Last May, the UK's Government Digital Service (GDS) began testing a notification service, GOV.UK Notify, and API that allows the government to send text messages, emails and letters to citizens. As GDS prepares for a public beta of GOV.UK Notify, the API has been upgraded. The upgrades were made in response to user research conducted during the ongoing private beta. The API upgrades are expected to improve functionality.
Specific changes include: more concise responses, additional filters, updated error response formats, and additional parameters. The new responses aim to focus on specific information that various service teams need. Additional filters include status and type, and more categories within the 'get all notifications' function. New error response formats are designed to be more informative and easier to understand. Errors now include error name, status code and error message. The additional parameter, 'reference', allows users to send an email or text with a unique identifier.
The upgraded version is version 2 of the API. Older versions will remain available, in a backward compatible manner. However, GDS encourages developers to upgrade as soon as possible to ensure that integrations go smoothly with the latest client libraries. The changes can be found in the CHANGEME file within the client library.
Currently, 16 government departments are utilizing 25 services on the platform. At the original private beta launch, GDS reported that more than 70 departments were interested in leveraging Notify. For those interested in trying out the service, create an account at GOV.UK Notify. Follow the project at the government as a platform blog.