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Hello Everyone,

This blog is about the Auto-client a software/tool from SWIFT to connect to the Alliance Lite2 server and this tool will be installed on one of the servers present in the client premises for routing the payment transactions from the client's SAP system to various Banks.

Auto-client is an optional tool used to connect to the SWIFT Alliance Lite2 server. Alliance Lite2 will in turn route the files to the Banks through the most secure SWIFTNet network.

Auto-client installation can be done on the C drive of any windows-based PC and the default folder for 64-bit based Windows PC is %Program Files (x86)%\SWIFT\Alliance Lite2. Inside the Alliance Lite2 folder, there will be one folder called files and this folder in turn consists of 4 sub-folders named Emission, Reception, Archive, Error.

In the emission folder the payment files like MT100, SEPA, MT103 etc generated by the SAP BCM/ECC system must be dropped. In SAP ECC/BCM system the files will be dropped under AL11 folder, files can be picked up using the NFS connection by SAP PI File Sender channel or SFTP connection can also be enabled for more secured way of communication. SFTP connection is highly recommended.  In SAP PI a normal pick and drop interface can be created. NFS connection needs to be enabled between SAP PI server and files folder of Auto-client.

Auto-client continuously polls for the emission folder (just like our good old file sender channel :wink: ) and as we can set the polling interval in our File sender channel, we can set the same for Auto-client too. This timer can be set by editing the AutoClient.Properties file present under the following path - %Program Files (x86)%\SWIFT\Alliance Lite2\config. EmissionTimerInMillis is the parameter for setting the polling interval time to send the files from Auto-client directories to Alliance Lite2.

Once the files are successfully uploaded on to the Alliance Lite2 server, the files will be archived to the Archive folder under files directory. What if the file was not uploaded successfully to Alliance Lite2 server, what would happen to the file? Does it stay in the Emission folder itself? If it stays in Emission folder, then how would i know what is happening, why it was not picked up? Good serious of questions :razz: The files which resulted in Error, will be moved to the present Error folder under main directory files.

Once the file reaches Alliance Lite2 server and from Alliance Lite2 if the file is sent on to SWIFTNet network successfully, you will receive a successful Acknowledgement from the Alliance Lite2 server. If there was any error in uploading the files on to the SWIFTNet network, there will be a Negative Acknowledgement, sent from Alliance Lite2. These messages are popularly known as ACK/NAK messages. These files will be dropped in the Reception folder present under main directory files. Similar to the polling interval we have for the Emission folder to upload the files to Alliance Lite2 server, we have parameter called ReceptionTimerInMillis which can be set to download the files from Alliance Lite2 server on to the Auto-client Reception folder.

ACK/NAK messages tell us the status about the payment sent on SWIFTNet Network to the Bank. But the actual status of the payment processed or not processed can be only given by the Bank. The payment response from the bank will be received from the Bank on the SWIFTNet Network by the Alliance Lite2 server and from the Alliance Lite2 Server, response files will be downloaded by Auto-client on to the Reception folder based on the timer set for the parameter, ReceptionTimerInMillis.

Have you made it successfully till here reading all the things mentioned above, congratulations and thank you :wink: All through the blog, you might be thinking, how the files dropped on the Emission folder of Auto-client will be sent to Alliance Lite2 server, Auto-client is like a normal software which is installed under the Program Files of the Windows PC. What is the magic it does and the files are sent to Alliance Lite2 server and from Alliance Lite2 to the Banks on SWIFTNet Network? What is it? How come? Please do not break your head :wink: :razz: Answer is very simple.

Auto-client uses a secure USB token, which is shipped by SWIFT team to the Client who procures the license for SWIFT. This  USB-token must be plugged into one of the USB ports and unique password set for the same must be provided to get your Auto-client running. Unless the correct credentials are provided your Auto-client do not start and hence the exchange of files won't happen. Please note, this password need to be provided only one-time to get the Auto-client running and not for each and every payment file to be sent to the Bank.

Okay, the most curious question about Auto-client and Alliance Lite2 question was finally answered :grin: But now the question arises regarding the security  of the payment files exchanged between Auto-client and Alliance Lite2. How the communication between Auto-client and Alliance Lite2 is secure? Again the answer is very simpledAuto-client USB token is a tamper-proof hardware security module. This module digitally signs and authenticates every communication with the Alliance Lite2 server using a strong 2048-bit PKI certificate that resides on the token.

Auto-client offers 2-system landscape, Live and Test system. It is highly recommended to keep 2 separate servers, one for Live system and another for Test system. For both the systems you will have 2 different USB tokens. Test system can be used to send the files to Bank Test system.

I hope you have made the reading till the end of this boring blog and liked the provided information :smile:


Nitin Deshpande

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