AS2 EDI messaging protocol basics

as2 edi

AS2 EDI (Applicability Statement 2) is a specification for Electronic Data Interchange between businesses using the Internet’s Web page protocol, the Hypertext Transfer Protocol. The specification is an extension of the earlier version, Applicability Statement 1 (AS1). Both specifications were created by EDI over the Internet (EDIINT), a working group of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) that develops secure and reliable business communications standards.

The AS2 EDI standard provides Secure Multi-Purpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) and uses HTTP or a more secure version, HTTPS, to transmit data over the Internet. AS2 EDI uses a slower protocol, SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). The use of HTTP or HTTPS allows communication in real time rather than through e-mail delivery. Security, authentication, message integrity, and privacy are assured by the use of encryption and digital signatures. Another important feature, no repudiation, makes it impossible for the intended recipient of a message to deny having received it.

The AS2 EDI standard allows businesses to use a common, single communications solution. This eliminates the complications and costs involved when different businesses in a network use different transfer protocols. A Web server, an EDI transfer engine, and digital certificates are required for data exchange using AS2 EDI. Almost any type of data can be transmitted.


  • Safe connection
  • Ability to receive files processing statuses (MDN message answer)
  • Ability of coding and authentication.


  • Necessity for using specialized software
  • Certificate is needed.

AS2 or Applicability Standard 2 is one of the most common methods for transporting electronic data interchange EDI securely and reliably (and inexpensively) over the Internet. AS2 creates a sort of an iron-clad ‘envelope’ for the EDI data, which allows it to be sent from one computer to another over the web using digital certificates and encryption. Due to security standards, many organizations require partners to use AS2 for all EDI or other business to business communications. And for those working in healthcare, it also satisfies many of the HIPAA requirements. Any organization with constant access to the Internet is capable of handling AS2 communications, which allows for immediate transmission of files directly between trading partners.

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