AS2, AS3, and AS4 File Transfers

AS2 File Transfers

What are the Applicability Statement protocols and how are they used to send and secure critical file transfers? Explore everything you need to know about the Applicability Statement 2, 3, and 4.

An Introduction to AS2

What is AS2?

AS2 (Applicability Statement 2) is a popular protocol specification that’s used to transmit sensitive data securely and reliably over the internet. Upgraded from the original protocol (AS1) that was created in the 1990s, AS2 supports the encryption of messages (also known as AS2 messages) that are then exchanged with trading partners and vendors via HTTPS. These messages are built using the S/MIME format.

How Does AS2 Work?

AS2 utilizes digital certificates and encryption standards to protect critical information while it’s in transit across systems, networks, and locations. AS2 messages can be compressed, signed, encrypted, and sent over a secure SSL tunnel.

Users can also request an MDN (known as Message Disposition Notification; also sometimes referred to as "receipt") alert to verify that the message was received and decrypted successfully. Using signed receipts to compare the returned message checksum value creates a non-repudiation of receipt (NRR). An NRR gives the sender legal proof of unaltered delivery.

MDNs can be delivered in a variety of ways, including:

Synchronous MDN

Asynchronous MDN

Email MDN

Synchronous MDN

This option allows the AS2 server connection to remain open until an MDN is received or a timeout occurs.

Synchronous MDN

This option allows the AS2 server connection to close immediately after the initial transmission completes. When the server processes the AS2 message, the server will open a new connection and send the MDN.

Why Use AS2?

AS2 is a secure industry standard protocol for sending sensitive data. Organizations who use AS2 often choose it over other file transfer protocols (like FTP or SFTP) because of how easily the protocol helps them meet regulatory compliance requirements and trading partner needs.

AS2 comes with unique advantages that ensure the streamlining of critical data exchange.

A few benefits of using the AS2 protocol:

End-to-end encryption for sensitive files

Authenticating senders and recipients with digital signatures

Validation of file integrity with successful transfer confirmation

Ability to send/retrieve file transfers of any size or volume

Flexible support for synchronous or asynchronous MDN receipts

AS2 and Drummond Certified

 

You may have heard of the phrase "Drummond Certified." What does Drummond Certified mean, and why is it important for AS2 file transfers?

Drummond Certified is a label that Drummond Group (a third-party certification body) gives to products and solutions that have proven their interoperability between AS2 vendors. The certification is extensive and helps ensure that the solution you use will allow you to successfully integrate with your AS2 trading partners.

In order to pass the Drummond Certification process, any product attempting certification has to conduct thousands of AS2 protocol test scenarios successfully. This process uses full matrix interoperability testing between AS2 vendor solutions to verify that important transactions maintain their security and integrity as they are transmitted over the Internet.

Getting Started with AS2 File Transfers

Whether your trading partners require you to send files using AS2 or you’re looking for an industry standard protocol to transmit sensitive files that meet regulatory compliance, it’s easy to implement AS2 in your organization. You just need the right solution.

GoAnywhere MFT is a secure managed file transfer solution that simplifies, streamlines, audits, and automates your file transfers across a variety of environments. It provides AS2 client and AS2 server software for small, medium, and enterprise-level organizations.

AS2 Protocol Software for Client & Server Transfers

"We were looking for an off-the-shelf implementation of an AS2 Server and Client that we could easily integrate with our systems on AWS [Amazon Web Services.] GoAnywhere was the perfect match."

The AS2 Client

The AS2 client software in GoAnywhere can automate the delivery of AS2 messages or send AS2 messages on a scheduled basis. It can automatically reconnect to the server if a connection breaks and retransmit the message. Both synchronous and asynchronous receipts can be logged to ensure AS2 messages were successfully processed by the trading partners.

Learn more about our AS2 client

The AS2 Server

The AS2 server software in GoAnywhere allows you to receive AS2 messages. Your trading partners can be authenticated using a combination of user credentials and X.509 certificates. When a message is received, you can have a trigger automatically process the received files. (For instance, GoAnywhere could move the AS2 documents to another area on the network or call an application to process these files.)

Learn more about our AS2 server

AS2 Tutorials

Learn how to transfer AS2 files with GoAnywhere MFT.

Getting Started with File Transfer Services

Learn how to get started with file transfer services, such as FTP, FTPS, SFTP, HTTPS, AS2, and GoDrive.

How to Enable SSL for HTTPS/AS2 Server Connections

Learn the process to create an SSL certificate, have the certificate signed by a certificate authority, and assign the certificate to the HTTPS service.

Configuring the AS2 Client to Send AS2 Messages

The AS2 client is used to automate the transfer of data with an AS2 service. Learn how to configure the AS2 client in GoAnywhere MFT, create a Project to send an AS2 message, and then process the MDN receipt.

How to Configure the AS2 Service to Receive AS2 Transfers

Applicability Statement 2 (AS2) is a method used to securely send files over the internet. Learn how to configure AS2 in GoAnywhere MFT to enable encryption, signatures, compression and the use of receipts for delivery confirmation.

Configuring Web User Accounts to Receive AS2 Messages

After your AS2 Service is configured, you need to provision user accounts to access the service. Learn how to create and configure Web Users in GoAnywhere MFT that are used to transfer data using AS2.

AS3 File Transfers

What is AS3 and how it is used to send and secure critical file transfers? Explore everything you need to know about Applicability Statement 3.

An Introduction to AS3

What is AS3?

AS3 (Applicability Statement 3) is a standard used to securely transmit virtually any file type. It was originally created to transfer structured data files, like XML and EDI documents, for business-to-business data sent over FTP(S). These messages are structured using the standard S/MIME format.

What is the Difference Between AS2 and AS3?

While AS2 is a transfer protocol, AS3 is a message standard that focuses on message formatting. Where AS2 requires dedicated AS2 server and client to send messages, AS3 is flexible; once an AS3 message is composed, it can be transmitted via any other protocol – FTP, SFTP, HTTPS, and more – as long as both the sender and recipient can access the message’s location. Also unlike AS2, AS3 is a push-pull protocol and does not require an ongoing connection.

Keep reading

What is the Difference Between AS3 and AS4?

AS3 is a message standard used to transfer messages between trading partners in their preferred format, and AS4 is the spiritual successor to AS2. Discover what makes AS3 and AS4 so different, and what they have in common.

Keep reading

When and Why to Use AS3?

AS3 is a secure protocol for sending sensitive data. Organizations using AS3 often choose it over other common file transfer protocols (like FTP or SFTP) because it simplifies the process to meet compliance requirements and trading partner needs.

Users can request MDNs (Message Disposition Notifications), or receipts to verify that the intended AS3 message as received, either as signed or unsigned.

A few benefits of AS3:

End-to-end encryption for sensitive files through SSL

Transaction records and audits

Delivery receipts and MDN

AS3 and Drummond Certification

Drummond Certified is a label that Drummond Group (a third-party certification body) gives to products and solutions that have proven their interoperability between AS3 vendors. The certification is extensive and helps ensure that the solution you use will allow you to successfully integrate with your AS3 trading partners.

In order to pass the Drummond Certification process, any product attempting certification has to conduct thousands of AS3 protocol test scenarios successfully.

The AS3 Client

The AS3 client software in GoAnywhere can automate the delivery of your AS3 messages, send on a schedule, or send based on triggers. With GoAnywhere, you can:

  • Attach multiple files to a message
  • Digitally sign all outgoing messages
  • Receive message receipts either automatically or manually
  • Log all AS3 message traffic – what was sent, by who, and date and time

Learn more about our AS3 Client

Getting Started with AS3 File Transfers

Whether your organization needs to transfer sensitive files with receipts, or your trading partners require that you send files using AS3, it’s simple to start using AS3. It’s all about finding the right solution.

GoAnywhere MFT is a secure managed file transfer solution that simplifies, streamlines, audits, and automates your file transfers across a variety of environments. It provides AS3 client server software for organizations of all sizes.

AS4 File Transfers

What is AS4 and how is it used to send and secure critical file transfers? Explore everything you need to know about Applicability Statement 4.

An Introduction to AS4

What is AS4?

AS4 is a popular file transfer protocol that gives businesses the ability to securely exchange data with their partners. It builds on the foundations set by AS2 to improve security, reliability, and flexibility for delivering and receiving messages. As a Business-to-Business standard, AS4 makes exchanging documents over the internet simple and secure.

What’s the Difference Between AS2 and AS4?

AS2 and AS4 are both popular file transfer protocols that allow businesses to exchange data securely with their business partners. AS4 builds on the best of AS2, but works with web services and provides improved delivery notifications.

Keep reading

What's the Difference Between AS3 and AS4?

While AS3 and AS4 may not have much in common besides their names, just what makes them so different? Discover the history of these two protocols, and how they work to improve file transfers in different ways.

Keep reading

How Does AS4 Work?

AS4 is payload agnostic and can also send multiple payloads in one AS4 message. Unlike AS2, AS4 is based on SOAP and Web Services, which many organizations use, making it more compatible with standard environments.

Why Use AS4?

AS4 is a secure B2B and B2C method for exchanging data: encryption, large file transfers, and are managed for you with AS4. AS4 is an EDI-friendly protocol and is sometimes adopted in EDI communities to simplify EDI integration projects.

A few benefits of using the AS4 protocol:

  • Messages sent via AS4 cannot be modified in transit without the change being detected.
  • Non-repudiation means that both the sender and the recipient receive records of the data movement.
  • Reliable delivery includes confirmations and ensures a one-time delivery. If a message fails, AS4 will re-send.

The AS4 Client

The AS4 client software in GoAnywhere can automate your workflows and improve your file transfers. Compress, sign, and encrypt your messages to ensure utmost security, and monitor your data transfers easily with receipts for messages sent and received, as well as with logging.

Learn more about our AS4 Client

Getting Started with AS4 File Transfers

Whether your trading partners require you to send files using AS4 or you’re looking for an industry standard protocol to transmit sensitive files that meet regulatory compliance, it’s easy to implement AS4 in your organization. You just need the right solution.

GoAnywhere MFT is a secure managed file transfer solution that simplifies, streamlines, audits, and automates your file transfers across a variety of environments. It provides AS4 client software for small, medium, and enterprise-level organizations.

Applicability Statement Academy

What is AS2? A Common Protocol Explained

Take a deep dive into this exploration of the key features, benefits, and challenges of the AS2 protocol. Learn how AS2 strengthens your security and safeguards your file transfers.

Learn more

Which is Better: AS2 vs. SFTP?

Need to make a decision on how to transfer files? AS2 and SFTP are two secure protocols you can use to protect data in transit. Discover how AS2 and SFTP differ, and which is better for your file transfer needs in this article.

Learn more

Which is Better: AS2 vs. AS4?

AS2 and AS4 are both popular file transfer protocols. However, what makes them different, and which of the two is better?

Learn more

What's the Difference Between AS2, AS3, and AS4?

While AS2, AS3, and AS4 may sound like different versions of the same protocol, there are some key differences to take into account when choosing how to transfer your files.

Learn more

What's the Difference? AS3 vs. AS4

AS3 and AS4 may not have much in common besides their names, but what makes them so different? Discover the key features that set them apart.

Learn more

Start Using AS2, AS3, and AS4 for File Transfers Today

Need to transfer files with AS2, AS3, and AS4? See how easy it is to implement secure AS2, AS3, and AS4 file transfers in your organization with a free, 30-day trial of GoAnywhere MFT.

START A TRIAL