General Information

OOP Enabling Infrastructure
The public administration interoperability platform (iAP) is connecting services of a multitude of public entities and digital platforms that accumulate public information.
Short summary
The public administration interoperability platform (iAP) is connecting all services of a multitude of public entities and digital platforms that accumulate public information.
The government has realised that to achieve a fully digital public administration, public services should be allowed to exchange data in real time, facilitating the only-once principle, whereby citizens don’t have to provide information to a public administration that is already in a public administration database. The iAP project addresses all levels of interoperability (legal, organizational, semantic and technical), and promotes governance and the use of shared platforms.
Start date
Nature and status of project
Rolled Out
Is the OOP case/enabler mandatory?


Political commitment
National Interoperability Framework (NIF)

The iAP project started in 2006/2007 with the main aim of creating a tool to address semantic and technical interoperability between public services, ensuring meaningful information exchange within the Portuguese public administration. The project is under AMA administration because the Agency’s mission includes providing guidelines in interoperability, specifically by creating and disseminating a National Interoperability Framework (NIF).
Socio-cultural influence factors
The scope and extent of the iAP project within the Portuguese Public Administration has enormous potential to simplify procedures within public services, guarantying rationalisation and reduction of costs. It also has the potential to significantly improve citizens’ and companies’ access to services and information provided by different entities from central administration. By addressing several levels of interoperability, iAP promotes better governance and use of shared platforms, simplifying the development of new web services.


Type of data sharing
Actual data
Data handler
Stakeholder name
iAP users
Stakeholder category
Stakeholder name
Stakeholder category
Stakeholder name
Agency for Administrative Modernization (AMA)
Stakeholder category
Stakeholder name
public administration entities
Stakeholder category
iAP is a shared platform, so all entities that use it are part of the project. AMA is in charge of the evolution and corrective maintenance and operation of iAP, using its internal resources, but outsourcing services to private companies, mainly to ensure the technical evolution of the Platform.
The technology platform was based on a SOA and open standards, providing real time access to authentic sources of information and an Identity Federation mechanism. Protocols such as Simple Object Access Protocol Web Services Description Language, Web Services Addressing, Web Services Reliable Messaging, Web Services Security and Web Services Security with Username Token Profile were put into place, and the orchestration module uses Apache ODE.
The benefits gained by the use of open standards were technological independence and reduced investment and operational costs, but also an accelerated integration time, obtained by exposing and reusing web service integration projects that take less time to complete.
Once the technical solution had been selected, AMA also considered the advantages of integrated management of the platform in a single back-office, and the high scalability provided by an asynchronous architecture.
The option of an Identity Federation Mechanism allows data exchange between different information systems without sharing sectorial knowledge and ensures, for example, that justice can send a message using the civil identification number of a citizen to the finance system, which receives the information along with the VAT number, allowing personal data protection within public administration.
In addition to AMA resources, the initial project to develop the platform also involved the collaboration of three private companies - Siemens, Microsoft and Accenture - over a 9 month period.
Lessons learned
Globally the project should also provide the ICT savings that the iAP can achieve for the whole public administration. A study carried out in 2011 by Deloitte Consulting, comprising 76 public entities and 471 integration services, estimates that iAP´s adoption by all Public Administration services will result in savings of 34 million euros over 5 years, due to reduced human resource requirements due to the automation of work, concentration of communications, reuse of web services, standardisation and the use of a shared platform.