Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

EDI stands for Electronic Data Interchange, and is a commonly used acronym when talking about the exchange of business data between 2 business (business to business communications). A common example of EDI is company ABC would like to send an XML document that defines a purchase order to company XYZ. 

AS2 is messaging standard which defines a secure and reliable way of sending business to business messages across the internet. It was created in 2002 by the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force), and is now ubiquitous with EDI solutions, being used by used in large scales within eCommerce (Amazon, Target, Walmart), aerospace, and even within healthcare (AS2 meets legal HIPAA requirements). More details can be found  here

Anything really. In most cases it will be an XML document, however it could just as easily be a JSON text file, or even a PDF document. AS2 is a standard that defined how to securely send data, it does not defined the format or type of data. 

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a very common way of implementing EDI. It can be made secure in a similar way to AS2, however FTP was not designed primarily for Business to Business EDI. There are many different standards of FTP (FTP over SSL, or FTP over SSH etc.), and message signing is not predefined. 

In short, AS2 provides a more well defined explicit standard, with higher levels of interoperability, and security.

The AS2 Cloud Relay is a modern Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, which means it is primarily hosted in the cloud. However, most organisations will still have many of their systems on-premise. 

The AS2 Cloud Relay pulls and pushes data to an Azure storage account owned by you (you always hold the keys to your data stores in the cloud). When configuring your AS2 account you will provide EIS access to your Azure storage container.  

Finally, EIS provide a Windows service that you can install on local machines, that will synchronise data from a local on-premise file store into your Azure storage container. Setup takes minutes, and the service only requires an outbound internet connection to your Azure storage container. No inbound firewall rules needed.

The AS2 Cloud Relay is a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, and requires a monthly subscription. The subscription is managed from the Azure Market Place, and all prices are listed there.

No. An EIS AS2 servers will obviously have a temporary copy of your data while it’s being sent or received, but the data is always saved in your Azure storage container. You can remove EIS access at any time. And we do not keep a copy of any of your AS2 data. 

To provide message tracking functionality in your AS2 Cloud Relay portal, we will record time/dates, and sender/receiver names, but no actually message data. You can request to have any tracking data deleted at any time.

None of our subscriptions share AS2 server hosts. You will always have your own AS2 server(s). 

EIS uses modern Docker container technology. This means your AS2 server effectively sits in it’s own server container (very much like its own virtual machine). Your Docker container will then be hosted on a machine that hosts other containers, which is how EIS avoids having a single physical machine for everyone of our clients.