What is AS4 and How do we Use it?

24 May 2022

Applicability Statement 4

Applicability Statement 4 is a communication protocol used for Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Government (B2G) document exchange. As4 is a product of the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) meant for ebXML messaging services.

In February of 2019, OpenPEPPOL passed a resolution to support As4. As a result, Peppol As4 profile became mandatory in the Peppol e-Delivery network starting 1st February 2020. In short, all Peppol Access Point must now be As4 compliant.

Plans to switch have been underway since September 2016 with ongoing negotiations happening between the European Commission and OpenPEPPOL. The two organizations settled on a 1st February 2020 deadline following the recommendation of an As4 market readiness survey published on 28th January 2019.

According to the survey, about 60 percent of the businesses sampled exchanged messages through As4 or were planning to implement As4 by the end of the third quarter of 2019. It is essential to note that As2 was the mandatory exchange protocol before the 1st February 2020 declaration.

Even though the As4 protocol was still in use, it wasn’t compulsory. But, since August 2019, anyone joining the Peppol network was required to support the As4 profile. The idea was to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

What is As4?

For starters, As4 is an acronym for Applicability Statement 4. It is a communication protocol used for Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Government (B2G) document exchange.

As4 is a product of the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) meant for ebXML messaging services.

As4 runs on Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP/WSDL) and uses Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) as its communication protocol. And, because As4 uses the HTTP protocol, it can secure document exchange through Transparent Layer Security (TLS).

As4 security uses WS-Security to encrypt the exchanged documents. And like its predecessor As2, the As4 communication protocol relies on payload agnostic. In essence, this means you can exchange any document of choice.

For Peppol, the exchange format of choice is Universal Business Language (UBL)format.

Why is Peppol Keen on As4 Compliance?

OpenPEPPOL decided to make As4 mandatory to ensure the exchange of documents within the Peppol network aligns with the international requirements.

Plus, the European Commission, New Zealand, and Australia favor the use of As4. On top of that, As4 is a popular OASIS standard known to provide more flexibility than As2.

Benefits of Using As4 Networks

Point to Point Communication

As4 offers direct and instant transfer of information from the source to its destination, thereby reducing common errors when exchanging commercial documents between businesses.

High Level of Security

As4, by design, sends and receives information securely through the internet. It uses state-of-the-art encryption techniques to ensure that the recipient can read the information in the message.

Issuer Authenticity

As4 helps the implementation of signature processes. Further, it enables a guarantee of authentication at the source of information.

Communication Traceability

As4 generates signed receipts. That way, you can be sure that a recipient has read your messages. The ripple effect is that you can keep track of business commutation with your trading partners.

Unimaze Can Help you Migrate to the As4 Protocol

Unimaze is not only a certified Peppol Access Point Provider but also granted both the Peppol As4 and EU As4 interoperability testing.

By using Unimaze as your gateway to the Peppol e-invoicing network, your business can exchange all relevant documents to thousands of connected trading partners around the globe.

Why use Unimaze for As4 Migration?

There are several reasons Unimaze is a reliable As4 migration partner, including:

Compliance – We’re a Peppol certified Access Point Provider. So, you don’t have to worry about failing to comply with electronic invoicing regulations.

Affordability – You don’t have to burn through your wallet to migrate from the As2 to As4 protocol. Unimaze will help you shift with efficient automation without leaving a hole in your budget.

Simplicity – We offer a single connection to all our Peppol customers.

Flexibility – We provide modular supply chain solutions to our customers.

We Future-proof your Business – You don’t have to worry about failure to comply with As4 requirements. We will implement and renew your certificates automatically. That way, you will always be up-to-date.

Round-the-clock Monitoring – With Unimaze, you have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your systems are being monitored 24/7.

Efficiency – As4 connection through us allow you to exchange documents in all formats and protocols.

Ease of use – We provide direct integration in your ERP system through API so you can get started with As4 as soon as possible.

What Do You Need to Do to Get Started?

Simply contact Unimaze Support today to book a consultation session with one of our As4 experts.

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