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The Odette File Transfer Protocol (OFTP) is a protocol used for direct electronic communication of data between two communications partners. It comes from the Odette-Organisation (Organization for data exchange by teletransmission in Europe).

OFTP 2 (ODETTE File Transfer Protocol) is a specification for the secure transfer of business documents over the Internet, ISDN and X.25 networks. A description of OFTP 1.3 can be found in RFC 2204, whilst OFTP 2 is defined in RFC 5024.

OFTP 2 can work point-to-point or indirectly via a VAN (Value Added Network). A single OFTP 2 entity can make and receive calls, exchanging files in both directions. This means that OFTP 2 can work in a push or pull mode, as opposed to AS2, which can only work in a push mode.

OFTP 2 can encrypt and digitally sign message data, request signed receipts and also offers high levels of data compression. All of these services are available when using OFTP 2 over TCP/IP, X.25/ISDN or native X.25. When used over a TCP/IP network such as the Internet, additional session level security is available by using OFTP 2 over TLS (Transport Layer Security).

OFTP 2 Technical Overview

  • Message encryption
  • Message signatures
  • Signed receipts
  • Message compression
  • Message integrity
  • Session authentication
  • Session encryption (TLS)
  • CMS envelopes


  • File restart
  • Push / pull operation
  • Peer-to-peer or indirect communications
  • File compression
  • Operates over TCP/IP, X.25/ISDN, native X.25

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