In this article, I am going to look into how the Estonian X-Road is being scaled to Finland. X-Road is a name given to Estonian national data exchange layer. I wrote about it in my previous post:
“Estonia’s Information System is built in a decentralized manner meaning that it contains different technology stacks built in different time frames where the personal data is scattered and kept in a variety of databases. For these islands to be able to communicate with each other there needs to exist a data exchange layer that provides its members’ autonomy, confidentiality, integrity and availability.
In Estonia, this system is called the X-Road which was started in 2002 by the Estonian Information Technology Center.” Kaspar Triebstok in Digital Innovation.
Finland implementing pure Estonian breed tech is a great example of how a country can export its innovation abroad not to make money in the short run but to think bigger and form an international trust federation of data exchange between different countries. Providing a foundation where companies, as well as public sector institutions, can build new services on top.
Most other countries think how to connect their internal public sector parts with each other. Then how could the results be communicated to the private sector and further. If you have all that figured out like Estonia has then the natural way to go is to think about scaling. How can you connect your country’s infrastructure to others? For that to work right now you need to have the same core technology running in each member country. In the case of this Nordic collaboration, Finland took over the already working X-Road from Estonia and implemented it in their country. They called it Palveluväylä if you are into Finnish.
X-Road is open source and available for anyone
Just to keep the abbreviations in check X-Road means the technology and ideology. X-Tee is the X-Road instance in Estonian and Palveluväylä means the same instance in Finland. What is more, the word Palveluväylä in translation means Service bus. This may cause some confusion to think that X-Road is an enterprise service bus where actually it doesn’t do any of those things. For example, in the version 6 of the X-Road, any asynchronous service is no longer supported so think of it as a network rather than some form of the message bus.
Continue reading on Medium: https://medium.com/innovation/what-exporting-a-country-and-its-digital-infrastructure-looks-like-c809f2c87228