From X-Road® to LEX Road? Confidentiality, Integrity, and Interoperability with the X-Road® Open Source Data Exchange Layer

X-Road® is open-source software and ecosystem solution that provides unified and secure data exchange between organizations. This standardized, cohesive, collaborative, interoperable, secure data exchange gives service providers an entirely new opportunity to make themselves visible in services directed at citizens, businesses, and civil servants. It also may be a key enabler of enterprise interoperability and innovation for legal, business, and information technology professionals operating in the legal technology sector.

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Content Assessment: From X-Road® to LEX Road? Confidentiality, Integrity, and Interoperability with the X-Road® Open Source Data Exchange Layer

Information - 95%
Insight - 100%
Relevance - 95%
Objectivity - 90%
Authority - 95%

95%

Excellent

A short percentage-based assessment of the qualitative benefit of the recent post on X-Road®, a secure data exchange layer that has the potential to deliver on the promise of legal technology confidentiality, integrity, and interoperability.

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Reference: Nordic Institute for Interoperability Solutions* – X-Road®

The X-Road® Open Source-Data Exchange Layer

First developed by Estonia’s Information System Authority (RIA) in 2001, X-Road® is open-source software and ecosystem solution that provides unified and secure data exchange between organizations.

According to the Nordic Institute for Interoperability Solutions (NIIS), a non-profit association with the mission to ensure the development and strategic management of X-Road and other cross-border components for e-government infrastructure, the basic idea of X-Road is that members of an ecosystem exchange data through access points (Security Servers) that implement the same technical specifications.

X-Road is a centrally managed distributed data exchange layer between information systems that provides a standardized and secure way to produce and consume services. The standard features of X-Road supporting and facilitating data exchange and ensure confidentiality, integrity, and interoperability between data exchange parties include:

  • address management
  • message routing
  • access rights management
  • organization-level authentication
  • machine-level authentication
  • transport-level encryption
  • time-stamping
  • digital signature of messages
  • logging
  • error handling.

This standardized, cohesive, collaborative, interoperable, secure data exchange gives service providers an entirely new opportunity to make themselves visible in services directed at citizens, businesses, and civil servants. Creating entities that combine many different services and data sources is easy and cost-efficient.

  • Improves the quality of existing services and products
  • Enables new types of service innovations
  • Savings in infrastructure, archiving, and other costs
  • Standardized data security and privacy protection
  • Easy implementation, data access via interfaces – after connecting all included services are available

An X-Road ecosystem** is a community of organizations using the same instance of X-Road software for producing and consuming services. An X-Road ecosystem may range from a nationwide implementation (e.g., public sector – government) to an implementation supporting a specific group of organizations meeting particular criteria (e.g., private sector – service provider). 

Additionally, X-Road provides built-in support for cross-border data exchange through federation, which means joining together two X-Road ecosystems. Members of the federated ecosystems can publish and consume services with each other as if they were members of the same ecosystem. 

X-Road is also digital public good verified by the Digital Public Goods Alliance, released under the MIT open source license, and available free of charge.

X-Road® License Info

X-Road is open source software and licensed under the MIT license. The software also includes various third-party dependencies licensed under other open-source licenses.

The source code for X-Road is available on GitHub. The corresponding source code for its dependencies can be obtained by using the relevant build and/or dependency information in the GitHub repository (e.g., for front-end JavaScript code, the non-development dependencies as set out in the package-lock.json file for the respective X-Road front-end component) and downloading the source code from the relevant central package repository/-ies (e.g., for JavaScript, the NPM repository). 

X-Road® Academy

X-Road® Academy provides free courses for anyone interested in the X-Road® Data Exchange Layer. Current courses include:

  • X-Road® Fundamentals is the starting point of your X-Road learning path. No prior X-Road experience is required for completing the course which consists of 38 lessons. 
Certificates – X-Road – Rob Robinson – 2021-03-07

Figure 1 – Example Completion Certificate – Fundamentals

  • X-Road® Security Server Administrator provides the basic knowledge on Security Server architecture, installation, configuration and maintenance. Completing X-Road® Fundamentals first is strongly recommended prior to this 34 lesson course.
Rob Robinson – 2021-04-18

Figure 2 – Example Completion Certificate – Security Server Administrator

  • X-Road® Central Server Administrator provides the basic knowledge on Central Server architecture, installation, configuration and maintenance. Completing X-Road® Fundamentals first is strongly recommended prior to this 34 lesson course.
Rob Robinson – 2021-05-10

Figure 3 – Example Completion Certificate – Central Server Administrator

  • X-Road® Service Developer provides the basic knowledge on connecting information systems, services and APIs to X-Road. Completing X-Road® Fundamentals first is strongly recommended prior to this 22 lesson course.
Rob Robinson – 2021-06-03

Figure 4 – Example Completion Certificate – Service Developer

  • X-Road® Core Developer provides the basic knowledge on the development of the X-Road core components. Completing X-Road® Fundamentals first is strongly recommended prior to this 23 lesson course.
Core Developer – Rob Robinson – 2021-06-30

Figure 5 – Example Completion Certificate – Core Developer

To learn more about X-Road and how it may increase and expand your organization’s security posture and data exchange capability, visit the Nordic Institute for Interoperability Solutions website.

Additional Reading

Source: ComplexDiscovery

*Nordic Institute for Interoperability Solutions (NIIS) is a non-profit association with the mission to ensure the development and strategic management of X-Road® and other cross-border components for e-government infrastructure.

**Technically, X-Road ecosystems consist of Central Services, Security Servers, Information Systems, Time Stamping Authority, and Certification Authority.

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