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An ancient technique from the past where a pigeon is used to transfer a message to another person. While this no longer prevails, circumstances forced a company in US to use this technique for transferring huge amount of data to a destination. Concept called “carrier pigeon data transfer”

The company used a homing pigeon to transfer 4GB of data in a datacard to destination 50 miles away and at sametime initiated a connection via the internet to transfer the data. It took 2 hrs 6 min and 57 sec for the pigeon while the company which regularly transfers data could manage to transfer only 4% of this data using broadband services.

This places a question on the current methods of integration which exploit the internet like http and https transfers. While the file sizes of EDI mostly remain very small there might be other integration scenarios where files sizes are in GBs. Mostly organisations have MFT(managed file transfer) solutions (example – connect products) for B2B file transfers with larger size. So even with standards like AS2 being adopted by most of the organizations, they are still dependent on the MFT products for large size files.

Seeburger is one of the vendors working on the new “AS2 Restart” standards for large size file (payload) transfers using AS2 specification. AS2 restart is based on simple concept of tracking how much data is already transferred so far. In case of failed transmission sender checks with the receiver as to how much data is already transferred and resumes transmission from the point of disconnection.

This is not true with other standards like FTP/SFTP where it can be cumbersome to restart a file transfer, with size 4GB, after disconnection when 3.5GB is already transferred.

Future years might see “AS2 restart” as the highly implemented standard for large file transfers. But for now, the game is in favour of MFT vendors who should be looking start considering “AS2 restart” as a competitor and not the pigeon.

 

References: –

1. http://www.drummondgroup.com/html-v2/pr_11_11_09.html

2. http://www.drummondgroup.com/pdfs/draft-harding-as2-restart-00.txt 

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