New land register application API to improve efficiency of eforms

Blog by Scott Clarke, Product Owner, Registers of Scotland.

Registers of Scotland is undergoing a business transformation, moving us from a paper-based organisation to one that always looks to be digital first. Alongside developing new services we are also examining ways to enhance and improve our existing services and products to help achieve this goal and improve customer experience.

Working with our user experience panel we identified an improvement that could be made to our eForms service. eForms is an established, successful and popular service that lets our customers prepare their application forms using an online portal. This brings real benefits to customers in efficiency savings, improving data quality and helps to reduce errors which may result in applications being rejected.

However, much of the information users are required to enter into eForms has already been captured in their own IT systems, resulting in time-consuming manual rekeying of data. Stakeholders have fed back to us that this can present a barrier to using eForms as they try to deliver their own efficiency savings. To remove this step and provide more help to our customers, we have developed the Land Register (LR) Application API service.

An API (application programme interface) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. An API specifies how software components should interact and we use these every day in our digital lives as they operate quietly in the background letting different services communicate to each other.

The LR Application API allows users to create and partially prepopulate their LR applications in eForms from within their own IT system using information they have already captured, while retaining the benefits and functionality offered by the eForms service. This removes the need for the time-consuming manual rekeying of data.

This free service is comprised of several parts to cater for the needs of eForms users and their IT providers, as it will be the IT provider who will integrate the end users IT systems with this service. To assist in this process we have produced a website which provides information to software developers about how to use the API. We have also created a test environment which mirrors a small portion of the real service. And finally we have the live API itself.

This service has been developed through a process of iterative design and feedback. The aim of this is to improve the design of our services and products through customer collaboration. For our customers this is a valuable opportunity to shape RoS services based on real needs and requirements.

Using this approach we have nearly completed a period of private beta testing. During private beta parts of the service were in the early stages of development but could demonstrate functionality to a small group of users, allowing us to get feedback and make improvements before releasing the service to a wider audience. The next stage will be to begin public beta testing where we offer the service to a wider audience for feedback, allowing us to make further improvements. More details will follow on when public beta will begin.

Get in touch!

If you would like to be part of testing the knowledge base why not join our user experience panel. Follow the team via @RegistersOfScot on Twitter and on Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube for more updates. Want to comment? Let us know below!

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