The Nordic Institute for Interoperability Solutions (NIIS), a public service started in August 2017 by Estonia and Finland, is making available its first two extensions for X-Road, an open source eGovernment data exchange solution originally developed and used by Estonia. The new extensions make it easier to build new services based on X-Road.
The first of the two extensions, REST Adapter Service, is a bidirectional translator for two messaging solutions, REST-JSON/XML and SOAP. The other extension, XRd4J, a Java software library, helps developers build X-Road compatible client and server applications.
In Estonia, X-Road is implemented as data exchange layer X-tee which is used by all public services in the country. In Finland, X-Road provides the data exchange service for eGovernment portal Suomi.fi. X-Road is also implemented in Iceland, Faeroe Islands, Azerbaijan and El Salvador, and many other countries are planning or considering to use the software or considering it (see map below).
As a data exchange layer, X-Road lets public sector organisations offer and use services in a standardised and secure manner. “X-Road ensures confidentiality, integrity and interoperability between data exchange parties,” says Petteri Kivimäki, chief technology officer at NIIS. This allows X-Road systems to be federated easily, allowing members of federated systems to share services with each other. “When more countries implement X-Road, this greatly speeds up the technical starting point for cross-border data exchange,” Kivimäki says.
NIIS’ mission is to develop eGovernment solutions. The institute is responsible for developing the X-Road core, and provides support to its members.