The National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) of the Govt. of India aims to make all Government services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets and ensure efficiency, transparency & reliability of such services at affordable costs to realize the basic needs of the common man. One of the goals of the Government to meet this vision is the need to cooperate, collaborate and integrate information across different departments in the Centre, States and Local Government. Government systems characterized by islands of legacy systems using heterogeneous platforms and technologies and spread across diverse geographical locations, in varying state of automation, make this task very challenging. eSangam : e-Governance Services Integration Framework, formerly called National e-Governance Service Delivery Gateway (NSDG), a Mission Mode Project (MMP) under the NeGP, is simplifying this task by acting as a framework for integrating government services by centrally hosting adapters and acting as a standards-based messaging switch providing seamless interoperability and exchange of data across.
The emergence of many e-governance applications for different departments to provide online services to citizens, businesses and government would require increasing interactions amongst departments and with external agencies at various levels in Government. Departments would need to develop connectors/adaptors for point to point connections between departments creating a mesh as shown in figure and also tight coupling between applications.
This would lead to applications difficult to maintain and upgrade in case of version change and change in government policies and business rules. eSangam is an attempt to reduce such point to point connections between departments and provide a standardized interfacing, messaging and routing switch through which various players such as departments, front-end service access providers and back-end service providers can make their applications and data inter-operable. eSangam aims to achieve a high order of interoperability among autonomous and heterogeneous entities of the Government (in the Centre, States or Local bodies), based on a framework of e-Governance Standards. eSangam also provides a framework for integrating the services with minimal impact at the department end by providing the centralized connector hosting support. Integrated service delivery with long running asynchronous service workflows can also be provided and managed easily through eSangam.
eSangam as a eGovernance service delivery framework acts as an intelligent hub and routes service requests from a Service Seeker (Service Access Provider) to a Service Provider (typically a back end Government department that puts up its service for electronic delivery) and in return sends the response back to the Service Seeker through the Gateway.
The first version of gateway enabled integration amongst diverse set of applications built on varying platforms through compliance with a set of e-Governance Specifications- Interoperability Interface Protocol and Interoperability Interface Specifications (IIP/IIS) that are based on open standards such as the W3C XML and SOAP specifications. This required adapters to be deployed at the departments’ end for integration and message exchange for packet encoding and decoding. The latest version of eSangam now enables message exchange using very lightweight message structure in both SOAP and REST protocols and intends to extend the support for even any other standard protocol and data format implemented by departments in addition to the IIP/IIS and IGIS standards.
eSangam facilitates link between two major entities: