The Electronic Russia Initiative
The goal of the “Electronic Russia” e-government initiative is for all services provided to citizens by government institutions to be available online in each of 83 federal subjects throughout Russia. These services include government to business (G2B), government to citizen (G2C), and government to government (G2G).
It is a tall order. Each federal subject, the equivalent of a state in the United States, has its own government service delivery processes and information systems—most of which are legacy systems, Ms. Belkina explained. Moreover, each federal subject is divided into municipal districts that have their own information systems, services, and service delivery processes.
“Just multiply the number of municipal services and federal subjects, and the problem gets very complicated,” Ms. Belkina said. "Since the country is big enough, we can't make only one infrastructure for all the federal subjects. So we have this central solution for the government at the state level, and we have the solutions for each federal subject, which have a similar structure but are special for each federal subject."
A Mandate for Integration Infrastructure Middleware
To address the challenge of so many systems, Russia enacted Government Regulation 697, which requires that each federal subject build its own integration infrastructure middleware (IIM), Ms. Belkina noted.
The main requirements for the IIM were that it be built on service-oriented architecture (SOA) principles and capable of integrating legacy systems; SOAP would be the preferred message format, and the system should be available 24-7, Ms. Belkina said. Other guidelines were that
the software should be mostly open source, and the price for the IIM would be kept low, Finally, the regulation required that data be secured by a specific Russian ghost algorithm, rather than the SHA-1 cryptographic standard or MD5 encryption standard.
Saint-Petersburg IAC Technology Decisions
At the Saint-Petersburg Information and Analytics Center, Ms. Belkina and her team members are building the integration infrastructure middleware for some of the federal subjects in Russia. She outlined key components of the IIM and the technology solutions the team has chosen.
Enterprise Service Bus. The WSO2 ESB was selected for its flexibility and because it’s robust, easy to configure manually, has a good admin user interface (UI), and the team had almost no problems with localization. Proxy services on the ESB interact with the “outer wall,” including the information systems of the governmental institutions and the citizen portal, while the integration middleware is maintained within a virtual private network to ensure that it is secure. Looking ahead, Ms. Belkina and her team plan to federate and manage services between several different SOA-based systems, each with its own middleware.
Classifier Delivery Subsystem. “We needed to provide common classification objects for all of the government organizations,” Ms. Belkina explained. For example, there are 20 streets that have the same name, so there has to be a way to classify them. WSO2 Data Services Server, chosen for its ease of use, looks into the classifier database and provisions the services offering these classifiers and their actualization mechanism to other systems outside of the IIM.
Web Service Registry. The WSO2 Governance Registry was selected as an open source registry with a UI and several APIs, including UDDI, which was government requirement.
AAA Subsystem (authentication, audit, authorization). A home-grown system that supports Russian cryptography algorithms is used.
Guaranteed Delivery System (i.e. message broker). Apache Active MQ was chosen because of its guaranteed delivery and maturity, as well as the team’s skills with this open source project.
Other components include the business process engine (Activiti BPM Platform), business analytics subsystem (WSO2 Business Activity Monitor), and a home-grown developer portal.
To learn more about the Saint-Petersburg Information and Analytics Center’s open source integration layer, view Ms. Belkina’s full presentation here.