B2BLink is an Electronic Data Exchange Server, designed to provide real-time processing of transactions over the internet. An Internet Business Link.

B2BLink is an electronic data exchange server designed to provide real-time processing of transactions over the Internet – an Internet Business Link. The program itself consists of a central server that clients connect to, and an optional distributed client used to transfer data to the central server. The B2BLink server functions as an automated email client for collection of email transfers, an FTP Server that allows clients to connect and transfer data using any FTP Client (including Microsoft Internet Explorer) and a TCFT Server that uses our own proprietary protocol (allowing the B2BLink client to connect and transfer data). Installation and configuration is a relatively simple process for an IT professional with Windows based server competencies.

What can B2BLink be used for?

  • Automatic ordering from suppliers
  • Elimination of manual data re-entry
  • Replication of data between sites
  • Inter-branch communication
  • Performing scripted tasks on receipt of data
  • Critical data backups
  • Email forwarding
  • Data format conversion
  • Receive and print orders/invoices automatically (with expansion process)

B2BLink Product Objectives

  • High speed, seamless uninterrupted data transfer inter and intra enterprise
  • Minimize the amount of user interaction required for data exchange
  • Reduction of errors and manual handling in business transactions
  • Enhancement of the functionality and effectiveness of message standards for businesses
  • User-friendly and easy to customise to individual business requirements.
  • Secure, reliable and fully audited transaction paths

Functions

The B2BLink Server has three distinct functions.

  • It functions as a general file collection server, accepting files from various sources over the Internet (as well as both local and wide-area networks).
  • It functions as a ‘pre-processor’ for these files – they can be renamed, placed in specific directories, have their format converted or be passed to external programs.
  • It supports the insertion of these files into any database system to allow it to function as a facilitator for e-commerce, or any other real-time transaction based system. This could be anything from accepting product orders to archiving work from staff when they are out of the office.

FTP

The B2BLink Server also acts as an FTP server, and is fully compliant with the FTP Protocol, supporting Active or Passive mode FTP (PORT/PASV) and allowing any number of simultaneous client connections. Supporting FTP gives a threefold advantage: FTP is directly supported by Microsoft Windows (via Internet Explorer), meaning virtually any client will be able to access the B2BLink server without requiring any additional software. FTP is a direct, virtually instant connection (unlike email, which involves a delivery delay). Once the transfer is complete, the file has been received by the server and is being processed. FTP also involves no encoding – email encoding increases transmission size by over 25%, which can be an issue over slower connections (especially if large files are being exchanged).

The B2BLink Server

E-Mail

The Server has the ability to connect to any number of POP3 servers and check for email messages. These messages are downloaded and the attachments decoded and saved for further processing within the system. Information about the account the messages were downloaded from, the return address of each message and the name of the attachments are used to determine the action taken to process the files.

TCFT

The B2BLink Server also acts as a server for TCFT, the proprietary protocol designed for use over unreliable TCP connections. This protocol is unique to B2BLink, and utilizes advanced encoding and transmission techniques to guarantee that the file received is exactly the same in every respect as the file that was sent. This protocol is direct and instantaneous (similarly to FTP) but has the advantage of added security (due to the proprietary nature of the protocol), and increased connection fidelity. This is the method recommended for communication between B2BLink servers.

File Processing

The B2BLink Server processes files according to the client account they come in under, and the name of the file. Processes are fully defined by the user, and may include any number of actions, such as copying, renaming, uploading (TCFT or FTP), emailing (SMTP), program or TCP script execution, and format conversion.

The B2BLink Client

The B2BLink Client is a streamlined version of the Server, functioning mainly to send and (in a limited manner) receive files over TCFT. As such it is particularly easy to set up and run, and is recommended as the solution for a client with no existing file transmission methods. It includes a detailed transmission summary window, showing the status of all active transmissions so that any connection or transmission issues can be quickly identified.

Get in touch with us today

INTUITIVE SYSTEMS

PO Box 35992

Browns Bay

Auckland 0753

+64 9 828 1404