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Source codes released to central components of X-Road used by Estonia and Finland

3.10.2016 11.59 | Published in English on 12.10.2016 at 14.43
Press release

The source codes to central components of X-Road were published on 3 October 2016 under an MIT licence. The entire X-Road source code is now publicly available for anyone to use. X-Road is a secure integration solution developed in Estonia for information exchanges across the public Internet.

The national data exchange layer (Suomi.fi Data Exchange Layer) developed as part of the National Architecture for Digital Services programme is based on the X-Road solution. The Suomi.fi Data Exchange Layer can be used for secure and standardised data transmissions between the information resources and services of different actors. Finland and Estonia have been developing the X-Road solution collaboratively since 2014. The data exchange layers of both countries, Suomi.fi Data Exchange Layer in Finland and X-tee in Estonia, rely on X-Road as their technical platform.

In Finland, the national data exchange layer has been in productive use since November 2015. The source code of X-Road security server was already published under an MIT licence at that time. The security server is used to connect information sources and systems to the service channel. The central component of X-Road is a central server that contains information on all security servers connected to the service channel and the organisations using them.

Once the X-Road source code has been released, anyone can set up their own X-Road environment and develop the system further to respond to their needs. For example, Finnish companies can utilise X-Road to build their own products. Companies supplying services related to the Suomi.fi Data Exchange Layer in Finland can also set up their private testing environments.

”Releasing the source code is a significant move, as it makes X-Road a fully open source code system developed together by two states, or Finland and Estonia. Cooperation between two states in the field of open source code is rather exceptional. Over the next few years, this cooperation will be intensified further, while other aims include launching the activities of an open X-Road developer community”, says Petteri Kivimäki, Information Systems Manager at the Population Register Centre.

In connection with the central component source code, an installation wizard is also released, making it possible to have an entire X-Road environment up and running within minutes. Using this wizard, setting up their own test environments will be quick and easy for organisations and individual developers interested in X-Road.

The next steps in the development of X-Road and the Suomi.fi Data Exchange Layer will be improving performance, providing support for external load balancer use, and cross-border information exchanges.

Last week, a contract on federation, or creating a relationship of trust between the Finnish and Estonian data exchange layers, was signed between the Estonian information system agency Riigi Infosüsteemi Amet (RIA) and the Finnish Population Register Centre.

To download the X-Road source codes, visit: https://github.com/vrk-kpa

Additional information:

Coordinating Project Manager Eero Konttaniemi, firstname.lastname@vrk.fi, +358 (0)295 535 024.