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Created: October 25, 2002.
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Sun Secure Trading Agent Technology Preview Supports ebXML MS and CPA.

Sun Microsystems has announced a Technology Preview for the Sun ONE Integration Server Secure Trading Agent (STA). STA Version 1.0 Beta "implements a standards-based, secure, reliable system that provides for the exchange of business documents between trading partners, according to an agreement between the trading partners. This support for electronic business transactions is based on emerging ebXML standards, which are geared toward helping small to medium-sized companies use the Internet for conducting business transactions with their trading partners."

"This Beta release of Secure Trading Agent supports both the ebXML Message Service Specification v2.0 and ebXML Collaboration Protocol Profile and Agreement Specification v2.0. It enforces the following security measures specified in an ebXML agreement:

  1. Transport Security: Security measures for the transport of ebXML messages, including business documents attached to the message. Transport security can be implemented using a combination of secure transport protocols (such as SSL), digital certificates, and digital signatures.
  2. Document Security: The encryption and digital signing of business documents attached to an ebXML message, providing measures for authentication, data integrity, and confidentiality.
  3. Authorization: Verification by Secure Trading Agent that persons acting in roles for parties are authorized to perform those roles. Authorization of user roles is not implemented in the Beta release of Secure Trading Agent.
  4. Nonrepudiation: A guarantee that a message arrives and also a guarantee of the contents of the message. Nonrepudiation includes being able to provide a history of transactions for auditing purposes and proof of delivery for each transaction.

From the User's Guide: "ebXML (Electronic Business using eXtensible Markup Language) is a modular suite of specifications that enables enterprises of any size to conduct business over the Internet. ebXML provides a standard way to exchange business messages and documents, and allows companies to automate business transactions with their trading partners according to negotiated agreements. ebXML specifications allow trading partners to create trading agreements that specify the types of messages that will be exchanged and how the exchange will occur over the Internet. Business documents can be attached to the messages. The types of business documents that can be attached and a workflow for the messages can be correlated to an ebXML business process specification or can be specified according to internally defined procedures. ebXML specifications also provide options to support an audit trail for messages exchanged, standards for messaging reliability, and other provisions to ensure the integrity of messages and their contents."

From the Release Notes:

Secure Trading Agent Features implemented in the STA Version 1.0 Beta release:

  • Create and edit Collaboration Protocol Agreements (CPAs)
  • Deploy CPAs to the Secure Trading Agent runtime
  • Start, continue, and close conversations based on actions specified in an agreement. Starting and continuing conversations is the sending and receiving of ebXML messages, based on actions specified in an agreement.
  • Download documents attached to ebXML messages
  • Review the conversation history of all conversations (open and closed) in an agreement
  • "Quality of Service" features outlined in the above named specifications, including:
    • Reliable messaging
    • Nonrepudiation
    • Secure transport protocol (SSL) for exchanging messages
    • Digitally signed documents

Secure Trading Agent Components. The following Secure Trading Agent components are used to implement Secure Trading Agent features:

  • ebXML Agreement Editor: To create, edit, import, and deploy agreements
  • ebXML Communications Center: To import, deploy, and undeploy agreements; also, to send and receive messages, download attached documents, review conversation history, monitor the runtime, and configure the Secure Trading Agent system
  • ebScript scripting utility: Command line version of the ebXML Communications Center
  • Control Panel: Command line utility (ebctl) for configuring Secure Trading Agent
  • ebXML Messaging Service: Part of the Secure Trading Agent runtime responsible for sending and receiving ebXML messages
  • Secure Trading Agent Registration utility: Command line utility for verifying your installation

The STA Tutorial "illustrates how one trading partner (Secure Trader) creates an ebXML agreement and then negotiates the details with another trading partner (ebXML Partner). Both trading partners then deploy the agreement and exchange messages. The tutorial provides a quick introduction to Secure Trading Agentl after you complete this tutorial you will be able to do the following: (1) Create an ebXML agreement using the ebXML Agreement Editor; (2) Exchange 'proposed' agreements with a trading partner to arrive at an 'agreed' agreement; (3) Deploy ebXML agreements using the ebXML Communications Center; (4) Send and receive ebXML messages, based on the agreement you create; (5) Close a conversation and take an agreement out of service..."

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