frequently asked questions

Beckn protocol is an application layer protocol that is compatible with any transport layer protocols like TCP/IP and UDP. Furthermore, it can be piggybacked on other application layer protocols like HTTP or SMTP communication to allow interoperability at the application layer as well.


 becknhttp / httpssmtptcp/ip
Packet SchemaContext, MessageRequest Line, Headers, Body

From, To, Subject, Body

TCP Header, Data

Information SchemaIntent, Catalog, Fulfillment, Order etcNoneNoneNone
Formatapplication/json, application/protobuf*application/json, application/protobuf, multipart/form-data, image/jpeg etctext/plain, text/html, multipart/mixedNone
EncryptionTLS / SSLTLS / SSLNoneNone
AddressingIPv4, IPv6, DNSIPv4, IPv6DNSIPv4, IPv6
RoutingBeckn Gateways, Network RegistriesIP GatewaysIP GatewaysIP Gateways
TrustRegistry PKI, x509 Certificates*x509 CertificatesNoneNone

No, beckn protocol is not only for commerce. Beckn protocol specification simply specifies a set of interoperable APIs that allows discovery, engagement, fulfillment and post-fulfillment of services and goods. The services and goods can be availed with or without commercial consideration. If required, beckn protocol allows commercial contracts to be established between two actors.

  • For the transaction layer
    • The latest stable version is 0.9.2
    • The current patch version draft branch is 0.9.3-draft
  • For the registry layer
    • The latest stable version is 0.2.0
    • The current minor version draft branch is 0.3.0-draft

No, beckn protocol has multiple loosely-coupled layers namely, transaction layer, registry layer, policy layer etc, that evolve independently. So, it is possible for implementations to have layers with different versions. Read the document here to learn more.

Adoption of beckn protocol requires implementation of the transaction, registry and policy layer of beckn protocol. The transaction layer consists of APIs that allow discovery, order, fulfillment and post-fulfillment of services. The registry layer allows trusted contracts to be established by way of Digital Signatures. And the policy layer allows sector-specific policies to be layered as a middleware in the implementations.

To understand the governance of beckn protocol, read the document published here.

If you discover an issue in the specification, you can report it here. But before that, please read this document.

To understand how to propose features, enhancements and contribute to the evolution of beckn protocol, click here.

Yes, multiple domains can exist as different subnets inside a larger multi-domain network. Domains here refer to different industry sectors (like Retail, Mobility, Logistics, etc). Many such domain-specific Subnets, each supporting a specific set of use cases can be connected to each other in different topologies. For example, a Retail network connected with a Logistics network is a very common multi-domain network configuration. To learn more about network topologies, click here.

Yes, each network can allow multiple versions of the protocol to be implemented. However, the interoperability between two versions must be handled by the implementers.

A third party network entity can layer network specific rules and configurations as policies. How to layer such policies is shown here.

In an unlikely scenario where beckn protocol governance ceases to exist, the protocol specification will be made available with Creative Commons – Attribution – Share Alike 4.0 (CC-BY-SA 4.0) license that will allow adopters / implementers to fork the specification and evolve from there without disrupting adoption.