Digital Leaders Spotlight: MODUL-F, Hamburg Germany

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MODUL-F

A finalist in the 2023 WSIS Digital Service Design Special Prize, the Senate Chancellery of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg’s MODUL-F is a low code platform that acts to enable the design of specialized business applications quickly and economically with prefabricated digital building blocks. Furthering the mission of Germany’s “Onlinezugangsgesetz” (literally translated to “Online Access Act”), which states that more than 6000 administrative services, summarized in 575 OZG service bundles, must be digitized at the federal, state and local levels by the end of 2022, MODUL-F today connects people, businesses, and government.

Highlights:

  • Strong user-centric approach with extensive user interviews
  • Multiple building blocks available, with more planned

Impact:

  • Supports “Onlinezugangsgesetz” (literally translated to “Online Access Act”) impacting 6000 administrative services, summarized in 575 OZG service bundles, which were required to be digitized at the federal, state and local levels by the end of 2022.
  • Has the potential to affect 50+ Million citizen and up to 500,000+ employees of public authorities in Germany. The MODUL-F low code platform offers one way to develop and operate simple business applications to support employees of public authorities in Germany to process millions of requests throughout one year. Furthermore, business applications developed on MODUL-F are fulfilling important legal, security and accessibility requirements.

Note: all statistics are from the submitter, and have not been independently verified by GovStack

SDG and WSIS Action Lines addressed:

9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovationAL C7. ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life — E-government

Challenge:

Up to now, a standardization for developing business applications for these public authority employees is missing. In addition, there was a strong need for highly reusable components for the digitization of administrative tasks, especially those typical of public authorities.

Solution:

To overcome the lack of standardization for developing business applications for public authority employees, the MODUL-F low code platform offers a way to develop and operate simple business applications to support employees of public authorities in Germany to process millions of requests throughout the year. Furthermore, business applications developed on MODUL-F are fulfilling important legal, security and accessibility requirements.

With a strong user-centric approach, the development team conducted extensive user interviews with stakeholders from our project sponsors (including end users) which led to the design of the initial value proposition and the definition of the first modules to be developed.

MODUL-F includes three main ICT components:

  • The Designer – A web-based tool to create business applications
  • The Generator – An integrated and automated tool that receives the plans from the Designer and then generates the respective and ready-to-run MODUL-F artefacts
  • The Runtime – The container-based MODUL-F Runtime executes the ready-to-run MODUL-F artefacts. It operates on Kubernetes and is highly scalable

Key components of digital service

  • Information mediator: Through the MODUL-F platform, public administrators can set up data-mapping schemes, between various MODUL-F components
  • Security: As a Software-as-a-Service solution, MODUL-F follows German security standards for public authorities (BSI IT Grundschutz – Web-Link: BSI – IT-Grundschutz (bund.de) ). Nevertheless, MODUL-F also targets software-as-a-service scenarios in various cloud environments in the future, which means that our security architecture relies on secured interfaces and data communication (in addition to secured infrastructures).
  • Messaging: a reusable text management system so that employees of public authorities can quickly create further inquiries, decisions or replies to received requests in composing complex documents with pre-defined text blocks. For the technical distribution and delivery of those documents, MODUL-F will interact with existing communication channels and portals (e.g. in Germany Bund-Portal, BundID).
  • Scheduling: MODUL-F currently offers a simple scheduling mechanism to remind employees of authorities that certain due dates or expected interaction date are pending / have arrived. Further extensions to this building block are planned.
  • Workflow: MODUL-F is using Camunda workflow services to process the case management of all MODUL-F business applications. The integration and usage of Camunda fosters our future development of MODUL-F to support the development of more complex processes than we are currently providing in MVP 1 and MVP 2. The Camunda workflow services also support important MODUL-F key requirements, for example “Standardized and reliable workflow processing.”

To learn more about building blocks, visit the GovStack Specifications

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