1.1. X-Road: what, why and for whom?
X-Road enables secure data exchange based on open technologies between the information systems of X-Road members via public internet, not depending on the platform and architecture of information systems of X-Road members. X-Road is formed of technical capacity to exchange data and an interoperable ecosystem with decentralised control. Interoperability is ensured by standard protocols and similar rules for all members.
X-Road provides to the members means for secure data exchange. Data are exchanged via dataservices (web services). A member providing dataservices must describe their services to enable other members to use the dataservices under an agreement. The nature of X-Road is provided on figure 1 (hereinafter, the hexagons with padlocks represent security server, while larger hexagons represent the information systems of authorities).The advantage of using X-Road compared to the creation of separate channels with all parties is visible upon larger data volumes and data exchange with several parties, as there is no more need for conclusion of mutual multilateral data exchange contracts between all authorities and development and maintenance of separate data exchange systems. A detailed description of the options for using X-Road is available in the application guide: https://moodle.ria.ee/mod/page/view.php?id=384.
Figure 1 Character of X-RoadMembers of Estonian X-Road can be legal persons meeting the requirements set in Regulation no 105 of the Government of the Republic from 23 September 2016 ’Data exchange layer for information systems’ (https://www.riigiteataja.ee/akt/127092016004). Member requirements are briefly described as obligations in the application guide: https://moodle.ria.ee/mod/page/view.php?id=268.