October 11, 2018

AS2 with MuleSoft: Choosing the Right Connector

by ModusBox in B2B/EDI , Connectors , ESB , Mulesoft 0 comments

Recognized by Gartner as a leader in the ESB space, many companies look to Mule ESB to leverage API-centricity across their architecture, including with EDI and B2B.

Using connectors with EDI protocols, like AS2, with MuleSoft’s platform speeds onboarding and configuration of messaging with your trading partners. It’s important to understand the criteria for choosing the right AS2 connector to ensure this tool is an asset, and not one that increases your headaches.

There are four criteria that are important when evaluating an AS2 connector:

  • Is the connector mature and refined through production usage?
  • Are there assurances of compliance and interoperability?
  • Was it built with the developer in mind?
  • Does it work with other tools, like your partner manager, to simplify the B2B process?

A Mature and Proven EDI AS2 Connector

Mule ESB is the platform that our AS2 connector (formally known as “AS2 Connector 2.3.0”) was originally designed for Anypoint B2B. The AS2 connector from PortX has had time to develop and mature alongside Mule ESB on parallel paths.

This maturity comes from more than three years in production environments, in constant use with Anypoint Studio and Mule ESB. Future enhancements to the PortX AS2 Connector are made on a stable base with a long running track record of success and use in multiple environments and with many clients, including Fortune 50 organizations.

Drummond certified compliance and interoperability

The PortX AS2 connector for MuleSoft is Drummond certified. Becoming a Drummond certified product requires months of testing by this vendor neutral testing body, to demonstrate compliance to the AS2 protocol specs and interoperability with other AS2 implementations. Because of Drummond Certification, customers who use the PortX AS2 connector can count on reliable interoperability with other technology solutions used by their partners.

Developer Experience Optimized for Mulesoft’s Anypoint Studio

PortX’s AS2 connector has been designed with user experience in mind. These stand out among other features:

  • Out of the box Partner Manager support: built-in setup to fetch your trading partners configuration from either PortX or Anypoint Partner Manager.
  • Native HTTP connectors leveraged: providing transparent support for the legacy MuleSoft HTTP connector as well as for the new operation-based flavor.
  • Multiple endpoints on the same host and port: using Mule’s new operation-based HTTP connector the user can reuse the endpoint configuration setting it up just once and having a service path per scenario.
  • Optionally invoke a Mule flow before sending the MDN receipt: allowing the flow to complete persistence to a database before sending back the receipt.
  • Preferred digest algorithm: pick the algorithm of your choosing to honour on signed receipts.
  • Override headers: when sending a message the user can opt to override AS2 headers with custom outbound properties.

Integration with PortX Partner Manager

PortX Partner Manager provides browser-based configuration and monitoring of B2B transactions. The PortX AS2 connector integrates with PortX Partner Manager, which automates the storage of MDN’s (Message Disposition Notifications) for proof of non-repudiation, correlation of MDNs to display success or failure to operations, and configuration of AS2 endpoint settings so updating a certificate or endpoint can be done through the browser, without the need to re-deploy an application. These small things add up to a much better user experience and easier-to-manage partner relationships.

The point of combining your B2B communications with an ESB is to develop flexible, agile integrations to your trading partners along with the ability to rapidly onboard new partners and configure and update existing connections and simplify the EDI process. Using a proven, mature tool decreases the complexity of the process. Combining PortX’s proven AS2 connector with Mule ESB creates a win-win for you and your trading partners.

Looking for more information on the AS2 connector? Get in touch.