How Many X-Road Environments an X-Road Ecosystem Needs?

It’s a common practice that an X-Road ecosystem consists of multiple X-Road environments each of them having its own role. In addition to the production environment, it’s recommended to have one or more additional environments for testing and quality assurance. For both X-Road operator and members, it’s important to be able to test configuration changes and version upgrades in a non-critical environment before applying them to production systems.

The number of different environments varies between the deployment models. With national deployments a common approach is to have three different environments:

  • production

  • test

  • development.

The production environment is for exchanging real data between registered legal entities. The test environment is a mandatory stepping stone before the production and therefore, all organisations joining the production environment must join the test environment first. In that way, the member organisations get a chance to practice the onboarding process and they have a quality assurance environment for future needs. The implementations of the production and test environments should be identical or very close to each other so that it’s possible to test configuration changes and version upgrades in the test environment before applying them to the production environment.

The development environment is for trying out X-Road without any commitments to join the production environment later. Joining the development environment is optional and it’s open for individual developers as well. Usually, the onboarding process and security related requirements are more relaxed compared to the production and test environments, e.g., a self-hosted trust services are used. Also, in the development environment the onboarding process could be partially or fully automated.


Real data

Real organisations





Production environment. Only registered legal entities are allowed to join.




Test environment. All organisations joining the production must join the test first.




Development environment. Joining is optional. Open for any organization or individual.

Regardless of the deployment model, it’s recommended to have at least two environments: production and test. Having only one environment means that all configuration changes and version upgrades must be applied to the production environment without being able to test them first. Also, the information systems connected to X-Road evolve and it must be possible to test their new versions without affecting productions systems.