Compare peer network and trading network objects

Although the peer network is separate from your e-commerce trading community, peer network relationships are similar. Peers use community and partner objects, transports and certificates.

However, there are important differences between peer networks and regular trading networks. For instance, there can be only one peer community per Interchange instance or cluster. Apart from that difference, you set up and maintain the peer community in much the same way as a normal trading community. Peer partners and normal trading partners are similar to each other as well.

It is important to understand the differences between peer objects and normal trading objects. Peer communities and partners are used only by the peer network to communicate messages among peers. Such messages are system-generated; the peer network does not pick up messages from back-end applications. Peer communities and partners are never used for exchanging e‑commerce messages among parties. That role is handled exclusively by trading partners and trading communities.

Peer partners and communities must have unique names and routing IDs, just like trading partners and communities. Because these peer and trading objects are similar, the peer network forces a prefix of “ Peer-” for each peer partner and community name to distinguish them from trading partner and community objects. Moreover, the Interchange user interface keeps peer partner/community and trading partner/community objects separate. Peer partners and communities can be accessed only through the Peer network menu on the top toolbar. Trading objects can be accessed through the Trading configuration and Partners menus on the toolbar.

You can export a peer community to a profile with its certificate and public key, just as you can a trading partner or community. After exporting to a profile, you give the profile to a peer network manager to import in a similar way; however, Interchange recognizes it as a peer partner profile, not a trading partner profile.

When you manually add a peer community, you do not have to set up an application pickup exchange for it. A peer community does not pick up messages from back-end applications. However, when you add a peer community, the trading engine automatically sets up an application delivery exchange. This is a file system delivery with a default path of <install directory>\common\data\peerNetwork\in. You can optionally configure Axway Interchange to write inbound peer messages to this directory.

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