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Last modified: Dec 15, 2023

Altinn Broker Introduction

Introduction to the Altinn Broker Service

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This is work in progress.

What is Altinn Broker?

The main use case for Altinn Broker is Managed File Transfer (MFT). It facilitates secure transmission of files of any size from one provider to one or more consumers. As such, it offers many benefits compared to alternative ad-hoc peer-to-peer file transfer solutions.

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Figure 1: Main use case of Altinn Broker illustrated. File F1 is conveyed from a provider to one or more consumers via intermediate storage

While transfer of individual files is the main use case and original purpose of Altinn Broker, Altinn 3 Broker has been designed with some more advanced use cases and possible future extensions in mind. Advanced use cases and possible extensions are further described in separate sections.

Benefits of Altinn Broker

Compared to alternatives such as e.g., email, FTP or peer-to-peer file transfers, Altinn Broker offers a number of benefits. Some of the main benefits are:

  • Managed service: Take the burden off Service owners and their solution vendors - security, maintenance, certified compliance with relevant vendors - security, maintenance, certified compliance with relevant legislation and regulations.

  • Fault tolerance and resilience: Altinn Broker will support fault tolerant delivery of very large files (several gigabytes and possibly terabytes). [^1]

  • Scalability and availability: Cloud hosting, DDOS protection.

  • Connect to any system or user: Senders and recipients are de-coupled by separate upload and download processes; thus, each side is free to choose the preferred protocol for upload and download.

  • Support for several patterns and addressing schemes: One-to-one, one-to-many, content-based routing, and pub-sub.

  • Real-Time Data Transfer: Altinn Broker use APIs and system events to trigger uploads and downloads.

  • Observability and Auditability: End-to-end visibility of all activity, so you know the who, what, where, and when of data transfers. Quickly access file-transfer logs and analytics to audit transfer activity whenever needed.

  • Advanced monitoring: With the in-built support for adding metadata to file transfers, it is possible to analyse file transfer sequences between multiple actors involved in e.g. a case management process.

  • Observability and Auditability: End-to-end visibility of all activity, so you know the who, what, where, and when of data transfers. Quickly access file-transfer logs and analytics to audit transfer activity whenever needed.

  • Advanced monitoring: With the in-built support for adding metadata to file transfers, it is possible to analyse file transfer sequences between multiple actors involved in e.g. a case management process.

Context Overview

The following diagram shows the main features, information flow and integration options of Altinn 3 Broker. The following diagram shows the main features, information flow and integration options of Altinn 3 Broker.

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Figure 2: Altinn Broker Context Diagram

Explamation to the diagram:

  • The main services provided by Altinn Broker are File Upload and File Download, configured via Service Management, with intermediary storage of files and metadata.

  • All features are accessible to End User Systems via APIs.

  • Human End Users communicate with Altinn Broker via GUIs provided by either their custom End User Systems or GUI-s provided ny Altinn Broker. Note: Service owners may choose to leverage Altinn Studio for building GUIs.

  • End User Systems may be triggered by events via notifications to Webhooks. The same events may alternatively be detected by polling the APIs, however supporting Webhooks in the End User Systems is recommended over API polling.

  • Service Owners configure the services and receive usage reports, invoices and other information according to the agreed service levels.

  • Data Providers upload files and receive status updates.

  • Data Consumers receive notifications about available files and download files, and they give status information about download processes (confirming successful download being the regular case). Explamation to the diagram:

  • The main services provided by Altinn Broker are File Upload and File Download, configured via Service Management, with intermediary storage of files and metadata.

  • All features are accessible to End User Systems via APIs.

  • Human End Users communicate with Altinn Broker via GUIs provided by either their custom End User Systems or GUI-s provided ny Altinn Broker. Note: Service owners may choose to leverage Altinn Studio for building GUIs.

  • End User Systems may be triggered by events via notifications to Webhooks. The same events may alternatively be detected by polling the APIs, however supporting Webhooks in the End User Systems is recommended over API polling.

  • Service Owners configure the services and receive usage reports, invoices and other information according to the agreed service levels.

  • Data Providers upload files and receive status updates.

  • Data Consumers receive notifications about available files and download files, and they give status information about download processes (confirming successful download being the regular case).

Terminology

The following table gives brief descriptions of terms used to describe Altinn 3 Broker. Also see https://data.norge.no/concepts.

TermExplanation
CaseTBD
Case folderTBD
Case managementTBD
CloudTBD
ConsumerTBD
Data BrokerTBD
Data BrokerTBD
DialogTBD
DocumentTBD
End-to-end processTBD
End userTBD
End user systemTBD
EnterpriseTBD. Note: Virtual enterprise, end-to-end processes and seamless services
FileTBD
File transferTBD
Graphical User Interface (GUI)TBD
IntermediaryTBD
Managed File Transfer (MFT)TBD
Message BrokerTBD
On PremiseTBD
ProcessTBD
ProviderTBD
RecipientTBD
Seamless servicesTBD
SenderTBD
Service-based RoutingSee https://www.ehelse.no/standardisering/om-standardisering-i-e-helse/tjenestebasert-adressering
Service-based RoutingSee https://www.ehelse.no/standardisering/om-standardisering-i-e-helse/tjenestebasert-adressering
User JourneyTBD