Use open standards to build technology that is easier to expand and upgrade, and make sure it communicates with other technology.
To meet point 4 of the Technology Code of Practice your plan or design must show you’ve considered using open standards and data.
If you’re going through the spend control process you must explain how you’re meeting point 4 or any limitations you’ve encountered.
How open source differs to open standards
Open source is a way of developing and distributing software. The code is often written collaboratively, and it can be downloaded, used and changed by anyone.
Open standards are common rules that allow any user to create compatible and consistent products, processes and services. They are designed collaboratively, are publicly available, and free or low cost.
How open standards help your programme
You can use open standards for individual parts of your project or programme. Using open standards increases interoperability and means you:
- save time and money by reusing things that are already available
- increase compatibility with a range of stakeholders
- avoid vendor lock-in
Building technology that uses open standards
You can make your technology project or programme more flexible and interoperable by:
- using open standards and complying with any that are compulsory for use in government
- using the recommended open standards that meet your requirements
- being clear what data your systems will hold, and which identifiers are in place to make sure the data can be used effectively
- avoiding the duplication of data, and being very clear about their approved source
- using RESTful APIs for integration where possible and the API technical and data standards
- using or contributing to the government’s API catalogue
Buying technology that uses open standards
When you’re buying a technology product make sure you have included in your requirements:
- any of the open standards that are applicable and compulsory for use in government
- request that open standards used by the supplier comply with the definition of an open standard as described in the ‘Open Standards principles’
- follow the procurement policies for technology from the ‘Public procurement policy’
Supplying technology that uses open standards
Suppliers should be aware of the open standards that are compulsory for use in government.
Wherever possible, suppliers should make these open standards part of their product offering, or offer products that are compatible with these open standards.