systems. In addition, the standard permits easy TSO integration with a wide range of third-party products.
ENTSOG’s 12-month implementation phase is expected to be completed in April 2016.