Daisy: IT System for German Schools Abroad

„The Federal Office of Administration (BVA) introduces a new IT System for the German Agency for German Schools Abroad (ZfA) base on modern, microservice inspired architecture patterns and IsyFact.”

“When the current IT-System for the ZfA reached its end of life, the BVA decided to base its successor DAISY (Deutsche Auslandsschularbeit Informations-SYstem) upon a modern, flexible architecture. The foundation for this new system is Isyfact, a set of standards provided by the BVA to build general information systems using proven architectural patterns and tried and tested technologies. IsyFact is influenced by the principles of service oriented architecture (SOA). But as DAISY shows, IsyFact can also be applied to a single application to implement its functionality by a landscape of smaller IT systems in a microservices inspired manner.

Microservices is a modern architectural style, that has been pioneered by large e-commerce sites in the last decade. The approach has proven hugely successful in the field of rapidly growing and evolving e-commerce applications, but applicability to other domains, including the public sector, remains questionable. Especially the operating model of Microservices is not easily adapted to current, often ITIL inspired IT operating standards of the public sector. It is not necessary to abandon all common and trusted methodologies in order to reap the benefits of Microservices, though. Through a thoughtful combination of the IsyFact standards and select Microservices approaches, an architecture can be derived, that resides somewhere in the middle between classic SOA and pure Microservices and provides many of the benefits Microservices have become known for, while still remaining compatible to traditional operating models.

The first implementation increment of DAISY has gone live one year ago and the second increment is about to go live shortly. The final application landscape will provide a flexible composition of around twenty applications interconnected through services and based on the IsyFact architecture. It will provide IT business functions to around 100 ZfA officials and more than 3.000 external users (e.g. principals at German schools abroad).”

Karsten Hain, BVA (Germany)