Features and services

B2Bi provides the visibility you need to find information about business-critical files and messages, and the analytics you need to be proactive, react to exceptions, and improve your overall business processes and SLAs.

B2Bi provides a set of services used to exchange electronic business documents between applications and trading partners. B2Bi enables you to organize and automate the flow of electronic documents between participants located both inside and outside your enterprise network.

B2Bi provides the following features and services in support of exchanges between participants:

Business message formats

B2Bi supports the document formats defined by the following EDI standards:

  • ASC X12 – including AAR, TDCC, UCS and VICS
  • UN/EDIFACT
  • ODETTE
  • TRADACOMS

For details on EDI standards, see EDI standards.

In addition to the EDI formats listed above, B2Bi supports many other standard formats, including:

  • XML
  • IDOC
  • VDA
  • Flat file (inhouse)

Transport protocols

In the B2Bi user interface, administrative users configure Community and Partner objects to specify the participants in message exchanges. Administrative users can then select the message protocols and transport protocols that support these exchanges. Additionally, administrative users can define Application Pickups and Application Deliveries to specify patterns of interaction with the various applications in the trading community.

Trading exchanges

B2Bi supports the following trading exchange formats and protocols.

Through the B2Bi trading engine:

  • AS4
  • EDIINT AS1, AS2, AS3
  • OFTP (V1 and V2) over TCP/IP, X.25, and ISDN
  • RosettaNet RNIF (V1.1 and V2)
  • ebXML ebMS (V2)
  • HL7 MLLP (V1 and V2)
  • cXML (V1.2)
  • Web Services (SOAP/REST)
  • X.400 over X.25 and TCP/IP (X.420 and X.435 profiles)
  • HTTP, HTTP/S, Staged HTTP Web Servlet
  • Axway Transfer CFT, and PeSIT
  • FTP, S/FTP, FTP/S
  • JMS, IBM WebSphere MQ
  • WebDAV
  • Secure email (via SMTP)
  • File System
  • WebTrader - WebTrader is a browser-based interface for mailbox-based exchange of files over secure HTTP. Non technically trained end users can send and receive documents, and manage copies of these exchanges from a user-friendly interface.
  • Software Development Kit for custom protocols
Note   cXML V1.2 protocol is currently in beta status. (Limited tests have been done. Available upon request only.)

Through the B2Bi integration engine:

  • HTTP
  • JMS and IBM WebSphere MQ
  • JDBC
  • File System
  • FTP (client)
  • Email (SMTP, POP3)
  • SAP1 – ALE
  • SAP1 – BAPI
Note   SAP integration has been certified through the SAP interoperability certification process.

A Software Development Kit for custom protocols is also available.

Security protocols

B2Bi supports the following security protocols:

  • TLS/SSL 2.0, 3.0
  • TLS 1.0, 1.2
  • SSH 2.0 (client authentication)
  • S/MIME
  • PGP
  • Certificates (X509) with CRL and CEM support
  • FIPS
  • NIST 800-52
  • Encryption: RC2, RC4, DES, 3DES, AES
  • Signature: MD5, SHA-1, SHA-256
  • Algorithms for key exchange: diffie-hellman-group1-sha1, diffie-hellman-group14-sha1, diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha1

Message services

B2Bi provides the following message-handling services:

  • Integration with back-end applications
  • Message Identification based on one or more exchange attributes, standards, identifiers, or individual content
  • Acknowledgments, splitting, parsing, enveloping
  • Multiplication (duplication)
  • Any-to-any transformation
  • Message routing
  • Message handling can be extended with optional processing of inbound or outbound messages based on metadata attributes and actions. The trading engine enables you to set up conditions to:
    • Copy messages to parties other than the sending or receiving party
    • Re-route messages from one partner to another
    • Prohibit re-routing of messages
    • Reject messages
    • Perform custom processing using your own Java class
    • Generate notifications
  • Message handling involves performing message actions. Message actions are triggered by single or multiple conditions, which are a combination of attributes and operators.
  • For example, you can specify that whenever a community sends a message to partner A, a copy is sent to partner B.
  • Message actions can be applied to inbound and outbound messages. For inbound messages, message actions are applied after a message has been validated, unpackaged and parsed, but before the payload is sent to a back-end system via an application transport. For outbound messages, message actions are applied after a document has been picked up from the back-end, but before it has been packaged.

Trading partner management

B2Bi provides the following trading partner management services:

  • Community definitions – A community represents your local way of grouping trading partners. It defines your organization’s internal processes for handling messages. It also defines how your community expects to receive messages from partners. The local information is used by your system to set document back-up options, tune system performance and integrate with back-end systems. While these settings are significant to you, they are not relevant for your partners.
  • Ramping, in-Life, and decommissioning management.
  • A registration wizard helps members of a community generate partner information for trading. This functionality is for partners who want to trade via the AS1, AS2, ebXML, or WebTrader. The wizard prompts a user to supply the information B2Bi needs to build a valid partner.
  • Security certificate management – B2Bi offers true security by providing authentication, confidentiality, integrity and non-repudiation of documents. The trading engine uses state-of-the-art cryptography to ensure the security of the documents that are exchanged over the Internet.
  • Role-based access – Users and roles enable administrators to add and manage user ranges of user permissions. Roles define the permissions users have for performing tasks. Roles can be defined with few or many permissions. Each user should be assigned at least one role, although it is possible to assign multiple roles to a single user.

Security services and operations

B2Bi provides the following security-related features:

  • Signing – The B2Bi trading engine supports digital signatures. Signing is a mechanism by which a message is authenticated, proving that the message is effectively coming from a given sender.
  • Encryption – The B2Bi trading engine uses a combination of public-private key encryption (asymmetric encryption), and symmetric key encryption. This hybrid system uses the best characteristics of each method and minimizes the shortcomings of each. It follows the widely adopted S/MIME standard for securing messages.
  • TLS/SSL authentication – The trading engine optionally allows certificates to be used for authenticating the identity of trading partners. TLS/SSL protocol authentication provides an added layer of security to trading relationships.

Visibility

B2Bi provides the following visibility-related features:

  • End-to-end visibility – There are a number of ways to monitor system activity. Methods are available through:
    • The user interface – methods easier to use and understand. The user interface has tools for monitoring various types of system activity.
    • The log files – methods designed for software developers or advanced users.
  • Alerts/Events – Each product generates events and alerts that aid in tracking abnormal or unexpected behavior across the system. Alerts and events are written to log files, or can be monitored through the Sentinel product.

Map development

B2Bi provides the following map design features:

  • Eclipse-based, standalone map development environment for distributed work teams
  • Creation and editing of inhouse, XML, EDIFACT, X12, TRADACOMS VDA, IDoc, and other Business Document formats
  • Standardized import capabilities
  • Ability to create and use custom format repositories
  • Creation and editing of maps with graphical view
  • Powerful and standards-extendable transformation language (Java, C, SQL)
  • Local and offline development with disconnected update

Map development personnel, working individually or in teams, can create maps and message-processing sequences (flows), and deploy these elements to runtime servers in various environments for testing or production. Maps and flows can be removed from or replaced on runtime servers, and can be edited and versioned.

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