Support for the PEPPOL AS4 profile mandatory in the PEPPOL eDelivery Network from 1 February 2020
On 13 February 2019, following up on a process initiated in 2016, the PEPPOL Authorities within OpenPEPPOL decided, to make support for the PEPPOL AS4 profile mandatory in the PEPPOL eDelivery Network. This decision will take effect as of 1 February 2020. The decision was taken in understanding with the European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) eDelivery team and is based on a recent assessment of the status of AS4 use in the PEPPOL eDelivery Network.
The OpenPEPPOL decision by the PEPPOL Authorities on setting a date for the transition from support for PEPPOL AS4 as an optional message exchange protocol to mandatory was made as part of an ongoing revision of the PEPPOL Transport Infrastructure Agreement (TIA) Annex 4 on Technical Specifications. The decision states that:
- Until 31 January 2020, support for the PEPPOL AS2 profile remains mandatory and support for the PEPPOL AS4 profile remains optional.
- From 1 February 2020 onwards, support for the PEPPOL AS2 profile becomes optional and support for the PEPPOL AS4 profile becomes mandatory.
- New entrants to the PEPPOL eDelivery Network may support only the PEPPOL AS4 profile from 1 August 2019 or the date agreed by the OpenPEPPOL Managing Committee.
The date 1 February 2020 results from the achievements of the actions defined in the Letter of Understanding signed by the European Commission and OpenPEPPOL in September 2016, outlining the transition from AS2 to AS4 message exchange protocols, and reflects the findings in a recent AS4 Market Readiness Survey Report made for OpenPEPPOL.
Main conclusions in the AS4 Market Readiness Survey Report
The survey shows that 20% of respondents have sent or received messages using AS4 as a communication protocol at the time of the survey.
The survey also shows that 47,4% of the remaining respondents plan to support AS4 during the next 6 months, evenly distributed between Q1 (23,7%) and Q2 (23,7%) of 2019.
First PEPPOL AS4 profile transactions in the PEPPOL eDelivery Network
The number of AS4 transactions in the PEPPOL network has been increasing steadily after the Norwegian Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi) offered a reward among the Access Point providers being the first to report 10.000 AS4 transactions in production.
The reward was won by the Norwegian Access Point and financial management service provider Uni Micro AS. In a statement on the introduction of support for the PEPPOL AS4 profile, UniMicro CEO Jannike Neset, says that:
“Uni Micro have a strategic approach to the PEPPOL eDelivery Network, which is to implement all new elements as soon as possible. AS4 was according to this strategy, natural for us to support immediately. We were also challenged by Difi, on how soon the PEPPOL AS4 profile could be supported and deployed into production. By using one senior developer, we were able to deploy the PEPPOL AS4 profile into production in only two working days. This includes the full range of development, testing and deployment. Our strategy on using Kubernetes (container technology), was also a key element in order to do this at such speed. Uni Micro will encourage other Access Points to support the PEPPOL AS4 profile without delay. In our experience, it can be done real swift and easy, within 2-4 days. “
Support for PEPPOL AS4 profile implementers
The PEPPOL AS4 profile can be found on http://docs.peppol.eu/edelivery/as4/specification/. A list of PEPPOL AS4 profile compliant Access Point Software can be found via https://peppol.eu/who-is-who/peppol-certified-aps/. The process for acceptance testing of both AS2 and AS4 Access Points can be found via https://peppol.eu/downloads/ap-guidelines/.
Generic information and support for the eDelivery AS4 profile can be found via https://ec.europa.eu/cefdigital/wiki/display/CEFDIGITAL/Access+Point+specifications.
Or download this handy infographic.
An up to date list of eDelivery AS4 conformant software solutions is available via https://ec.europa.eu/cefdigital/wiki/display/CEFDIGITAL/eDelivery+AS4+conformant+solutions.
An indicative sum of € 1 million in CEF grant funding is available to support the transition to the eDelivery AS4 profile. You can find more information on the 2019 CEF Telecom calls for proposals via https://ec.europa.eu/inea/en/connecting-europe-facility/cef-telecom/apply-funding/2019-cef-telecom-calls-proposals.