The Federal Office of Administration releases new version of Register Factory and IsyFact standards

The Register Factory (www.register-factory.de) is a software standard developed by the Federal Office of Administration (BVA) in 2006 that has been continuously upgraded since then. In addition to its use for developing software solutions within the BVA, it is also offered to other public administrations.

In 2015, the BVA decided to extract the IsyFact standards from the Register Factory, which pool all functionality needed for creating general information systems. The IsyFact standards (www.isyfact.de) and their documentation were published by the BVA under the open source Apache licence v2.0 and the Creative Common Attribution 4.0 International licence.

In addition to the IsyFact standards, the Register Factory contains functionality needed for creating modern register solutions. Besides guidelines with respect to the different architectural layers, both factories contain methodologies, templates for product selection and prefabricated modules in the form of libraries. Depending on the required functionality, specific modules needed for implementation can be chosen from the wide range of modules of both factories.

With their large amount of documentation and the structured guidelines for software architects and developers, the Register Factory and IsyFact standards allowthe efficient and reliable development of complex registers in a timely manner. The BVA demonstrated this with relevant examples:  the Visa Warning File was implemented on the basis of the Register Factory in 2012 within a period of nine months.  The project ‘Versorgung, Betreuung und Unterstützung von unbegleiteten minderjährigen Ausländern‘(German for: provision for, care of and support for unaccompanied foreign minors) was also implemented within only four months.

For eleven years, the BVA’s comprehensive experience in the field of developing modern information systems and register solutions has been incorporated in these standards on the basis of which 13 registers have been developed in the area of public security. These registers include the Central Register of Foreigners that plays a central role in particular in the context of digital transformation in the procedure for granting the right of asylum.

At the Federal Office of Administration, the Register Factory and IsyFact standards are not only used to develop register solutions, but the standards are also the basis, among others, for developing the new DAISY portal for schools abroad going digital. In addition, the standards are also used in the area of the Federal Training Assistance Act (BAföG).

In November 2017, the BVA published the new version 1.8 of the Register Factory and, in parallel, version 1.4 of the IsyFact standards. As the development of both standards is closely linked to subject-related implementation within the BVA, the technological innovations incorporated in these upgrades are always practice-oriented and project-driven.

This close link is achieved through the fact that both standards are applied in the area of software development at the BVA so that the software factories benefit from further developments and enhancements obtained in the projects within the BVA: besides the existing procedures in the area of public security, these projects include large-scale projects such as the Passenger Name Record and Smart Borders. Due to new requirements, such projects will contribute to the standards a variety of technological innovations, such as the use of NoSQL databases for data filing, the employment of container solutions for development and operation, and the implementation of graphical user interfaces. It is planned to include these new technologies in the versions IFS 2.x and RF 2.x after they have been successfully applied in practice.

Karsten Hain, BVA (Germany)