A Value Added Network (VAN) is a private network provider that is hired to facilitate the transportation of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) documents or provide other network services. The VAN service acts as a virtual mailbox used by trading partners to exchange data.
VANs traditionally transmit data formatted as Electronic Data Interchange but increasingly they also transmit data formatted as XML or in more specific “binary” formats. VANs usually service a given industry and provide “Value Added Network Services” (“VAN Services” or VANSs) such as data transformation between formats (EDI-to-XML, EDI-to-EDI, etc.).
A VAN not only transports (receives, stores and forwards) documents but also adds audit information to them and modifies the data in the process of automatic error detection and correction or conversion between communications protocols.
B2BGateway, although not a VAN, works with and connects to all of the major VANs (GXS, Inovis, Covisint and many more) as well as many smaller VANs. If your trading partner has a VAN that we have not used, the interconnect is set up, tested and put into production – usually within a day. A VAN is just one of the many ways documents can be transported. Some of the more popular transmission protocols include AS2, SFTP, FTP and others. There is no limit to the types of transmission protocols B2BGateway can connect with; they are only different, based upon the preference of your industry or trading partner.