IBM Sterling B2B Integrator and IBM Sterling File Gateway Developers

IBM Peppol "on the VAN" made easy

By Gerard Clancy posted Wed August 26, 2020 05:35 AM


Co- authored by Amit Saini and Prasad Kona

Peppol is a global electronic trade and e-invoicing network that allows you to safely exchange electronic e-invoices to companies and governments worldwide. The use of Peppol is governed by a multi-lateral agreement structure which is owned and maintained by OpenPeppol. Organizations that are now connected to Peppol can exchange business documents, such as various electronic formats, through the highly secured and safe international network.

If you need more information on IBM’s Peppol offering, please see here:

This blog aims to make it easy for EDI capable businesses, who have tools to transform their backend data to and/ or from Peppol XML, and to get to productive use as fast as possible.

If your business strategy does not see you handling the integration of Peppol data to / from your backend systems, then you should consider IBM Sterling Managed Services because we can manage this complexity on your behalf.


Tools used:

1. Communication = IBM Supply Chain Business Network Essentials  (aka IBM Sterling VAN)

The IBM Sterling VAN is already connected to the Peppol Network, but does require IDs to be provisioned, and routing set up. (There is no charge for this). If you already are an IBM VAN user, please contact the Mailbox team, or it if you need to connect for the first time, please visit this page. 

(Note that the best practice for Peppol is to use per document metric for billing instead of KiloCharacter (KC), as some Peppol documents can be
much larger than EDI documents).

IBM SCBN will just setup a connection between the Business Entity (Customer) and IBM using any of the selected protocol (FTP, SFTP, HTTP or
AS2) and configure the environment to send and receive Peppol file from them to their Partners and Vice Versa


2. Transformation = IBM Sterling B2B Integrator or IBM Transformation Extender

This guide imagines that you use one of the 2 IBM transformation tools named above, and will provide some code samples to help you adapt the data. If your transformation software is unable to read or write Peppol XML, then please contact IBM Sterling sales for your region via the link above 

3. Peppol Directory (aka Yellow Pages)

While this Directory does not yet capture every Peppol participant, you can search for and find the majority of Peppol IDs here, as well as the document types a given user is able to receive


4. Peppol Participant Lookup

This looks up the Peppol registry to verify the technical details of an ALREADY KNOWN Peppol ID, so before using this you must either get the Peppol ID from your trading partner or Peppol Directory. This is a more technical view on the data, but helps you verify having the correct specs.


Performing Data Translation via SI or ITX Translation Engine

Data Translation from Customer ERP file format to Peppol and vice versa can be done either with Sterling Integrator map or ITX.

Use the flow chart pictured below, and attached to understand various steps involved in this process.

Note- OASIS- UBL 2.1 XSDs has many other transactions; Please download only PEPPOL supported business transaction related XSDs.

Sterling Integrator Code snippet

ITX Code snippet



Here is an ITX demo of a Peppol map being configured as part of the ITX SAP healthcare pack:


Peppol ID Registration (done by IBM Services team)


This ID will act as your Peppol “Phone Number” and identifies both your business, and als records what types of business documents you are able to receive. Sender details do not need to be registered, but it is good practice to do so, even if the sender does not immedaiately plan to receive documents.


For Receiver ID Registration on Peppol network,

You need to share the below details:

  1. The Business entity must share the Peppol ID (Unique identification number on Peppol network). Based on country the Business Entity belongs to, this ID can be VAT ID, DUNS#, SIRET ID, GS1 GLN etc.
  2. Business entity must share list of document types they are expecting to receive from their partners along with flow direction (Inbound)
  3. Valid company name, address and contact information

IBM Netherlands - Peppol Directory example


Testing – Exchanging of documents


Documents from Partner (Inbound):


  1. IBM SCBN will receive the Peppol file via Peppol network from the Partner's Access Point provider.
  2. The file will be routed as-is to you via the selected protocol (FTP, SFTP or AS2)


Documents from you to the Partner (Outbound):


  1. You will send the Peppol file to IBM SCBN via selected protocol.
  2. IBM SCBN routes the Peppol file as-is to Partner via Peppol network. Status/log will provide confirmation of file receipt on the receiver’s access point to IBM SCBN.
  3. Once IBM SCBN Team receives the confirmation, you will be informed.


The onus of testing all Business scenarios rests with you.


The Document Tracking event will be triggered in complete flow and all data going in and out from you will be visible in Inflight Document Tracking tool.



In this complete flow, validation step is key. As per Open Peppol standards, sender Access Point provider must send a valid BIS document. For this activity, Open Peppol has released validation (.xsl and .sch) artifacts for each Peppol UBL document. This artifact has many phases as below.


1 comment



Thu August 27, 2020 08:27 AM

To clarify a question I received on why Peppol Directory doesnt yet cover all users?

It is currently an opt-in resource which Peppol providers can choose to publish their client's business-level data to, or not. Just like a phone book, a Peppol user can decide on the level of detail to be made avaialble. In 2021, it is planned to become mandatory that all Peppol providers must offer this capability to their clients.