Understanding webMethods.io B2B Channels - HTTP IN and HTTP OUT

What are channels in webMethods.io B2B?

Channels are means of communication between a webMethods.io B2B enterprise and external partners. Business entities could leverage these channels to exchange business documents. There are two categories of channels in webMethods.io B2B: INBOUND channel and OUTBOUND channel. Please refer webMethods.io B2B documentation for more details about channels.

In this article we will talk about the usage of two channels - HTTP-IN and HTTP-OUT.

HTTP-IN Channel

What is a HTTP-IN channel?

It is one type of inbound channels that webMethods.io B2B offers to receive documents from business partners. Like other inbound channels, it enables partners to send business documents to the webMethods.io B2B enterprise.

Why do we need HTTP-IN channels?

There are some important reasons why we should use HTTP-IN channels.

  • Since HTTP is a popular protocol, almost all business partners can take the advantage of it for sending documents to the webMethods.io B2B enterprise.
  • It is quite simple to create an HTTP-IN channel, and it does not require any technical expertise. Administrators can create one such channel without any prior knowledge as it takes just a name.
  • Moreover, not all partners are aware of AS2 or other B2B specific protocols. In this case, the easiest way to post documents to the webMethods.io B2B enterprise is via HTTP-IN channels.
  • Understanding and setting up B2B specific protocols such as AS2 requires additional cost for partners as it takes installation of such protocol-enabled products and trainings. Furthermore, there are some businesses whose use cases are simple, and these can be achieved via HTTP-IN.

Work-Flow

  • The webMethods.io B2B enterprise creates a HTTP-IN channel just by providing a readable name and optionally with description.
  • The webMethods.io B2B enterprise shares the endpoint URL to the intended partners along with user name and password.
  • Partners can use any HTTP client to post business documents to the webMethods.io B2B enterprise.

Use Case

  1. Consider a seasonal supplier who wants to send an invoice to the webMethods.io B2B enterprise, and the supplier does not have any B2B products. In this scenario, the webMethods.io B2B enterprise can create a HTTP-IN channel and share it to the supplier. The supplier can use a free HTTP client such as Postman and send the invoice to the webMethods.io B2B enterprise through the above-created HTTP-IN channel. Thus, this business transaction is achieved successfully between the webMethods.io B2B enterprise and seasonal (probably small) supplier without any additional investment by the supplier.

Note: Please check https://docs.webmethods.io/b2b/ for end to end document exchange.

HTTP-OUT Channel

What is a HTTP-OUT channel?

It is one type of outbound channels that webMethods.io B2B offers to send documents to business partners. Like other outbound channels, it facilitates webMethods.io B2B enterprises to send business documents to partners.

Why do we need HTTP-OUT channels?

Similar to HTTP-IN, there are some important reasons why we should use HTTP-OUT channels.

  • Since HTTP is a popular protocol, almost all business partners can have some HTTP endpoints to receive documents. Either they can install any HTTP Server or they can avail other cloud HTTP endpoints.
  • It is simpler to create a HTTP-OUT channel when compared to AS2 or other B2B specific channels as Administrators do not need any special skill set.
  • All partners are not aware of AS2 or such B2B specific protocols, so in this case, the easiest way to receive documents from¬†webMethods.io B2B enterprises is via HTTP-OUT channels.
  • The cost of setting up B2B specific products is high when compared to a plain HTTP server. Moreover, there are many businesses whose use cases are simple, for example, storing documents, which can be achieved via a HTTP-OUT channel.

Work-Flow

  • The webMethods.io B2B enterprise creates a HTTP-OUT channel just by providing partner's HTTP server host, port, location and credentials.
  • The webMethods.io B2B enterprise adds this channel to a partner profile as a preferred channel.
  • The webMethods.io B2B enterprise creates a processing rule selecting the deliver document option along with appropriate criteria.
  • Any document which is submitted either by the enterprise itself or by any partner matching the above processing rule will process the document and deliver it to the receiver partner's HTTP endpoint.

Use Case

  1. Consider a seasonal, small supplier who does not have any B2B products for processing documents digitally. However, their business needs to store Purchase-Order-Request documents on a temporary basis. They can have any cloud storage for storing their documents. In this scenario, the webMethods.io B2B enterprise can create a HTTP-OUT channel by using HTTP host, port and credential provided by the supplier. The enterprise then configures partner profile, processing rule before submitting the Purchase-Order-Request document to the above-created HTTP-OUT channel. This way the business transaction can done successfully without investing much on the B2B products on the supplier side.


Note: Please check https://docs.webmethods.io/b2b/ for end to end document exchange.