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Test environment for Z1 Energy MarketCommunication
Z1 AS4 Energy test environment is separated from the operational use of the BSI’s Smart Metering PKI. It is a risk-free space to pilot the initial steps of market communication via AS4 and to implement a proof of concept. For instance, it facilitates early-stage testing of your business application’s integration with the AS4 software. This approach allows you to quickly identify whether adjustments are needed and thus avoid unnecessary costs.
How does the Z1 Energy test environment work?
Within your Z1 Energy MarketCommunication solution, you receive a test client, the associated AS4 certificate triples, and external test market partners as counterparts. This way, we replicate the entire AS4 market communication infrastructure, including the world of certificates:
- Z1 Energy TestHub is your communication counterpart within our test environment, which has 11 external market partner roles for testing.
- On your Customer System, you can create an internal Test Mandator (also known as tenant) to communicate with external partners through Z1 Energy TestHub.
- To enable communication within the test environment, we have set up a Z1 AS4 Test PKI that provides everyone with test certificates.
- Z1 AS4 MaKo Support: Our support team will be happy to onboard you and guide you through the first steps of using the test environment.
Components of the Z1 Energy test environment
German external market partner roles:
Energieserviceanbieter (ESA); Netzbetreiber (NB); Registerbetreiber (RB);
Betreiber einer technischen Ressource (BTR); Übertragungsnetzbetreiber (ÜNB);
Einsatzverantwortlicher (EIV); Bilanzkoordinator (BIKO); Lieferant (LF);
Data Provider (DP); Messstellenbetrieb (MSB); Bilanzkreisverantwortlicher (BKV)
What can you test within the Z1 AS4 Energy test environment?
- Integration with your business application (ERP/B2B) via the email interface
- Issuing of certificates (CSR generation and certificate import)
- Internal and external market partner management
- AS4 Path Switch with different market partner roles
- AS4 message processing and how it works with your business application
- Clearing Cases and NRR Management
- Monitoring and reporting
Why it is important to test AS4 communication early on
The Federal Government’s Smart Metering PKI and AS4 (Applicability Standard 4) are established standards. These standards are expected to perform reliably with regards to the interoperability when communicating with other parties. However, the true challenge lies in integrating AS4 communication with your existing internal processes.
With the test environment for Z1 Energy MarketCommunication you can:
- implement a proof of concept without much effort
- detect and correct errors early on during integration with internal processes, for example when integrating with your business application
- shorten implementation time and reduce costs because you can identify critical factors at an early stage before going live
- prepare employees for the transition period and clear up any doubts
By testing early in the Z1 AS4 test environment, you are perfectly prepared for the six-month transition period until April 1, 2024. You avoid unnecessary coordination with external market partners who might have been involved in your internal testing during live operation.
How is Zertificon’s test environment different from the Test PKI provided by the BSI?
The Test PKI is part of the Smart Metering PKI provided by the German Federal Office for Information Security (Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik, short: BSI). It is used solely for testing certificate issuance and to perform certificate searches within directories. Test scenarios do not include other internal processes or the actual AS4 communication. According to the decision of the German Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), market participants are advised to use the initial six months of the transition period, beginning October 1, 2023, to test these processes during live operation. During this time, the AS4 communication will be gradually expanded to add real external market partners.
For more information, please visit: AS4 transition on schedule with BNetzA