Ace Hardware EDI documents transmission between partners
Ace Hardware EDI documents flow initiative supposes two basic EDI transmission flows in place. You can choose the one that fits your business needs best.
EDI over the Internet (Ace’s preferred method)
Ace Hardware EDI documents flow initiative encourages Trading Partners to consider using the Internet for exchanging EDI data. Ace currently supports:
- AS1 Email with SMIME Encryption
- AS2 with HTTP protocol
AS1 Information (Applicability Statement 1)
Ace Hardware EDI initiative offers the exchange of EDI data over the Internet using SMTP to transport the data.
- Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is a protocol used for sending electronic mail messages (email) between computers.
- Ace uses the S/MIME format and protocol to add a signature and encryption to the Internet MIME messages.
- A certificate ensures authentication of the email messages. The certificates provide data encryption and an electronic signature. You can obtain a certificate from a certificate authority such as Verisign, or create your own self-signed certificate.
AS2 Information (Applicability Statement 2, preferred by Ace)
Ace Hardware EDI documents flow initiative also offers the exchange of data over the Internet using HTTP. The Hypertext Transfer Protocol is used by web servers to transport data over the Internet.
- Authentication and encryption is provided via a certificate, much like the above AS1 standard.
- Besides the certificate, there are other components needed for using AS2. You will need a URL. URL is the abbreviation for Universal Resource Language, standard naming convention on the Internet. The URL is the address of a resource, or file, available on the Internet. The URL contains the protocol of the resource (e.g. http:// or ftp://), the domain name for the resource, and the hierarchical name for the file (address). For example, a page on the internet may be at the URL http://www.learnthat.com/define/u/url.shtml. The beginning part, http:// provides the protocol, the next part www.learnthat.com is the domain, and the main domain is learnthat.com, while www is a pointer to a computer or a resource. The rest, /define/u/url.shtml is the pointer to the specific file on that server.
- You will also need an IP address. The IP address identifies a computer or device on a network and is sometimes part of the above URL. The IP address looks like a series of numbers (123.23.634.34).
- Also important to Ace Hardware EDI initiative is the port number you will be using to send your data. The retailer uses a firewall to protect the system from intrusions and unwanted Internet traffic.
Value Added Networks
Value Added Networks (VANs) can be used as a third party EDI resource. They make it possible to send a variety of business Ace Hardware EDI initiative documents to different trading partners in the same transmission. VANs act as an EDI “mail service” by sorting the documents and delivering them to the correct recipient. They can make it easier for incompatible senders and receivers to communicate by translation of different EDI formats and/or system protocols.