The Parliament of Finland

Cloud services enable modern information sharing for the Parliament of Finland

The availability of important public information resources for both citizens and the media is the basis of democracy and the transparency of information. This was the premise for creating the open data service of the Finnish Parliament using the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud service. Now Solita is the MSP partner responsible for operating all of the Parliament’s AWS cloud services and developing and maintaining the applications built upon them.

The Parliament’s open data service provides parliamentary documents, voting data and attendance data starting primarily from 2015. The service was supplemented with digitised parliamentary documents as a parallel service that expanded the data to the years 1907–2000.

The open data anddigitised parliamentary documents services allow users to search, view and download the public documents produced by the Parliament, including government proposals, committee reports, expert statements and voting results. Researchers, the media and activists have been particularly interested in the service.

Feedback regarding the service can be delivered to development quickly, shortening development cycles and helping the service achieve the high standards of availability and reliability set for it.

As a AWS Managed Service Provider (MSP), Solita takes care of the whole operation of Parliament's AWS cloud services, development and maintenance of applications

    • Cloud governance
    • Cost optimization
    • Security

Aiming for a scaling and reliable cloud service

The developer and operator of the services was chosen through competitive tendering, and Solita won with the highest quality score in the autumn of 2018. The contract has a term of four years.

First, Solita considered how to improve the scaling, information security and production security of the open data service. The target of maintenance and development was to establish a reliable cloud environment that is in line with best practices and is easy to develop in the future. The cloud environment fixes were implemented in accordance with the best practices of the Amazon Web Service’s Well-Architected Framework. The web application was upgraded using modern technologies such as micro service architecture and Contentful CMS. A public cloud governance model was created for Parliament to ensure consistent and high-quality development and cloud management in the future.

Agile progress

The services were built using the AWS cloud services. In the first phase, the open data service was developed to offer a simple interface to the data content related to the current term of the Parliament. Lightweight search features were also built into the user interface.

Development needs related to technical and content aspects were identified in the open data service during the project. In the next phase, the content of the service is set to expand to the data of the members of parliament, and the parliamentary documents currently missing from 2001–2014 will be made available. The technical development needs were assigned to be planned in conjunction with the maintenance of the service.

DevOps brings agility, flexibility and automation

    • Continuous integration and delivery pipeline
    • Automatic recovery from fault situations

Results

The shortcomings found in the pilot service were solved as Solita entered the picture, and the quick development of new features was started. Currently, Solita is responsible for operating the open data AWS platforms of the Parliament, as well as the development and maintenance of the applications built upon them. Open data is important and serves a continuously expanding user base, who can already appreciate the development as faster content loading times.

Solita provides the Parliament with a complete service in the spirit of DevOps where cloud operation and application development support one another seamlessly. Both the customer and the end user benefit when feedback regarding the service can be delivered to development quickly, shortening development cycles and helping the service achieve the high standards of availability and reliability set for it.

Interested? Contact us

Anton Floor

Business Manager, Cloud & Connectivity

anton.floor@solita.fi

040 77 03 758