WHAT IS EDI?
FTP: A simple method of transferring files directly between two connected systems. The secure FTP server resides outside the company firewall and requires specific IP address and login credentials in order to gain access.
VAN: When utilizing a VAN, the customer’s EDI document is first transmitted to their mailbox on the VAN server. The VAN application then moves the file to the partner mailbox where it is then transmitted to the receiving system. As documents are returned, they will also travel through the VAN back to the customer.
AS2: The AS2 protocol provides for the secure transport of EDI documents over the Internet. Data is encrypted and transmitted over the internet where it is received directly by the partner system, which maintains an “always on”, open connection to the internet. As the document is received, the host system utilizes the established Partner Certificate to insures the integrity of the file and translate (unencrypted). Utilizing FTP and/or AS2 generally represents cost savings while still maintaining a secure connection. AS2 adds an additional level of security by encrypting the data files and requiring authentication receiver keys in order to translate properly. Each of these methods also avoids the connection charges and per-document fees charged by most VAN providers. In addition to being a lower cost option, AS2 and FTP provide a more immediate transfer of documents by avoiding the intermediate VAN system between the sender and receiver.