ISO approves AS4 as an International Standard
The ISO (International Organisation for Standardization) approved ebMS3 (ebXML Messaging version 3.0) and AS4 (Applicability Statement 4) as International Standards.
AS4 is the message exchange protocol promoted by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) eDelivery Building Block. This approval represents an opportunity to increase confidence in eDelivery and can potentially lead to the scale-up of AS4 adoption by projects across the EU and beyond. This decision was made at Technical Committee level, specifically within TC 154 on "Processes, data elements and documents in commerce, industry and administration". The standards will become the new part 1 and part 2 of the ISO 15000. The ISO standards are recognised in legislation within Europe and internationally, and are known and trusted by public administrations, IT experts and business stakeholders outside the IT domain.
AS4 is a Conformance Profile of the OASIS ebMS 3.0 specification. AS4 is typically used for the secure and reliable exchange of documents, attachments to these documents and data in general, and can be used in Business-to-Business (B2B), Business-to-Administration (B2A) and Administration-to-Administration (A2A) exchange contexts in every sector or business domain. AS4 condenses in a single specification a series of well-known web-services specifications, such as WS-Security and SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) with attachments. AS4 both provides evidence relating to the handling of the transmitted data as well as protecting it against the risk of loss, theft, damage or any unauthorised alterations.
In 2015, AS4 was chosen by the EU Member States, participating in the eSENS Large Scale Pilot, as the primary protocol for B2B, B2A and A2A message exchange going forward. The approval of AS4 as an international standard means that AS4 is now recognised as a standard and not only as a technical specification. Additionally, ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) worked on the AS4 binding to eIDAS ERDS (Electronic Registered Delivery Service) - see part 4 of the message delivery binding here.
About CEF eDelivery
The CEF eDelivery building block proposes the use of the AS4 messaging protocol to create a secure channel for the transmission of documents and data by electronic means, over the internet or via a private network. Projects use eDelivery to exchange documents and data in a secure way among many participants (within Europe and beyond). CEF eDelivery offers a set of services to support EU-wide projects to implement eDelivery.
There are currently more than 30 large and small projects involving both the public and private sector (G2G, G2B and B2B) reusing eDelivery (check the monitoring dashboard for more details). Read the CEF eDelivery success stories to learn more about the cross-border projects that are using eDelivery in different domains. On CEF Digital you will find a list of several vendors that offer solutions fully compliant with the AS4 profile of eDelivery. If you are interested in adding your solution to this list, have a look at our conformance testing service.
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