On January 17th CEF eInvoicing launched a new automated process for the registration and configuration of new community members. This is built around the Test Bed as its core conformance testing platform.
Since May 2017 the ISA² Interoperability Test Bed is being used by the CEF eInvoicing building block to realise its conformance testing service. This service allows solution providers, service providers and public entities to check the compliance of their eInvoicing solutions against the requirements of the European standard on eInvoicing . Using scenario-based test cases, invoices can be sent and received using eDelivery as a messaging channel supporting both the AS2 and AS4 protocols.
As conformance testing proceeds, CEF eInvoicing staff has been enhancing the process to further streamline the experience of its community members. Along these lines the CEF eInvoicing community was the first one to support self-registration (available as of Test Bed release 1.7.0), allowing new users to register a Test Bed account without involving support staff. With self-registration in place the remaining step preventing full automation of the registration process was the technical configuration of eDelivery access points to enable message exchange.
Working in close collaboration with the Test Bed team, CEF support staff launched on January 17th the latest update to enable full automation. The resulting setup is an excellent example of the scripting extensions that can complement the core Test Bed and extend its configuration capabilities. Once a new community member chooses AS4 as the desired messaging channel to test over, an external automated process is launched that reads the party's information from the Test Bed's database, configures it with the Test Bed's access point, and generates the configuration package for the member's own access point. This configuration package is then stored in the Test Bed and is made available to download for the relevant user(s) through its interface.
An interesting detail in this process is that before the configuration package is made available, users are prevented from launcing test sessions. As such, inevitable technical errors are avoided as well as the effort from both the users and the support team to investigate. This showcases another recent feature of the Test Bed, namely non-editable parameters (available as of Test Bed release 1.7.0) that are reserved to administrators or external tooling. Defining the discussed configuration package as such a parameter, and also marking it as required, ensures that users can proceed with tests only if the setup is complete.
For further information on CEF eInvoicing you can view its entry in the CEF Digital portal as well as its specific announcement for the new automation update. If you are already using the Test Bed you are invited to consider this update as a showcase for extensions you could introduce in your own test setup. If you are new to the Test Bed, you can find its information on Joinup, with the Test Bed's value proposition being an ideal starting point. Finally, to remain updated of all the latest Test Bed news: