We are pleased to launch the API data and technical standards, which is the culmination of fantastic cross-government collaboration, facilitated by GDS.
These API standards will help us as central government and local authorities build, authenticate, iterate and document APIs in a consistent way.
APIs are important as they help government organisations share and reuse technology and make better use of data, as required by the Technology Code of Practice and the Government Transformation Strategy. These API standards are to help us provide better digital public services and reduce our costs of doing so.
We worked closely with practitioners in different departments to develop these standards, ensuring the guidelines stay close to user needs. We did this in 3 stages:
- We started by drafting up guidance working closely with subject matter experts such as technical architects. We checked to see how the guidance aligned with industry standards and the standards used by other government organisations such as 18F, a technology team inside the US federal government.
- Subject matter experts from central and local government helped us to peer review the guidance through a mix of face-to-face ‘brainstorming sessions’ and online collaboration tooling. We received input from a variety of organisations including HM Revenue and Customs, the National Cyber Security Centre, National Health Service, Home Office and Ministry of Justice.
- We then submitted the guidance for feedback and sign-off from the Technology Leaders Network.
We published the API standards after the second cross-government API event at GDS on 1 February. Over 60 attendees from central government discussed ways to solve the challenges of using APIs in the public sector.
Event attendees gave us lots of positive feedback on the standards and we will continue to iterate the guidance based on feedback from across government. The attendees also confirmed there is demand for further guidance and workshops for APIs in the areas of:
- authentication and authorisation
- data security and confidentiality
- service level objectives
- legacy and migration
GDS is working on guidance in a number of these areas in collaboration with other departments to help meet the needs of those creating APIs and those using them.
If you would like to help iterate the cross-government API standards, please leave a comment below. Stay up to date with all the latest posts by signing up to alerts from Government Technology blog.