Axway, Cisco, Fujitsu, TIBCO, and Others Collaborate on B2B Messaging Protocol
15 February 2013 – The OASIS international open standards consortium announced the approval of version 1.0 of the Applicability Statement 4 (AS4) Profile of the ebXML Messaging Services (ebMS) 3.0 standard. Based on “just-enough” design principles, the Profile provides an open standard for the secure, payload-agnostic exchange of purchase orders, invoices, and other business-to-business documents using Web services. AS4 is now an official OASIS Standard, a status that signifies the highest level of ratification.
“AS4 provides an on-ramp for using Web services as a transport to exchange B2B messages,” said Makesh Rao of Cisco Systems, co-chair of the OASIS ebXML Messaging Services Technical Committee. “The Profile makes it easier to implement ebMS 3 by constraining and paring down the options for vendors, which lowers costs and increases interoperability.”
AS4 is the modern successor of AS2 (IETF RFC 4130), a messaging protocol widely adopted in retail and other industries. AS4 maps AS2-like functional requirements onto the WS-* stack. AS4 uses Web Services standards championed by OASIS including the WS-I Basic Profile.
“The main benefits of AS4 are compatibility with Web services standards, message pulling capability, and a built-in Receipt mechanism,” explained Sander Fieten, who also co-chairs the OASIS ebXML Messaging Services Technical Committee. “The Profile also expands ebMS 3 compression functionality and support for very large messages.”
AS4 is an important input to large scale international data exchange initiatives, including XBRL in the superannuation industry in Australia, cross-border e-government services in Europe, and the internal gas market in Europe. AS4 is referenced in the OASIS Energy Interoperation standard and the CEN CWA on traceability and sale of seafood products.
Axway, Cisco, Fujitsu, Flame Computing, and Sonnenglanz Consulting all provided Statements of Use for AS4, as required by the OASIS process.
AS4 is offered for implementation on a royalty-free basis. Companies, non-profit groups, governments, academic institutions, and individuals are welcome to participate in the OASIS ebXML Messaging Services Technical Committee. As with all OASIS projects, archives of the ebXML Messaging Services Technical Committee’s work are accessible to both members and non-members, and OASIS hosts an open mail list for public comment.
Support for AS4 Profile of ebMS 3.0
“The OASIS AS4 conformance profile extends Web service technologies to fulfill the classic requirements for security, auditability, and a pragmatic approach to alignment of business interactions that were fulfilled by IETF EDIINT technology standards, such as AS2. AS4 adds an ability to allow smaller organizations to interact with larger ones by dropping off and picking up business data from services operated by the larger organizations, a feature that has been requested by many interaction communities. Our congratulations to the Technical Committee and OASIS for producing this most useful communication standard.”
— Dale Moberg, Chief Architect
“Fujitsu welcomes the release of the AS4 profile as a pragmatic, robust and simple business-level messaging protocol. Fujitsu has been a steady contributor to AS4, which has learned from prior messaging initiatives – AS2, ebXML and Web Services – by taking the best and most useful aspects of this foundation.”
— Sanya Uehara, Corporate Vice President
“The emerging AS4 standard takes advantage of Web Services standards to offer easier interoperability with partners, and is a natural extension of the internal SOA implementations that our customers have invested in over the last several years. Oracle is planning to support this new standard as a feature of its Oracle B2B product so that our new and existing customers can take advantage of the AS4 profile in the ebMS 3.0 standard to extend their SOA implementations and more easily connect with their trading partners.”
— Bhagat Nainani, vice president of Product Development
“TIBCO believes the simplicity of the new AS4 standard will greatly enhance the adoption of Web services for B2B communications and allow organizations to extend their use of SOA beyond their four walls to include multi-enterprise integration.”
–Ivan Casanova, Senior Director of Worldwide Marketing
OASIS ebXML Messaging Services Technical Committee
OASIS is a not-for-profit, international consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of open standards for the global information society. OASIS promotes industry consensus and produces worldwide standards for security, Cloud computing, business transactions, Web services, Smart Grid, content management, and other applications. OASIS open standards offer the potential to lower cost, stimulate innovation, grow global markets, and protect the right of free choice of technology. OASIS members broadly represent the marketplace of public and private sector technology leaders, users and influencers. The consortium has more than 5,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries: http://www.oasis-open.org.
OASIS Senior Director of Communications