Microsoft uses four methods to transmit business documents from the e-business software to business partners. The transport method depends on the type of document to be sent, the e-business software processing the document, and the capability of the trading partner. The capability also involves business agreements between the trading partner and Microsoft. These methods are summarized in the following diagram.
File transport methods
XML Documents coming from BizTalk Server are transmitted to a trading partner directly over the Internet using HTTPS protocol. For outbound data this is accomplished by using BizTalk Server to post messages (data) to a page (ASP or CGI, etc.) on the trading partner's Web site that is capable of receiving posted data. A sample page for doing this is included with BizTalk Server.
For data inbound to Microsoft, a Web page is published for the trading partners' use in posting their data in a similar manner. Microsoft Information Technology Group (MSITG) uses BizTalk Framework 2.0 with reliable receipts. This standard helps to insure the successful transport of data between BizTalk servers.
Trading partners who do not use BizTalk Server only have the ability to create a BizTalk Framework reliable receipt. This is a standardized SOAP message that can be generated based upon data in the inbound message.
Direct Share allows trading partners to establish a direct connection into a private vendor network, which Microsoft has created outside the Microsoft corporate network, (also called the Extranet). Here, Microsoft has created secure, shared folders (directories) and user accounts for the trading partner. The file formats that can be traded include both standard and proprietary formats. A trading partner can access the private vendor network using dial-up remote access services (RAS) or T1, and PPTP to retrieve documents from and deliver documents to Microsoft.
EDI documents from Microsoft's GENTRAN servers are transferred using FTP over a T1 line to a Value Added Network (VAN). A trading partner can retrieve the documents through the VAN.
Encrypted EDI documents can be transmitted over the Internet using Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). This transport method uses a software product called Templar by CI Solutions.