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Develop API best practice with the cross-government community

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Group presentation at GDS office

We’ve been working with the cross-government community to set standards in APIs.

Our next objective in this piece of work is to get the community together to discuss some of the best practice that exists within central and local government.

We’ll be getting together on the 17 May at HMRC offices in Shipley. The Government Digital Service is working with the local government digital body iStandUK to put on the event. Anyone from central or local government is welcome to attend.

The more consistent we make our APIs across government, the easier they will be for development teams to maintain and consume. With more ease comes lower development costs and complexity.

Recently the cross-government community launched its API Standards. The technical and data standards outline how government departments, agencies and local authorities should produce APIs.

Prior to the launch of the Standards, we held an event in Birmingham to discuss the draft with central and local government, as well as suppliers. After the launch we held a second event with central government to discuss areas of the Standards we could progress further. This event focussed on how to build high-quality APIs, a step beyond the base standards, for instance, the ideal service level objectives and security standards.

This third event we’re hosting at HMRC offices in Shipley will showcase some of the best practice in API development within central and local government. The agenda for the API event in Shipley is below and you can sign up on Eventbrite.


9.30 – 10.00: Welcome and coffee

10.00 – 10.10: Introduction

Speakers: Rosalie Marshall, GDS Head of Tech Writing and Paul Davidson, iStandUK Director

Highlighting how local authorities can use APIs to create a digital architecture and collaborate with partners.

10.10 – 10.15: API Standards: what’s next?

Speaker: Glyn Humphreys, GDS Technical Architect 

Discussing the next steps for the API Standards.

10.15 – 10.25: API design and evolving GOV.UK Pay

Speaker: David Heath, GDS Lead Developer

A walkthrough of API design and how the team has evolved GOV.UK Pay.

10:25 - 10.35: Geographical data and consuming data APIs

Speaker: Paul Downey, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Discussing how to find and access data, based on MHCLG’s discovery into how data may be used to diversify the housing market.

10.35 - 10.45: APIs for local authorities, the Home Office and HMRC

Speaker: Neil Crane, DWP IT and Business Architect

10.45 - 11.00: Q&A with speakers

11.00  – 11.20: Break

11.20 – 11.30: Assessing API Standards at HMRC

Speaker: Katie Longstaff, HMRC API Standards and Assurance Lead

How HMRC assesses API Standards.

11.35 – 11.45: New guidance on API Standards: API documentation and Service Level Objectives

Speaker: Rosalie Marshall, GDS Head of Tech Writing

11.45 – 11.55: How we’re coordinating data and API Standards

Speaker: Mike Thacker, LGA Design Architect

Summarising the LG Inform and LG Inform Plus reporting tools used by local authorities and the API that serves data to them.

Showcasing how the API is made available for use by councils, tools for building API calls, how the API is documented and security methods used.

11.55 - 12.05: API management tools: Who’s using what in government?

Speaker: Ben Ahmady, GDS Technical Writer

Talking through the API management platforms that are being used in the public sector such as Tyk, Apigee and SwaggerHub. Also providing an update on guidance GDS is putting together for departments who may be considering different commercial API management platforms for their own needs.

12.05 - 12.20: Q&A with speakers

12.20 - 12.25: Audience 5 mins activity

12.25 - 1.00: Panel discussion: How to do user-centred design of APIs?

1:00 – 2.00: Lunch (provided)

2.00 – 2.10: API Security Fundamentals

Speaker: NCSC Security Engineering Lead

2.10 – 2.20: Rehabilitation as a Service: Monoliths to Microservices with APIs

Speaker: Matt Smith, MOJ Technical Architect

2.20 – 2.30: Case study: How we do authentication

Speaker: Chris Woods, HMRC Technical Architect

2.30 -2.45: Q&A with speakers

2.45 - 3.00: Break

3.00 - 3.10: Case study: FHIR Lookup API functionality and scope for future development

Speaker: Jennifer Ellison, NHS Digital Technical Modeller for the Interoperability Standards Team

3.10 - 3.20:  Case study: Hackney's API journey

Speaker:  Selwyn Preston, Hackney Borough lead developer

3.20 – 3.30: VIDEO Case study: Third Party APIs and Data Sharing Access - a solution for access and API management, authentication andauthorisation.

Speaker: Gair McAdie, DVLA Technical Architect

Showcasing an example solution for third party authentication, authorisation and access management. You will see the DVLA API journey, the internal portal for third party users and benefits of serverless technology.

3.30 - 3.45: Q&A with speakers

If this sounds like a good place to work, take a look at Working for GDS - we're usually in search of talented people to come and join the team.

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