September 8, 2015 Hatem Ben Yacoub

Opening Up X-Road for the Developers Community

Launched in 2001, X-Road is the data exchange layer that is actually powering the e-Services infrastructure in Estonia.  It’s a technical and organisational environment, which enables secure Internet-based data exchange between the state’s information systems.

x-road

The key element of Estonian eGovernment program is that all its databases are decentralized, which mean there is no single owner or controller, and no locks into any database or software provider.

Originally X-Road was a system used for making queries to the different databases. Now it has developed into a tool that can also write to multiple databases, transmit large data sets and perform searches across several databases.

Some numbers that are very relevant to understand X-Road :

  • In 2013 over 287 million queries were done over X-road.
  • Over 170 databases offer their services over X-Road in Estonia.
  • Over 2,000 services are used over X-Road in Estonia.
  • Over 900 organisations use X-Road daily in Estonia.
  • More than 50% of the inhabitants of Estonia use X-Road through the information portal eesti.ee.

Some of the e-Services provided through X-Road include :

  • Presenting a registration of residence electronically;
  • Checking one’s personal data (address registration, exam results, health insurance, etc.) from the national databases;
  • Declare taxes electronically;
  • Check the validity of your driving license and vehicles registered to your name;
  • A newborn child receiving health insurance automatically.

What about Opening up X-Road ?

The news just announced yesterday, is that the development group of a new generation of the X-Road started in July jointly with Finland has made a historical decision by initiating an open X-Road developer community. Open means that all local X-Road developers around the world are invited to join to build the best interoperability system in the whole world.

Join the community at : https://joinxroadcommunity.herokuapp.com/

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About the Author

Hatem Ben Yacoub Energy Engineer, Entrepreneur, ICT & eGov Consultant with over 15 years experience. Independent Open Data expert.

(HBY) Consultancy