Fednot supports notary offices with legal advice, office management, IT solutions, training and information for the general public. In order to build a new portfolio of digital products and enhance new digital business processes, Fednot started to revise their notary services for the digital world of tomorrow. Together with Archers and Integration Designers, Fednot was able to set up an API management program as an essential part of this digital transformation strategy.
Fednot forms the centre of a large ecosystem, ranging from notaries and their IT-providers to the government, banks and citizens. To encourage secure and efficient data exchange among these stakeholders, build long-term sustainable partnerships and develop new services and business models, Fednot has re-evaluated their notary services in terms of API-management.
Together with Integration Designers and our colleagues from Archers, Fednot decided to build an API management platform. This platform enables organizations to design and built API’s that securely share services and data. Therefore, building and implementing an API platform formed an essential part of Fednot’s transformation strategy.
The following strategic objectives for the platform were:
The goal of the platform is to provide an environment to partners and stakeholders that enables them to successfully cooperate with Fednot and to offer their services to the right audience. Through the platform's analysis and reporting modules, Fednot will be able to measure, report and improve SLAs of its services where needed.
The platform also facilitates Fednot to extend the lifecycle management of the API’s, allowing them to take control of the exposed services and provide its partners and consumers with accurate and timely information on the life cycle of its products.
The implementation of an API-management program
Step 1: Platform selection
To put this into practice, the challenge was to both question and re-evaluate the existing architecture framework in the context of these new objectives. The next step was to select the right API platform for Fednot, which included the elaboration of a general architecture of how these APIs should interact. After an extensive examination of potential platforms in the context of Fednot's strategic objectives, the IBM API Connect platform came out as the winner.
The main requirement was the shift from SOAP to rest APIs. A shift that had to be made to support both the new API management solution and to integrate future APIs, allowing Fednot to offer more services around the platform such as KPI monitoring, insight into partner relationships, etc.
Step 2: Definition of the reference architecture
Next, the reference architecture was defined and patterns for the implementation of APIs were established. REST service design practices (versioning, naming conventions …) were also defined.
Step 3: Enhancements API platform
At the end of the architecture phase, the configuration of enhancements of the API platform based on new cases, projects and needs was implemented.
Step 4: API-development process
The time had come not only to define and roll out the API development process, but also to provide training and coaching sessions for internal architects, analysts and developers at Fednot.
For the platform to be a success, it was of undeniable importance to get everybody on board at Fednot and provide them with a frame of reference. "Integration never stands on its own," Jolien, platform manager at Fednot, says "to make this a success, we needed the involvement of all teams."
"Archers and Integration Designers played an undeniable role in this evangelization process," Jolien continues, “The goal was to organize workshops and presentations on integration architecture to clarify the new platform and to encourage the developers to actively think about the development part.” Jolien states. Based on these workshops and presentations, they get to know each other better and gain more insight into the project,” Jolien concludes.
Today, there are API’s available in production. For example, one API is based on the cooperation between Fednot and IAB (the federation of accountants). To facilitate the registration process, Fednot and IAB have launched e-Stox, an electronic securities register that makes it possible to register UBO on the new Fednot platform. Another API focuses on population issues such as registers, marriage contracts, wills, successions, etc. With such APIs, providers can easily consult these registers.
Moreover, Fednot aims to launch a developer portal by the end of the year. This will allow developers to consult a so-called "API shopping lists", which provides an overview of all APIs including documentation that can be consulted at any time.