We’ve been working on a lot of things this past year and one of them was a big update of Holodeck B2B. This major update introduces a lot of internal changes, of which the following are most interesting to users:
You can now define the service type to be used in the P-Mode. This saves having to define the service type for every submitter.
We’ve upgraded to Java 11. And although Holodeck B2B was already very fast and resource-efficient, we’ve improved resource management even further.
Most importantly this release includes a new, extended API. We’ve added new interfaces for delivery of message units to the back-end. There is now also support for a-synchronous delivery of messages and for redelivery. This major update means that when updating Holodeck B2B you will also need to update all extensions and connectors that you use. If you’ve created your own extensions to Holodeck B2B, you will also have to update these.
You can find the full list of changes in the Changelog, also included in the download.
Holodeck B2B 5.0 is out and these are the changes we’d like to highlight.
Although Holodeck B2B is back end software, we thought that system admins would appreciate a quick and easy way to monitor the gateway without referring to the business system logs. That’s why we’ve added two user interfaces to Holodeck B2B. With these UI’s, gateway admins can monitor message status and check gateway configuration.
Command line UI: Overviews of P-Modes, Certificates, Message status and Message history are included. Run the tool without entering a parameter for a list of all available functions. Graphic UI: lets you quickly see how your gateway is configured in a graphical interface. You’ll find an overview of the UI functions available in the documentation.
We’d love to hear what you think of the new UI and if there is anything else you’d like to be able to monitor. Let us know through our contact form or our social media!
2-way Asynchronous messaging
You can now specify a 2-way Async message exchange in 1 single P-Mode for simpler gateway configuration. This increases the ways in which you can manage P-Modes.
We are continuously making Holodeck B2B more modular and flexible. This release, we’ve added a new separate Certificate Manager to Holodeck B2B. It manages trust validation of signing and encryption certificates, as well as more security configuration options. The default security manager supports OCSP validation. This is used in for example the Peppol network. You can now check the Peppol CA online to validate whether a certificate is still valid or has been revoked. In addition, the Certificate manager lets you implement your own certificate policies.
You can add a REST interface to your gateway for connecting with your back end system using our new REST extension.
And there’s more…
For a full overview of all changes, please consult the Changelog in the download.
The latest release of Holodeck B2B sees the the addition of support for sending a selective pull request. We’ve also added enhancements in the message processing event mechanism and improvements in the P-Mode finding algorithm. Together with some smaller adjustments these improve the interoperability with other AS4 gateways used for implementation of the ENTSOG and ATO SBR ebMS profiles.
Holodeck B2B already featured support for Pull messaging scenarios. With support for sending selective pull requests using simple selection items as described in section 5.1 of the ebMS 3 Part 2 specification, you now have more ways of configuring how and when you want your gateway to send a pull request. Another big change is that the back end system can now trigger a pull request, instead of having to use the default interval defined in the gateway itself. In this release, the support is limited to sending of selective pull requests with “simple selection items” as described in the specification. Selection criteria are not used when processing received pull requests. To use these new features, you will need to add the Holodeck B2B Pull Request Trigger extension to your gateway.
New Pull Request Trigger extension
In addition to the new version of Holodeck B2B, we’ve also released a new extension which you will need to install to use the new selective pulling functionality. This extension allows the Consumer application (your back end application) to control when a Pull Request is sent by Holodeck B2B instead of using the default fixed intervals. It is also where you configure the criteria for your selective pull requests.
More message processing events
But wait, there’s more! 😉 We’ve also added more message processing events around message submission, processing and header validation. These give you even more hooks to add custom functionality to your solution. And of course we’ve fixed a few bugs along the way. You’ll find the full overview of additions in the Change Log.
Looking for support on your AS4 gateway? Chasquis, the creators and maintainers of Holodeck B2B are available to provide support contracts and consultancy services. We can help you get your gateway up and running, or optimise your existing gateway. We also offer fixed-price packages for installed on-premises gateways that include profile specific extensions, for example for PEPPOL, ENTSOG and ATO Single Touch Payroll (STP), as well as full service hosted gateways. Get in touch and let us know how we can help you.
The Holodeck B2B stack is growing! Today we’ve released the latest version of our AS4 gateway, as well as a new open source extension you can use to add AS2 messaging functionality to your gateway. Finally, we’ve also made the BDXR Common toolkit available – a set of libraries you can use to build SML/SMP clients.
Holodeck B2B 4.0
This latest release adds some important new features to an already highly configurable message service handler that still works out of the box.
More validation options:
Strict validation of ebMS headers.
Implement your own validations that will run during message processing by the gateway. Problems that are caught kan be reported directly back to the receiver. On ebMS level messages can also be rejected based on business rules.
More flexible configuration of retries. Interval times are individually configurable – for example, a very quick first retry and increasingly larger intervals for the following retries.
More message processing events. These allow automated monitoring of message processing and let you follow up on certain events by a technical management system or on the business application layer.
Improved logging. Operators can follow the message flow on various levels of detail.
Option to add AS2 functionality using the Holodeck B2B AS2 extension.
Introduction of a security module. You now have the option to use your own security module, which may be needed for specific security policies / business requirements.
Holodeck B2B AS2 is an extension for Holodeck B2B 4.0 and higher that lets you add AS2 messaging functionality to your existing AS4 gateway. Whether the gateway uses AS2 or AS4 can be configured in the P-Mode of the message exchange. Chasquis (the creators of Holodeck B2B) offer even more functionality in their PEPPOL gateway, that adds auto configuration using SMP – including automatic selection of the correct protocol to use per receiver (AS2 or AS4).
We have created this extension for businesses that need to make the transition from AS2 to AS4. Instead of having to switch from one gateway to another on a cut off date you can now plan your migration on your own terms. When the time comes for you to switch from AS2 to AS4, all you need to do is edit the P-Mode for the message exchange – no more than a few minutes work. The AS2 module includes the following features:
Signing (including SHA-256 and many others)
Configuration based on Holodeck B2B P-Modes
Download the Holodeck B2B AS2 extension from the repository.
BDXR Common toolkit
A toolkit containing libraries for building SML / SMP clients, to retrieve messaging partners’ metadata from the SMP. This metadata is then used to configure the gateway. This setup is required by the PEPPOL messaging profile. This toolkit is aimed at developers who want to create their own client. It is not a ready to use SMP client. The download does include a sample client for you to base your work on. Like Holodeck B2B, it’s design is modular and it can easily be adapted to the needs of your business environment. Download the BDXR Common toolkit.
Today we’ve released a large update for our popular open source AS4 messaging software, Holodeck B2B 2.1. We’ve added some important new functionality, fixed several bugs and made some general code improvements.
The most important new features of Holodeck B2B 2.1 are:
Multi-hop messaging, where a message passes through multiple intermediaries to reach it’s destination but still maintains end-to-end security
Messages without attachments sent as single part messages and not SOAP with attachments
Trust store to hold the certificates of trusted Certificate Authorities
Event framework to enable additional notification to external components
Automatic message purging cleans up all meta data (including payload data for User Messages) after a configurable number of days
Flexible configuration of pulling, giving the option to build your own policies
All received ebMS error signals are logged, even if they can’t be processed or are not for Holodeck B2B
e-SENS and EESSI compliant
Holodeck B2B 2.1 is again fully AS4, ENTSOG and e-SENS compliant, having passed the eSENS compliancy test. And with the introduction of Multi-hop messaging, it now also EESSI compliant. It has been interoperability tested with various other AS4 open source and commercial products including .Net implementations.
Get the latest version now from the Download page.
Support and consultancy
If you are looking for support for your Holodeck B2B AS4 gateway, or would like advice on how our MSH can be used with your current business software, feel free to contact us at info@Chasquis-consulting.com
Message delivery configuration in P-Mode with support for specific delivery options for receipt and errors
Option to include refToMessageId in a user message to enable easy reference of related messages
Generic P-Modes. Only define the parameters common to a set of messages in the P-Mode and supply the remaining details when the message is sent
Non-repudiation of receipt
Signing and encrypting the message using WS-Security
and also offers improved logging and lots of documentation, both in the code and online. Holodeck is fast, light weight, stand-alone and as it is Java based it runs on most platforms.
Interfaces for easy extensibility
To improve extensiblity, Holodeck B2B has been split into 2 parts: Core and Interfaces, both with their own license. Core code is GPLv3 but the Interfaces are LGPLv3, making it possible to connect Holodeck to your own system, even if that is not open-source software.
Versatile and fully AS4 and e-SENS compliant
Holodeck B2B 2.0 is not only fully AS4 compliant, it has also passed the e-SENS conformance and interoperability tests. It can be used as the e-Delivery building block in e-SENS, in CEF projects and any project using the ENTSOG / e-SENS AS4 profile. As Holodeck B2B has full support for AS4 it can also be used for STP and Superstream gateways.
CeBIT, the largest and most internationally represented IT fair in the world, will take place between 14th and 18th March 2016 in Hannover (Germany).
The European project e-SENS together with CEF and e-CODEX have a booth showing Digital Public Services Across Borders. Among the topics presented will be – IT solutions addressing the problems of compliance with EU legislation – Interoperability achieved in various policy domains
Furthermore, e-SENS will demonstrate the interoperability of the e-Delivery solutions of different vendors that comply to the ebMS3/AS4 profile. Holodeck B2B is one of the solutions presented. Having passed the e-SENS interoperability and conformance tests, Holodeck B2B is ready for use in all e-Delivery projects.
Part of the Holodeck B2B team will be at Cebit on friday march 18th. Hall 7, stand 39. Come and say hello!
During the summer of 2015 we participated in the interoperability tests for the EU e-SENS program. We ran tests against AS4 implementations by IBM, Flame, Axway and Domibus. Holodeck B2B completed all succesfully. During the tests, Holodeck B2B showed that it supports all features of the e-SENS AS4 profile, including the AES-128 GCM encryption algorithm.
Features tested included:
AS4 reception awareness
Non-repudiation of receipt
Encryption using the AES-128 GCM algorithm
Holodeck B2B and AS4 proved capable of processing large files up tot 2GB. Further tests of sending large files are planned for later this year. If you would like to run tests yourself, you can request the release candidate of Holodeck B2B.
The latest beta of the Holodeck B2B AS4 message service handler is now available on request. Most important new features are encryption and signing based on WS-Security, making Holodeck B2B now fully AS4 compliant.
Holodeck B2B supports end-to-end message encryption in a point to point exchange. The Holodeck B2B security module uses your system’s default crypto provider to encrypt the message. By changing the crypto engine you can configure the supported algorithms.
With signing of messages implemented, Holodeck B2B now offers
Authorization of pull requests based on the X.509 certificate.
Authentication of push and pull messages including non-repudiation receipts.
The AS4 specification defines three conformance profiles: ebHandler, Light and Minimal Client. Holodeck B2B complies with all three. We have a full overview under the Detailed feature list.
With the addition of message authentication and encryption the Holodeck B2B open source messaging solution is ready to support Superstream and Entsog AS4 profiles.
Beta 3 is available on request. We’d like to know more about why you are considering using Holodeck B2B. Which features are most important to you, looking at the current features as well as things you’d like to see in Holodeck B2B in the future? If you would like to try the new version, please contact us using the form below.
*edit: As Holodeck B2B 2.0 is out of beta per april 2016, you can find the latest version on the Download page.*