TIBCO Developers Library – What is Business Connect?

TIBCO Business Connect

Real-time capability is the most important factor for businesses today. It links the proceedings of personnel, applications and partners through fast and efficient communication. It makes information available anytime and anywhere. It is flexible to the changes that may happen anytime, which will optimize the business activities accordingly. TIBCO makes sure that these capabilities are within our reach. TIBCO BusinessConnect lets you experience optimized business flow, integrated application and a secure communication across all your trading partners.

What is TIBCO BusinessConnect?

TIBCO BusinessConnect is business-to-business (B2B) communication software that enables different companies to establish a secure transaction using dissimilar internal systems. It is integrated with the TIBCO BusinessWorks platform. It uses a web-based administration tool called TIBCO Administrator for easy configuration of server settings, hosts, business partners, security settings, and business protocols. Internal applications that communicate to the BusinessConnect server can be easily created using TIBCO Designer. BusinessConnect enables business partners to exchange documents with reliable security capabilities and non-repudiation support.

What is non-repudiation?

Non-repudiation means a proof of existence of a certain transaction. This feature will really benefit the companies because transactions are recorded with digital signatures and timestamp, which prove that a transaction has taken place. Neither the host nor the partner company can deny that a transaction took place. All transaction records are saved on the database, and you can use a third party application to connect to BusinessConnect for this feature.

What are the protocols supported by BusinessConnect?

BusinessConnect supports popular B2B protocols such as RosettaNet, chemXML, UCCnet, ebXML, cXML, xCBL, EDI, and EDI – HIPAA. Upon installation, BusinessConnect is bundled with the EZComm protocol. It supports transports such as HTTP(S), FTP(S), SMTP, FILE, AS1 and AS2. It also supports data format like XML, MIME, S/MIME, SOAP and EDI, as well as multiple security standards, such as PKCS and Java Keystore.

What is a business protocol?

A business protocol is a standard used by the BusinessConnect server for the communication of two business partners. BusinessConnect has an Operation Editor that lets you configure your selected protocol.

How do you set-up a B2B connection?

You will be using the TIBCO Administrator to set-up a B2B Connection. First, you have to deploy the BusinessConnect engine on the TIBCO Administrator. It can be a Single Server Mode or Dual firewall DMZ Mode, and you have to select the type of transport and port number you wish to use before the deployment of the engine. Then, select and configure what type of business protocol that fits your company’s needs. The configuration of the protocol depends on the type of protocol you use. Next, you have to create host and partner participants. Use these host and partner in creating business agreements. Lastly, you can create private processes. Private processes are internal processes that are connected to the BusinessConnect server, and send and receive information being passed over the public processes.

What is the difference between Single Server Mode and Dual firewall DMZ Mode?

Single Server Mode offers a minimal but secure and reliable security that can be deployed in your system. The Dual firewall DMZ Mode is a more secure deployment setting because you can place your DMZ behind your firewall. This means that you have a double security of data exchange since you have your firewall and DMZ securely check the data being exchanged. You can even add another firewall as your second firewall behind the DMZ for a more secure communication.

What are Hosts and Partners?

The host and the partner are the two elements that participate in the exchange of data. They are referred to as participants. The host is your company. It is configured to reflect your company unit and connected to your BusinessConnect B2B gateway. The partner is your partner company. It is configured to reflect your partner company unit and it is connected to its own B2B gateway. It’s a huge advantage for TIBCO BusinessConnect users because BusinessConnect is capable of integrating applications even if the other company is using a different B2B solution, as long as requirements are met, such as using the same protocol.

What is a business agreement?

In order for the two trading partners to exchange data and perform business deals, the host and partner must establish an electronic B2B deal. This deal is called a business agreement in BusinessConnect. To configure the business agreement, you have to select the host and partner involved in the deal. Then, select the protocol common to both parties, and configure the security. You can even select the validity dates for the deal.

What are private and public processes?

A private process is an internal process in your company, which sends and receives data from your BusinessConnect server and communicates to the server using Rendezvous messaging. You can create a private process using TIBCO Designer. BusinessConnect is bundled with the BusinessConnect Plug-in which you can use to easily create business processes in TIBCO Designer. A public process is the one responsible for the exchange of data of both BusinessConnect servers across the Internet. It includes both BusinessConnect servers and the medium that connects these servers.

How is the transaction being conducted?

When you send a transaction to a BusinessConnect server, the transaction is sent via Rendezvous Certified Messaging (RVCM). The server listens to a subject name and waits for the message to arrive. A message is considered valid if it conforms to structure specified in the agreement between participants. That certain message is encrypted by the server before the server sends it to the partner company. The message is then received by the partner’s BusinessConnect server. The partner’s BusinessConnect server decrypts the message and sends it to an RVCM subject name. The internal process of the partner company listens to that RVCM subject name, waiting for the message to arrive. When the message arrives, the data is processed and the partner company sends a response back to the host company via RVCM going through the servers.

The host subject names are called Initiator Request and Initiator Response while the partner subject names are called Responder Request and Responder Response. The host sends a request, and waits for a response. The partner waits for the request, and sends the response after processing the request.

BusinessConnect is a great tool for reliable business-to-business communication. It supports numerous protocols and easy to configure, making it a powerful tool to integrate your trading partners.

Cyrus C. is a Senior TIBCO Consultant of Xmarter Inc., a TIBCO consulting company dedicated at delivering desirable TIBCO consulting experience for clients who want to integrate their business processes. You can know more about the TIBCO expertise of Xmarter Inc. at http://www.xmarter.com. If you want to reach Cyrus, drop an email at info@xmarter.com.

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