Logius praises ebMS3 research


The Netherlands can continue to use the ebMS2 protocol as the basis for transaction messages with guaranteed delivery. Logius can draw a reassuring conclusion after research in which the consultancy branch of Digitect was actively involved. As administrator of the Digikoppeling standard, Logius praised the research work.

Digikoppeling (Digital Linking) is a set of standards for electronic messaging between government organizations. As a letter goes into an envelope for shipping, an electronic message goes into a digital package: Digikoppeling. Both government organizations and private organizations with a public task, can exchange messages with all governments and connect to virtually all e-government building blocks. Think of basic registers, the Omgevingsloket or Digilevering.

Digikoppeling uses the ebMS2 protocol. However, the new European initiatives for B2G (business to government) and G2G (government to government) message traffic use ebMS3 / AS4. Logius asked VKA / Berenschot to investigate whether Digikoppeling should transfer onto this new system. This research was carried out by Frans van Basten of Digitect on behalf of VKA and Fred van Blommestein of Flowcanto (on behalf of Berenschot).


The report was well received by Logius. In an evaluation, the readability of the technical research work was much appreciated. The working method and the performance in working groups were applauded. In addition, the main conclusion was of course reassuring. Van Basten and Blommestein conclude that there is no acute reason for a transition. Functionally ebMS2 and ebMS3 / AS4 offer hardly any additional functions that are important for Digikoppeling. Furthermore, suppliers who support ebMS2 will continue to do so.

Migration is a complex and expensive operation, especially because Digikoppeling is used by a large number of smaller parties (mainly municipalities) who need to hire knowledge. Nevertheless, it is wise to migrate over time. The European Commission is promoting propagation of ebMS3 / AS4 for international B2G and G2G message traffic. All this traffic will use the ebMS3 / AS4 protocol and municipalities will increasingly have to communicate internationally. Security has also improved in ebMS3 in comparison to ebMS2.

Support area

A bottleneck for users on Digikoppeling is the replacement of certificates and the addition, deletion and modification of communication partners. Solving this problem can be included in a migration to ebMS3 / AS4, which is expected to strengthen the support base for this.

A roadmap or migration plan that covers several years and the establishment of a "center of expertise" offers the parties a generous amount of time to prepare, finance and implement the migration. For this it is advisable to draw up such a plan in the short term and allocate a sufficient budget before initiating this transition (at least for a period of 5 years).