e-Delivery Convergence

One of the most important requirements for European Large Scale Pilots (LSPs) is cross-border communication. Though in detail the requirements differ, what they all have in common is the need for a secure and reliable “platform” to (electronically) exchange documents and data between citizens, businesses, governments and judicial authorities.

The different LSPs (in particular PEPPOLexternal link, opens new browser window, SPOCSexternal link, opens new browser window and e-CODEX) have each met this challenge by defining or adopting Web Services based messaging protocols, which profile the WS-* protocol stack and define specific header fields and/or messages to be transmitted in the SOAP body, according to the specific needs of the different projects.

Each of these e-Delivery platforms have in their own area been quite successful – however in the long run it is for the European countries unacceptable to run different infrastructures for the different domains (e.g. for e-Procurement, for communication in the context of the service directive and for e-Justice). Therefore an effort has been undertaken by the participants of the LSPs, the Member States and the European Commission, with support from standardization organizations, to define a roadmap towards a common e-Delivery protocol, which combines building blocks from LSPs PEPPOL and SPOCS with European and international standards in a modular approach. The e-CODEX project will pilot a first version of this common solution – while at the same time specifications are extended to ascertain that the needs of all LSPs are met, and the goal is for the PEPPOL and SPOCS platforms to converge over time towards this infrastructure.  


The similarity of requirements from the different LSPs encourage the endeavour to combine the solutions into a common standard – all three of them aim at connecting different existing proprietary infrastructures, and have chosen a gateway-based approach to achieve this goal.

A standardized protocol can therefore only be defined between these gateways, and mechanisms foreseen in standard protocols for addressing, security/confidentiality, reliability and non-repudiation apply only between gateways. Additional questions regarding routing, addressing, trust establishment and non-repudiation etc. arise from this topology, which have to be taken into account by any attempt to define a protocol applicable across domains.  

Building Blocks

As the basic building blocks for the “converged” solution were chosen the OASIS ebMS protocol for the transport layer, to be supplemented by e-Delivery evidences for non-repudiation (where needed) according to the ETSI REM standard, with dynamic routing / capability discovery based on the PEPPOL approach (which is developed and maintained in the OASIS BDXR technical committee).

 Picture of the Building Blocks


A “task force” has been created to work on further specification of the common protocol, with participants from the organizations mentioned above.
For details please contact:  susanne.wigard(at)it.nrw.de

Further Information

The following download is a pdf document <media 125 _blank>e-CODEX Deliverable D5.2 Annex I - Scenario for Convergence of LSP e-Delivery Solutions</media> external link, opens new browser window

The following download is a pdf document <media 142 _blank>e-CODEX Deliverable D5.3</media> external link, opens new browser window

OASIS ebXML Messaging Services Version 3.0: Part 1, Core Features Committee Specification 02external link, opens new browser window

The following download is a pdf document ETSI TS 102 640-6-3 V1.1.1, Electronic Signatures and Infrastructures (ESI); Registered Electronic Mail (REM); Part 6: Interoperability Profile: Sub-part 3: REM-MD SOAP Binding Profile external link, opens new browser window

The following download is a pdf document PEPPOL Transport Infrastructure Service Metadata Locator (SML) external link, opens new browser window

The following download is a pdf document PEPPOL Transport Infrastructure Service Metadata Publishing (SMP) external link, opens new browser window

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