Press Release

AS2 Standard Adds Exchange of Very Large Messages with AS2 Restart

By November 11, 2009 No Comments

Axway, Cleo Communications, Inovis and Seeburger AG, first to commit to support AS2 Restart

November 11, 2009 – Austin, TX. Drummond Group Inc., the trusted international interoperability test lab, today announced that a draft specification, AS2 Restart, has been submitted to the IETF EDIINT (AS2) working group. This new specification addresses the needs to successfully exchange AS2 messages with very large payloads by AS2 software. Axway, Cleo Communications, Inovis and SEEBURGER AG are the first companies committing to implement and participate in AS2 Restart interoperability testing with more AS2 vendors expected to join. The Drummond Group certification for AS2 Restart is scheduled for the AS2 Interop in 3Q10. With the adoption and implementation of AS2 Restart by AS2 vendors, AS2 systems in the future, whether deployed in low or high network bandwidth, will be able to easily exchange very large payloads over AS2 seamlessly.

AS2 (RFC 4130) is one of the most widely recognized messaging standards for B2B commerce with thousands of implementations around the globe, allowing users to connect, deliver and reply to data securely and reliably. The most common challenge of very large message exchange is that servers often disconnect or time-out without the complete message being sent. The AS2 Restart draft specification solves this by allowing the download of the AS2 message to literally restart where the AS2 message transfer left off so that the AS2 message transfer can complete without having to resend the entire message all over again. A copy of the AS2 Restart draft specification can be found at the Drummond Group Inc. website at this location:Ā

“Large message exchange is a challenge for all industries, particularly for automotive and healthcare industries. Given the very large implementation base of AS2 software within the Fortune 500 and small to medium sized businesses, we are excited to see the opportunities for these industries to utilize AS2 as their primary messaging standard,” says Rik Drummond, CEO of Drummond Group. “Certified AS2 interoperability and very large message exchange are a win-win for industry.”

The work on AS2 Restart began with several AS2 vendors coming together to test Chunked Transfer Encoding for the Drummond Group AS2 3Q09 Interop. During this time, it became apparent that Chunked Transfer Encoding was not enough to transfer very large messages among the companies’ participating products. The vendors then submitted three proposals that would help solve the very large message transfer. Of the three proposals submitted and reviewed in great detail, the AS2 Restart proposal was almost unanimously favored by the group. Work then began to move the proposal submitted by Axway into IETF standardization process.

The AS2 Restart concept is quite simple. The AS2 Sender queries an AS2 Recipient to transfer a very large message. If this is the first time the message is being transferred, the AS2 Recipient accepts it and begins to save it to disk. However, if the transfer fails due to a lost connection or connection timeout, as often is the case when transferring payloads in the 100’s of MB and more, and especially in the GB range and more, the AS2 Sender checks with the AS2 Recipient first before resending it to find out how much data was transferred during the previous attempt. The AS2 Recipient then informs the AS2 Sender how much data it received and the sender starts from that point. The recipient then continues to create the AS2 message by appending the new incoming data. This process occurs automatically behind the scenes without the AS2 end-user having to be involved.

“AS2 large file transfers occasionally fail during transmission because of transient server or network conditions,” says Dave Bennett, CTO of Axway. “With AS2 Restart, organizations can smooth the transmission process by resending only the unsent portion, minimizing the strain on resources. This simple protocol extension, developed for Axway Gateway to meet customer needs, will now be available as an interoperable part of B2B communications, for the worldwide community of AS2 users.”

“Clients of all industries and sizes look to Cleo for data transfer solutions that are user-friendly, reliable, and offer remarkable performance. In streamlining the transfer of large files, industries will experience a more standardized approach to AS2 communication using a robust, yet familiar solution,” expressed Todd Enneking, V.P. of Business Development for Cleo. “Cleo has been certified with Drummond for AS2 since 2002 and continues to perform at an exceptional level as interoperability testing advances. We are extremely pleased to participate in the AS2 Restart specification and look forward to being an instrumental part in helping to meet industry needs.”

“Some of our customers are regularly exchanging hundred-megabyte or gigabyte files,” said Peter Corliss, product manager of Inovis. “But sending huge files via HTTP-based protocols like AS2 can trigger errors due to lost network connections or timeouts due to longer transfer times. AS2 Restart makes sending huge files more reliable, regardless of bandwidth or network. You can leverage the security and non-repudiation of the AS2 protocol even if the transaction is disrupted.”

“Being able to transfer large files is crucial for customers in the Automotive Industry but also in the Retail Industry,” says Matthias Fessenbecker, Vice President of Development at SEEBURGER. “The re-start feature is closing the last gap in the AS2 standard. SEEBURGER has implemented the Restart feature among the other additional profiles in our EDI INT AS2 Adapter which can run within SEEBURGER BIS, AS2:Connect, as well as SEEBURGER EDI Adapter for SAP PI.”

About Drummond Group Inc.

Drummond Group Inc. (DGI) is the trusted interoperability test lab that works with standards groups, software/firmware vendors and industry groups to drive adoption of standards by offering global interoperability and conformance testing, and certification. DGI facilitates these testing services under association-branded certification programs and its own Drummond CertifiedĀ® program. DGI has tested over a thousand international software products used in vertical industries such as automotive, consumer product goods, healthcare, energy, financial services, government, petroleum, pharmaceutical and retail. Founded in 1999, DGI also represents best-of-breed in strategic interoperability consulting, recognizing the challenges of interoperability for industry over the product life cycle.