What is Node 2? Node 2 is the latest version of the Network Node Specification (Specification) and Exchange Network Protocol (Protocol) – the seminal technical definition of the Exchange Network. Node 2 defined an upgrade to the infrastructure of the Network by improving upon version 1.1 through new functionality and ensuring the Network remains current.
How was Node 2 an improvement over Node 1.1? With Node 2, Partners benefit from:
- The ability to exchange data of any format and size;
- The opportunity to improve and expand automation of business processes (e.g., by supporting data exchanges between small handheld devices and powerful servers);
- Improved notification and messaging about the status of data flows, including messages about errors that may have occurred during an exchange; and
- Greater compatibility with internal and external web services, which creates more opportunities to integrate data internally and with partners.
Why was Node 1.1 upgraded to Node 2? Version 1.1 of the Node Specification used technologies no longer supported by most software vendors. This technology deprecation drove the development of Node 2 using new, open web service, and XML standards that are supported by a wide range of vendors. Additionally, the redevelopment of the Specification presented an opportunity to improve on the existing infrastructure and provide new features and additional value to Partners.
What are the technical changes in Node 2? Node 2 makes two kinds of changes to the Protocol and Specification:
- Changes to underlying technologies and low-level protocols: most of these changes were invisible to Partners. They included:
- Switching the attachment method from DIME (which is being de-supported) to MTOM (now a W3C standard).
- Adopting a standard approach (“doc/literal wrapped” binding) in the Web Service Definition Language (WSDL). The inputs and outputs to Exchange Network methods are now full-fledged XML structures that can be validated for conformance against the WSDL. The WSDL-defined inputs/outputs for all Exchange Network methods were changed even though nothing functional about the methods’ inputs/outputs changed.
- Adopting the newer version of SOAP (version 1.2). This version of SOAP provides improved integration with the WSDL and includes new features such as improved fault handling.
- Limited changes to the architecture and operation of the Exchange Network services, including:
- Improving the fault and status messaging for transactions (i.e., GetStatus and NodeFault).
- Providing immediate status messaging for asynchronous operations and dynamic routing and notification support (i.e., Submit, Process and Solicit).
When was the Node 2.0 Specification released? The final version of the Node 2.0 Specification was made available on June 2, 2008.
What security features are available in Node 2.0? Node 2.0 includes the same robust security features implemented in Node 1.1 through the Network Authentication and Authorization Services (NAAS). The Exchange Network updated NAAS to ensure that a robust security model can be applied to each new feature of Node 2 Specific security features include user authentication through numerous methods and granular authorization permissions for each method and feature.