Government ditches data exchange platform for API standards

New National API Design Standards published on GitHub

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The government’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) says that after testing the idea of building a data exchange platform it is instead pushing for the use of APIs to develop “better government interactions and data sharing”.

The agency said that it had become clear that developing a new platform “wouldn’t deliver the benefits or scale to meet the needs of users now or in the future.”

The DTA has released a beta of a new site that includes a catalogue of government APIs, a search engine for data definitions and a playbook for agencies.

“In this coming year, we will be focusing on on-boarding services and users, developing workflows and improving the key features of with your support,” states a DTA blog entry.

The new service is a “listing site, not a gateway”.

“Not everyone will have access to all the services. This is because security, privacy and access controls apply to some services,” the DTA said.

The fifth meeting of the Australian Data and Digital Council, held last week, signed-off on national API design standards. The ADDC brings together federal, state and territory ministers.

The new standards “will allow all levels of government and trusted third parties to securely share, re-use and enhance data in real time,” states an ADDC communique (PDF).

“The national API design standards create a common method of API development that all governments can adopt. This will create consistency between governments and promote interoperability between jurisdictions’ IT systems.”

“Governments across Australia will be able to develop services more efficiently, learning from each other and, where needed, have services that work well across jurisdictions,” the document adds.

“For citizens, this has potential to transform delivery of services to them throughout their lives.”

The National API Design Standards (NAPIDS) have been published on GitHub, under the Creative Commons BY SA 4.0 licence.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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