The Sterling B2B Integrator Advantage

Sterling B2B Integrator is configured strategically around the specific processes crucial to your company’s success.

Its systematic and managed approach supports your integration requirements for both transaction-oriented and batch processes, and works with both pre-existing Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) protocols and Internet-based XML protocols. You can enable your existing systems to integrate past, present, and future technologies and practices

Business Process Approach

The Sterling B2B Integrator approach to integration centers around business process management. A business process is a goal-driven, ordered flow of activities that accomplishes a business objective.

Using Sterling B2B Integrator, you integrate the activities that make up your company’s business processes. Common examples of such activities include:
  • XML, EDI, and proprietary file translation, transformation, and filtering
  • Human interaction through a browser interface (such as reviewing and approving data)
  • Content-based routing of messages
  • Data publishing
  • Extended process models that integrate the execution of a B2B protocol, such as AS2, with enterprise system integration, such as invoking the SAP adapter

You can create and coordinate activities into business process models, extending the automation of your processes and increasing the value of your e-business operations.

An example of a simple business process is the fire-and-forget publishing of a business event to a group of interested participants. The steps that comprise the process trigger the process and the subsequent publishing of the event to the interested parties.

A complex business process might require multiple interactions among many applications in a start-and-stop, request-response mode, along with human interaction, occurring over a long period of time.

For more information, see Business Process Engine.

Modular Design

Sterling B2B Integrator is designed around a core transaction engine, which orchestrates your message exchange, routing, translation, and other processes.

Modular design enables you to add capabilities for specific activities to the core, as required, promoting enhanced flexibility in adapting your system to changing requirements.

Examples of components that you can add include B2B services, adapters for specific applications and technology, and a Web-based forms-creation component that lets you create interfaces for human interaction. You can customize your solution to suit your requirements.

Building on Your Existing Assets

The compatibility of Sterling B2B Integrator with your existing systems and its modular design, drastically reduces the standard complications associated with large-scale systems changes.

Sterling B2B Integrator components not only work together, they work with the systems you already have in place, including the IBM® Sterling Gentran:Server® family of products and IBM Sterling Connect:Direct®IBM Sterling Connect:Enterprise®, and Sterling Information Broker®. By tightly coordinating your systems and streamlining their processes, you can save on costs, which you can apply to your core business or to additional integration-related components.

For more information, see Interoperability with IBM Sterling Gentran:Server and IBM Sterling Connect:Direct Products.

Leveraging Industry Standards

To meet your ongoing integration goals and business automation directives, you must rely on software that works within the accepted industry standards.

The Sterling B2B Integrator platform is built on industry-accepted data formats, communication protocols, workflow modeling, and security. This design structure maximizes interoperability between systems and trading partners, thereby providing the following benefits:
  • Reducing integration complexity and cost by minimizing the need for custom programming and re-training support staff

  • Supporting the rapid and secure delivery of emerging solutions for collaborative processes between businesses and business units

The following table details the industry standards upon which Sterling B2B Integrator‘s processing is based:
Design Level
Sterling B2B Integrator Standards
Process modeling

Business Process Modeling Language (BPML, an XML-based meta language), XPATH (a non-SML language that can identify parts of XML documents for later use), XSLT (Extensible Style Language Transformation)

  • B2B management: XML, EDI (EDIFACT, ANSI X12), B2B protocols (ebXML, EDIINT), RosettaNet
  • Internet transports: Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP), Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP for e-mail), File Transfer Protocol (FTP), SOAP, AS1, AS2, AS3
  • Security: Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), X.509, S/MIME, XML DSIG (digital signatures and data encryption)
  • Open standards: XPATH, XML schema, XSLT
  • Network management: SNMP (Simple Network ManagementProtocol), which enables exchange of information between networkdevices

Low-level infrastructure

J2EE Technology: JMS, JNDI, JDBC, and RMI

Security Model

You can create customized security and facilitate related user-based routing within a process, based on the security settings for a user.

You can designate entities (such as a trading partner) and groups (users, depending on their role), and assign them the permissions that you configure.

The security standards supported include:
  • AS2 and AS3 transport
  • Digital certificate management
  • Document encryption in the database
  • SSL for HTTP
  • SFTP and FTP server capability
  • A trading partner-specific process firewall
  • Digital signatures with ebXML messaging
  • User ID and password authentication for user interface applications
  • A service that revokes compromised digital certificates