Below you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions about becoming a provider of a PEPPOL Access Point (AP) or an SMP (service metadata publisher). If you require an SMP only, go ahead an sign up for a free trial SMP account to find out how easy it is.
Do you have questions that are not listed below? Please get in contact with us.
Why would we even consider having a Peppol Access Point (AP)?
The possibility to reach many thousands of already connected business entities across Europe. As of January 2020 almost 400.000 organizations globally can receive electronic business documents through the Peppol network.
By having your own Peppol Access Point you don’t need to worry about establishing roaming agreements with other AP service providers. This is already taken care of by you (and them) signing the Transport Infrastructure Agreement which prohibits AP providers to charge for business documents exchanged with other APs. AP service providers are only allowed to charge their own customers, not other APs.
How do we get our own Peppol Access Point?
Get in touch with us so we can talk about your requirements. When we have a signed contract the setup of your Peppol Access Point and SMP can begin. If you want the SMP service only, you don’t have to sign an agreement with Peppol and the actions listed below don’t apply.
The mandatory testing and approval process for new Peppol Access Points is completely taken care of by us.
In general the process looks like this for you when signing up for the Access Point service with us:
- Join OpenPeppol, sign the Service Provider agreement with a Peppol authority and settle the OpenPeppol membership fee.
- You should start to prepare to understand and process ACK/NACKs as well as the envelope needed when you exchange documents with Peppol. Current versions of the mandatory Peppol BIS message types can be found here. There are also sets of national Peppol documents such as the ones listed below:
- If you decide to go for the White labeled Access Point service, we will request your Test AP certificate. Please provide your most recent Annex 1 along with a company registration document from a public authority in your country. When you receive an e-mail and an SMS passcode from Peppol, please pass them on to us so we can enroll for your certificate. We advise that you let us do it since it is part of our implementation process which is really lean and swift. If you already have an AP certificate, please follow this procedure to share it with us.
- We are now busy setting up and configuring your Access Point instance and preparing it for Peppol Testbed accreditation.
- Ensure that you can perform write and delete actions on the ftp account we have created for you.
- We will perform the Peppol Testbed rounds and upload the pdf test report to Peppol’s Helpdesk as well as a request for you Production AP certificate. which will render another e-mail and SMS passcode from Peppol to you. Pass them on to us without taking any further action.
- When we have notified you about your Production AP being deployed, you should follow this procedure to verify the setup. It will ensure that you can handle ACK/NACKs as well as incoming files from other Peppol APs.
- Done! You can now exchange messages with all Peppol Access Points.
We have already enrolled for the Access Point certificate, what now?
If you already have a non expired AP certificate that we can use when deploying your Access Point you should to provide the private-key-pair unchained in PKCS#12 format as it is when you export it from the browser, in a PKCS#12 as a .p12 file.
Use the below means of communication to share the certificate with us. If you use another way to send your certificate we take no responsibility for the protection of its integrity.
- Upload your AP certificate to your SFTP account on ftp.galaxygw.com and let us know.
- Send the keystore password on another channel. i.e via SMS/Whatsapp, to us.
It is strongly advised that we take care of the certificate enrolment process for you as stated in the previous question in this FAQ.
For further details, please visit FAQ question number 1, bullet number 3.
Our Access Point certificate is about to expire. What are the next steps?
Your Peppol Access Point certificate has to be renewed every 24 months through a process that involves OpenPeppol. If the certificate expires it will make your AP unable to exchange documents with other APs. We are happy to help out to make the certificate renewal process as smooth as possible for you.
Here is the complete process outlined:
- We will notify you about your AP certificate expiry well in advance of the expiration date
- We will ask you to provide
- a business registration document issued by an authority in your country, not older than 6 months
- a signed Peppol Service Provider Agreement (that came into effect on July 1 2022)
- contact details (email address and mobile phone number) of the person in your company that is the contact for the certificate
- We need to know if you have Peppol participants in other SMPs than in the Tickstar SMP.
- We will initiate the request process through Peppol’s Helpdesk for both a Test and Production AP certificate
- You will receive an enrollment e-mails from Enterprise PKI Team <email@example.com> and SMS passcodes from Peppol related to each of the requested Test and Prod certificate. Please forward all of them to us as advised in the email instruction in bullet point no. 1 above
- We will enroll for your certificate.
- We will update the certificate in your AP instance and in the Tickstar SMP.
- We will send the public key of the AP certificate to you
- You will have to update other SMPs in which you have Peppol participants, using the public key you received in the previous step.
The entire process takes about 2-4 hours for us to complete and we will charge for our hours.
What is an SMP? Do we need one?
An SMP (service metadata publisher) publishes the receiving capability of a Peppol receiver – also known as a Peppol participant. Unless a Peppol receiver is registered in an SMP no one can send any documents to it. The receiver also has to be published to the SML (service metadata locator), which is done by dragging the slider “Publish in SML” in the SMP of Tickstar when creating the participant.
Parties that only send are not necessarily registered in an SMP.
Please be reminded that the SMP interacts with the SML only and not the SMK (the SML test environment). If sending Peppol Access Point (corner 2) use a Test certificate this SMP can’t be used. If you want to use an SMP that supports the SMK you should use the Test SMP on https://www.test.galaxygw.com.
How are Peppol receivers identified?
A Peppol receiver needs to be registered in an SMP and it can only be registered in one (1) SMP. It is identified using a combination of any of the ISO6523 identifiers available and the corresponding identifier value. If you can’t perform a Participant Lookup for the receiver, you are using an incorrect ParticipantID. Here’s a sample lookup: https://my.galaxygw.com/participantlookup#/0007/5567212047
The syntax of the ReceiverID looks like this for a Swedish organization number: 0007:5567212047. The corresponding GLN identifier for that organization number is 0088:7365567212048. You should put the ReceiverID in line 12 in the SBDH envelope. Please go here for a current ISO 6523 code list used in Peppol.
Which message types can be used in Peppol?
There are more than 50 document types approved by Peppol authorities. allowed to be exchanged in the Peppol eDelivery network.
How do we wrap Peppol files using the required SBDH envelope?
The SBDH envelope is an XML structure in which the business document (message payload) is wrapped. Please learn more about it.
We received a NACK (negative acknowledgment). What now?
If you are still in the test phase the most likely reason is that you sent non-conformant data in the envelope.
The error description in the RCPT file will help you to amend it and re-send your file. Please verify that it is a valid xml file with all mandatory elements. If you received a high-level validation warning/error in the RCPT, the business document was not fully compliant with the schematron rules for that document type.
That folder should normally be empty but if such a file can be found, your file was either not well formed or had a fatal SBDH error. Ensure that the SBDH is complete and correct by using any of the online XML Validators available. Resubmit the file.
If you are in production with your Peppol Access Point you should check if the receiving Access Point is online or not – please use the Peppol AP Monitor. To find out which AP a receiver use, just perform a Participant Lookup. Depending on the error code(s) you received in the NACK, you should take appropriate action.
For a full list of error codes and recommended actions, go here.
We received an ACK (positive acknowledgement) but the file did not reach the receiver. What should we do?
If you receive an ACK (code 200) you can be certain that the file was successfully delivered to the next Peppol Access Point.
If that file did not reach the end receiver, the receiving Access Point has to be notified.
How can I find the helpdesk contact details to a Peppol Access Point?
To find the helpdesk contact details to the receiver’s Peppol Access Point or SMP, just perform a Participant Lookup using the identifier of the receiver.
You can find the receiver identifier in the file you sent, refer to line 9 in the SBDH sample on https://www.tickstar.com/support/payload-envelope.
The ReceiverID should look something like ‘0007:5567212047‘.
To find out in which SMP the receiver is registered, click the below picture.
How do I find out in which SMP a participant is registered or which Access Point a Peppol receiver use?
You can easily find out in which SMP a participant is registered and which Access Point (AP) it uses to receive. Just perform a Participant Lookup using the identifier of the receiver to find the contact details of the receiver’s AP. You need to the receiver’s Peppol ID, which includes the ISO 6523 code.
The Peppol network is growing rapidly and OpenPeppol has started to focus on the quality of the documents exchanged. A stricter document validation will therefore be deployed in your upgraded AP instance of your files to Peppol. You will get a high-level error message if a file contains errors. We can enable detailed errors as part of the Validation add-on service. Let us know if you want to try it out.
To ensure a smooth migration we recommend you to verify the validity of your sent documents before the migration.
You can verify your files automatically using the Validation add-on service we offer or manually using any of the free online options such as
What will change for you when upgrading your AP instance are the following things:
AS2 and AS4 endpoint URLs
- You will get a new AS2 AP URL. If you have registered receivers in other SMPs (such as Elma in Norway or elsewhere), let us know and we will provide the updated AS2 Access Point URL so that you can sync the update in other SMP(s) with the switch on our side.
- You will get a new AS4 AP URL. It will be provided to you after we completed the AS4 test procedure for your AP.
AP error codes
- We have replaced all error codes with new, more detailed ones. Please visit https://www.tickstar.com/support/error-codes for more information.
- You can choose to keep the legacy error codes but we recommend using the new ones since they are more granular and precise – which should make troubleshooting on your end a lot smoother. If you still would like to continue to use the legacy error codes you need to let us know about it.
- Your files to Peppol will be validated before they are forwarded to the Peppol network. Visit https://www.tickstar.com/support/peppol-validator to find the complete list of documents the validation engine supports. If you send documents that are not listed, no validation will be performed.
- There will be a stricter validation of the SBDH envelope to ensure compliance with what is outlined on https://www.tickstar.com/support/payload-envelope.
- If your file contains validation errors we will respond with a NACK with a high-level error message. If you have the validation service enabled will find a more detailed validation error message in the NACK. If you like to evaluate the validation service with full error messages, just let us know.
Everything else remains the same for you in terms of how you integrate with us, such as your sftp credentials. There will be no downtime when migrating your AP – you will be able to exchange files with other APs without interruption.
What do all the Peppol buzzwords mean?
AS2 Applicability Statement 2 – a protocol for secure and reliable data transport over the internet. AS2 replaced START on Sep 1st 2014 as the mandatory transport protocol between Peppol Access Points. From Feb 1st AS2 will be an optional transport protocol in Peppol.
AS4=Applicability Statement 4 – a protocol for secure and reliable web service based data transport over the internet. AS4 replaced AS2 on Feb 1st 2020 as the mandatory transport protocol between Peppol Access Points.
Access Point (AP) = Exchanges documents with other APs. An AP is typically operated by a service provider. A technical term for Access Point is ‘endpoint’.
EHF = Elektronisk Handelsformat (Electronic trade format). This is the most commonly used e-invoice standard in Norway. It is a slightly modified CEN BII/Peppol BIS invoice. Here you can find its implementation guide. Please refer to Annex 5, page 4, for additional information.
Four corner model = The architecture of Peppol supports a setup where the sender of a file (Corner 1 or C1) transmits a file to its service provider (C2) that operating an Access Point. C2 forwards it to the C3, the service provider of the receiver. Finally, the file is transmitted to the end receiver of the file (C4). C2 operates on behalf of C1. C3 operates on behalf of C4.
ISO 6523 = Codes for identifying organizations and parts thereof. A list of identifiers currently used in PEPPOL is available at https://www.tickstar.com/iso6523. Also please refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO/IEC_6523 and http://www.cyber-identity.com/download/ICD-list.pdf for more information.
Participant = The end receiver of a Peppol transaction. In the four corner model it is called Corner 4. A participant needs to be registered in an SMP so that its receiving capability becomes known to the sending Access Point.
SMK = Service Metadata Locator for test scenarios. The SMK is used only for exchanging files between Peppol Access Points that have pilot certificates. Participants can be added to the SMK only by SMPs that support updating the SMK.
SML = Service Metadata Locator. The SML is a DNS storing the CNAMEs for all SMP’s and the URL to the SMP in which a certain participant resides. A change in the SML can take some time to propagate to the user doing a lookup depending on various DNS caches (and their TTL values) between you and the SML.
SMP = Service Metadata Publisher. An SMP is a registry that stores receivers’ metadata such as their Peppol Identifier(s), document type receiving capabilities and which access point(s) they use to receive each document type
START = Secure Trusted asynchronous Reliable Transport – the Peppol Transport Protocol for exchanging messages between Access Points. The START protocol was discontinued in Peppol on Sep 1st2014 and replaced by AS2.
How can a participant use different APs to receive?
Peppol supports the scenario where a participant can use different Access Points (AP) for receiving.
Assume that the participant wants to
- use AP1 to receive invoices
- use you (AP2) to receive orders
AP1 is the Access Point that first registered the participant in an SMP and as you know, a Peppol participant can only be registered in one (1) SMP.
Here’s how to do it if you discover that the participant you try to register in the Tickstar SMP has already been registered by someone else, AP1.
AP2 (you) have to share your AP configuration (as in the below screenshot) with AP1.
AP2 can find the necessary information by following these steps:
- Login to https://my.galaxygw.com
- Click “Access Points”
- Click your AP and “Edit”
- Copy the following values
- Access point Name
- Contact e-mail
- Access point endpoint URL
- Endpoint Information URL
- Certificate (save it in a separate .txt file)
5. AP2 should provide the above information to AP1 so they can add AP2’s configuration to their SMP account. Here’s how to find the contact details to AP1.
AP1 can now use that data to create AP2’s configuration in the SMP and associate AP2’s document types to the participant.
Your Access Point instance is deployed, what now?
Congrats! We have set up your Peppol Access Point instance and you are now able to use it for message exchange with other APs. Here is what you should do to verify that it works as expected.
- Sign in to your SMP user account on https://my.galaxygw.com. If you have not logged in before you should perform a password reset by clicking “Forgot password?”.
- Verify that your AP configuration looks correct. Click “Access Points” and check the configuration details we have created for you.
- Click “Participants” and verify that it looks correct.
- Sign in to your ftp account with your credentials you have received from us.
- Move the DLVY file from the folder ‘from-peppol’ to the folder ‘to-peppol’.
- Wait a minute and you will receive 2 files in the ‘from-peppol’ folder.
- All set. You are now ready to go!
Please refer to https://www.tickstar.com/support/integration-test to get all the details about the steps listed above.
We also recommend that you have a look at both https://www.tickstar.com/support/communication and https://www.tickstar.com/support/receipts-ack-nack.