Delivering new developer services: Progress update

I'm wanted to let you know after a successful launch last week our API developer hub is now in private beta testing. Thank you for your support and input in helping us to develop the hub and set the priority order for publishing APIs [API roadmap]. Partner developers who signed up to support us are working their way through the design and information contained in the hub. They're giving us valuable feedback as we move towards the next iteration. This is a fantastic achievement for the HMRC team and the developer community, following swiftly on from the launch of our API strategy just 11 weeks ago.

Building the API Platform and API developer hub have not been without their challenges. The API Platform is hosted on its own cloud infrastructure to guarantee high performance of our digital services and API offering. We’ve learnt from delivering the Multi-Channel Digital Tax Platform (MDTP) and were able to deliver this in half the time. Configuring our API management product for our micro-service architecture still had its challenges. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel though and we're confident we'll be in a much more stable place come the turn of the year.

The API developer hub had its own design challenges, particularly around the API documentation. The user interface had to accommodate our APIs, each with many endpoints, and each of those with multiple versions. Our designers worked hard to create the best user experience alongside consistency with GOV.UK styling. Your support during the usability testing helped us improve our design and we're look forward to the private beta phase feedback.

We're feeling good about how far we've come in a short space of time with the hub, but there's still lots more to do. The next stage is to give developers from our beta community access to sandbox environments to test the new set of exemplar APIs with their applications. These will be available in early December.  We're also about to start testing Authorisation using software applications through the API Platform with volunteers from the developer community. In March 2016 we’ll release a further iteration of the hub - a public beta. This will let software developers register themselves and their software applications so anyone can start testing with the APIs we have made available.

Umer Ehsan our Product Owner will blog in December with the next update, so watch this space for more information on progress. Please keep sending us your comments and suggestions, either through this blog, direct to or as a beta developer through the hub.

Thank you for your continued support.

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