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Transition to X-Road version 6

On 2 November 2015, transition was launched to X-Road version 6. The transition is expected to be completed by the midyear of 2017.

Why does the transition occur?

The purpose of X-Road is to ensure the integrity of information during information exchange between organizations. The purpose of X-Road version 6 is to change the former security plan of X-Road and resolve ensuring the integrity of messages transmitted via X-Road by using a qualified digital stamp (e-stamp). At the same time, in order to preserve the security of X-Road, legacy or programme code that has not withstood the test of time needs to be eliminated (no legacy policy). The long-term reason is the need to ensure compliance of X-Road data exchange with the Digital Signatures Act. Therefore, the existing method for ensuring integrity of the X-Road must be changed so that the e-stamp certificates of a member must be issued by qualified providers of trust services. In addition, the e-stamp certificates need to be connected with secure signature-creation devices.

The following changes are involved in eliminating legacy and organizing the member management system:

  1. Changes in the transport protocol of the X-Road, or in methods, how security services process and exchange messages.
  2. Changes in the X-Road message protocol, i.e., what kind of structure do the messages have that security servers exchange.

When ensuring a secure data exchange, it is important that holders of the digital stamp (e-stamp) certificate or legal persons can be the parties that bear mutual liability. That means that, in version 6, the X-Road members are legal persons. With the same certificate, the X-Road members are able to both use and provide services.

It must be highlighted that the message protocol describes the physical structure of messages moving between the information system (interface component) and the security server, and can be observed independently from the X-Road security server. The message protocol version does not, therefore, comply with the X-Road (security and central server) version. Every X-Road version supports one or more message protocol(s). The way the security server processes a message (incl. e-stamps and logs), depends on the X-Road security server version and not on the message protocol version.

How will the transition take place?

The time frame of the transition is established by the Directive No 1.1-2/16-146 of the Director-General of RIA of 1 November 2016 (in Estonian, .pdf, 66 KB)

What will change?

Short overview of changes (in Estonian, .pdf, 85 KB)

How long will the transition take and what can a member do now?

Currently, X-Road is in a transitional stage and versions 5 and 6 are used in parallel.

Information from institutions who have X-Road version 6 services in different environments can be found at http://x-road.eu/allmethods/. It’s updated once a day.

As a result of the transision to X-Road version 6, cerificates for X-road version 5 are not being issued anymore. 

RIA plans to close version 5 environments as follows:

  • Development environment: 30.06.2017
  • Test environment: 30.09.2017
  • Production environment: 31.12.2017

The situation today:

  • RIA has created preconditions to enable the members to introduce version 6 (in development, test as well as production environment):
  • Service providers are expected to publish their data services in the production environment on X-Road version 6 platform as soon as possible (preferably in November 2016).
  • Consumers of data services are expected to transfer their information system in the development environment to start using the services on the version 6 platform in the production environment in June 2017.

Further information: Joining X-Road test and production environment

The main instructions about the transition

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Added 01.03.2016
Updated 10.05.2017

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