The following are the interoperability standards that have been developed as part of the Gateway project. The Gateway Service Provider (GSP) is required to understand these standards in its entirety and implement the NSDG solution in compliance with this standards

The sections below provide an outline of the interoperability standards. The standard documents themselves are a part of the RFP documentation

1. Interoperability Interface Protocol (IIP)

E-Governance infrastructure is necessarily a distributed one and there are a multitude of participants to this infrastructure. The communication between some of the key participants is critical to hold this infrastructure together need to be specified and standardized. The objective of Interoperability Interface Protocol (IIP) and Interoperability Interface Specification (IIS) is to standardize on the protocol and to specify the interface nature for this communication to take place.

IIP is the communication protocol that the Service Access Providers, e-Governance Gateway and the Service Providers need to comply with. This protocol is divided into two parts, one part targeted towards the Service Access Providers and one for the Service Providers. e-Governance Gateway as the infrastructure needs to support both the interfaces.

IIP is an asynchronous request-poll-retrieval protocol, with provisions for synchronous communication, which supports requests to be sent and receive a response through a polling mechanism or synchronously. The foundation of the protocol is based on message types and context based processing of messages. There are mechanisms for sending a request, communicating acknowledgements, querying the state of a request, sending and communicating responses and to handle error situations. The message types supported by this protocol are listed below :

  • Submit Request - Used to send an service request
  • Submit Acknowledgement - Used to acknowledge submission requests
  • Submit Poll - Used for polling for responses
  • Submit Response - Used to package the service response
  • List Request - Used for querying submission state
  • Delete Request - Used for ending a submission session
  • Delete Response - Used as an indicator for submission session ending
  • Submit Error - Used for responding to errors

Exchange of IIP compliant messages is intended to be the primary mode of communication between the Service Access Providers and the e-Governance Gateway as well as between the Service Providers and e-Governance Gateway. It is to be noted above that not all messages are required to be supported by the Service Access Providers and the Service Providers. Some of the above messages are mandated to be supported by the Service Access Providers and some for the Service Providers.

IIP provides the interoperable interface for communication and all the IIP messages are XML based, therefore readily usable by any application. This interface is the key for success of e-Governance Gateway.

2. Interoperability Interface Specifications (IIS)

IIP provides the protocol, the message formats and the associated semantics of the messages. However, it does not address the issues of the precise exchange of this information through a technology interface. Interoperable Interface Specification (IIS) address this issue. IIS provides the technological specification for exchanging of the IIP compliant message. To this end IIS provides the following :

  • Mapping of the IIP message to a carrier protocol, SOAP
  • Provides guidelines for messaging, in terms of message size etc.
  • Provides facilities for optimization, through batching mechanism etc.

IIS compliments IIP by translating the message exchange into a viable form of messaging mechanism, such that optimization can be achieved by the implementing application. In terms of carrier protocol, IIS follows SOAP, as standardized by W3C, such that wide industry support is available in forms of ready libraries and implementations. IIS is always used in conjunction with IIP; therefore it is uniformly applicable to the Service Access Providers, Service Providers and e-Governance Gateway.

3. Inter-Gateway Interconnect Specifications (IGIS)

The e-Governance Gateway infrastructure under various administrations in India will form a hierarchical constellation of which every state and centre Gateway will be a part. However, for this constellation to be realized and successfully operational there needs to be a set of predefined guidelines and standards, which will govern various aspects of the constellation, such as its structure, behavior and policy. The IOI Gateway Interconnect Specification (IGIS) is targeted towards providing such a comprehensive documentation of all aspects of the Gateway Constellation. The primary aim of this standard is to provide the specifications and protocols required for construction of the Gateway Constellation. In this endeavor, the document provides specifications at the following levels :

  • Gateway Constellation Structure
  • Service Resolution and Service Information Propagation
  • Operational Guidelines for Gateway Constellation
  • Gateway Interconnect Protocol (GIP)

This specification defines the structure of the Gateway Constellation, the communication mechanisms between various gateways in the constellation, facilities to propagate a service request to its required destination and the policy guidelines applicable to each of the participating gateways in the constellation and the constellation as a whole. This specification is intended to provide the basis on which the Gateway Constellation will be realized. The specification and its associated protocol (s) may be realized with the help any suitable technology and means. In effect, this specification is a technology neutral specification, guideline and protocol enumeration for the Gateway Constellation.

Conformance to IGIS is required by any Gateway that needs to be a part of the Gateway Constellation and is therefore mandated for all state level and centre level Gateways.

4. Gateway Common Services Specification (GCSS)

These specifications are a compilation of a common set of services for NSDG Gateway. These services are considered generic enough in nature, such that they required by more than one government department and Service Access Providers. The generic nature of the services warrant their existence at NSDG Gateway Level, such that substantial reuse of these services can be achieved and individual applications in the eGovernance space of India (present and future) can are spared, metaphorically, the reinvention of the wheel. The set of service specifications contained in this document is expected to expand over time as and when new generic services are integrated into the eGovernance framework of India, therefore, this document intends to serve as the single and authentic source for all such service specifications and undoubtedly a living document, which shall witness many updates and augmentations.


Contact Detail

Department Of Information Technology
Goverment Of India.
Renu Budhiraja
Director & Head of Division e-Gov Standards division
Telephone: +91 11 24363132
Website: (External website that opens in a new window)

Centre for Development of Advanced Computing
Zia Saquib
ED, CDAC Mumbai,
Telephone: +91 22 2620 1606, +91 22 2620 1574
Fax: +91 22 2621 0139, +91 22 2623 2195
Website: (External website that opens in a new window)


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