Following swiftly on from Brigid McBride's last blog, here’s the first of many (hopefully!) updates from me.
For those of you I haven't already met, I'm Umer Ehsan, Head of Design and Delivery for the API Programme and Product Owner for the API Platform. I ensure consistency and coherence in HMRC’s API work to improve the interactive experience with HMRC through third party software.
Brigid talked recently about going live with the Private Beta for the API Developer Hub. It gives guidance on working with HMRC'sAPI Platform and documentation on the available APIs. We've had really positive feedback so far. The API Platform, which provides the underlying functionality and infrastructure, has been stable in production. Google Analytics data has been insightful and intriguing! We're having fun seeing unique visitors from Swindon to Stavanger (it's in Norway, in case you were wondering).
I also wanted to let you know we've delivered sandbox test environments for the SA Prepopulation and Class II NICs APIs. If you'd like to start using these capabilities as part of our Private Beta, please contact SDSTeam@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk and let them know you're interested.
From a development perspective, we've just completed our stories on User Registration. A self-serve capability for software developers to register themselves on the API Developer Hub and log in/out on future visits. Our next focus is on Application Registration and Management, which will allow software developers to create an application, retrieve test and production credentials, and enable that application to use the APIs provided by HMRC. We're aiming to release all of these capabilities as part of the move to Public Beta in March 2016.
I'm pleased to announce we’ve just completed building works on the new Collaboration Zone for the Digital Delivery Centre in Yorkshire. As well as providing a modern working space for our staff, it reflects our intent to use our Yorkshire office as a strategic location for engaging and collaborating with the software developer community. I'll have details on the official launch date and the events plan for the site soon. So watch this space!
I know Brigid has mentioned it before, but I also wanted to pass on my thanks for the immense support we've been given by the software developer community through interviews, workshops and usability testing. We’ve now run user testing days in three different cities, London, Leeds and Bristol, with over 40 different software developers...
... but this doesn't go far enough! We’ve kicked off a stream of collaborative research around the OAuth 2.0 software authorisation flows on the API Platform. We recognised early that parts of these user journeys took place outside of HMRC's control, so we've been working with a small number of developers to create clickable prototypes that show how third party software can integrate the OAuth 2.0 flow. We're running usability sessions next week, so I’ll report back on what is a very novel way for us to test with users of third party software.
This is my first blog and I'm trying to give a sense the amount of work going on in the API Programme, without giving you war and peace. However, if there are technology areas that you're particularly interested in, please do leave comments or feedback, and I'll try to talk about it next time.
If you don't hear from me before, I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year.