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Customer story: City of Turku: The Suomi.fi Data Exchange Layer enables us to always retrieve up-to-date information securely

Publication date 15.10.2021 10.49 | Published in English on 15.10.2021 at 15.46
Press release

The city of Turku joined the Data Exchange Layer among the first in 2017, when the first security server was adopted. The Data Exchange Layer ensures, for example, that the Finnish Population Information System’s up-to-date population data is always available to the operators of the city organisation, without delay.

First and foremost, the use of the Suomi.fi Data Exchange Layer has facilitated the retrieval of individual data from national databases, such as the Population Information System. Before joining the Data Exchange Layer, the city of Turku's IT services retrieved updated data from various databases as SFTP data requests once a week. For this reason, it was not entirely certain whether the critical information was up to date: Changes made to databases outside the organisation were only received to the city's systems during the next batch run. 

Latest data always available – completely securely 

With the Suomi.fi Data Exchange Layer, databases outside the organisation, such as the Population Information System and the Virre Information Service, are available all the time. For the city of Turku, the Data Exchange Layer always provides up-to-date information, as the Data Exchange Layer enables different operators in the city organisation to submit a request for information, even about individual data, when needed.   

In other words, the latest data is always available to the city organisation without delay: for example, when an invoice is being sent to the customer for day-care fees, the current address information is immediately available in the Population Information System. 

In addition, the use of the Data Exchange Layer in data transfer ensures that the data is transferred across organisational boundaries completely securely. 

– The Suomi.fi Data Exchange Layer enables us to communicate and transfer data with different organisations and systems securely, explains Kristian Kummel from the City of Turku's IT services.

Smooth cooperation makes for an easy adoption 

The deployment of the Data Exchange Layer will be carried out in cooperation with the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. There are several ways to implement the technical side of the deployment. You can do it yourself or get a ready implementation. 

– We offer advice and support for implementation in every situation, says Atte Pirttilä, Development Manager from the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. 

The City of Turku introduced the security server needed for joining the Data Exchange Layer in 2017. In 2020, the city decided to further develop the solution by increasing the number of servers to two. The arrangement ensures that the connection to the Data Exchange Layer works even if one of the servers fails. 

– Cooperation with the Digital and Population Data Services Agency worked fairly smoothly on both occasions. Even though there were other parties involved in the adoption as well, it went smoothly because the cooperation worked out, describes Kummel. He was the project manager at the City of Turku IT services in the latter implementation of the Data Exchange Layer.   

It is beneficial for each municipality to join 

Based on their experiences, the operators of the city of Turku recommend the introduction of the Suomi.fi Data Exchange Layer for other municipal organisations as well, as the risks related to up-to-date information and data security are present in the everyday of all organisations.  

– Yes, it is definitely worth it. In order to maximise the benefits, each municipality should be involved, says Kummel. 


Additional information 

Read more about the Data Exchange Layer in Suomi.fi Service Management https://palveluhallinta.suomi.fi/en/sivut/palveluvayla/esittely

The deployment of the Data Exchange Layer will be carried out in cooperation with the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. We provide advice and support for the deployment in all situations. Our contact information can be found in Service Management: https://palveluhallinta.suomi.fi/en/sivut/palveluvayla/ota-yhteytta 

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