Value Added Networks (VANs)
|A Value-added Network (VAN) is a hosted service offering that acts as an intermediary between business partners sharing standards based or proprietary data via shared Business Processes. The offered service is referred to as "Value-added Network Service".
VANS traditionally transmitted data formatted as Electronic Data Interchange but increasingly they also transmit data formatted as XML or in more specific "binary" formats. VANs usually service a given vertical or industry and provide "Value Added Network Services" ("VAN Services" or VANSs) such as data transformation between formats (EDI-to-XML, EDI-to-EDI, etc.).
At one extreme, a VAN hosts only horizontal Business-to-business application integration services, hosting general-purpose integration services for any process or industry. At the other extreme a VAN also hosts process-specific or industry-specific integration, for example supply chain ordering or data synchronization services.
A VAN not only transports (receives, stores and forwards) messages but also adds audit information to them and modifies the data in the process of automatic error detection and correction or conversion between communications protocols.