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State of Saxony-Anhalt: Implementation of Specialized Procedures for AFBG Digital

Development of a modular web portal for the AFBG application process for vocational education and training with agile project management.

The Challenge

The Upgrading Training Assistance Act (AFBG) regulates financial support for more than 700 advanced training qualifications, including master craftsmen, business administrators, technicians and educators. The AFBG Digital online portal is the digital implementation of this law and one of the first procedures available nationwide in accordance with the Online Access Act (OAA). In line with the principle of »one for all« (EfA), AFBG Digital was initially to be implemented in one federal state for more cost-efficient and faster implementation and then successively rolled out to all other federal states. The software therefore had to be developed as a central portal solution that could be used by all federal states and for various specialist procedures with around 250 approval offices throughout Germany.

2013: Act on the Promotion of Electronic Administration (E-Government Act) came into force

2014: »Digital Administration 2020« programme became another cornerstone for digitalization

2017: Online Access Act (OAA 1.0) for administrative services was enacted

2023: Draft law to amend the Online Access Act (OAA 2.0)

The Almato Solution

The Ministry of Science, Energy, Climate Protection, and Environment (MWU) of the State of Saxony-Anhalt has awarded the implementation of the AFBG Digital project through a public tender process. On behalf of our sister company DATAGROUP IT Solutions, we developed a modular web portal for the entire AFBG application process for vocational education and training, including the connection to the underlying specialized processes. We acted as implementation experts in the consortium and were responsible for the technical implementation of the project as well as for hosting and operating the application.

Innovative software development masters requirements

The aim in developing the online service was to achieve software-supported data collection, retrieval, processing and visualization as well as seamless digitalization of the entire process in accordance with the requirements of the state of Saxony-Anhalt and the BMBF. The online service was developed using the Go programming language and innovative and efficient open source frameworks.

Based on guidelines and checklists provided by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), security standards were established, and a robust software architecture was designed and implemented. The use of security frameworks helped eliminate vulnerabilities during the software development phase.

The BundID integration, used for user authentication (up to trust level high), was incorporated based on the SAML 2.0 standard. Using a generative approach, all forms, including input validators, PDF mapping as a source code for the web application, and the backend, were created. In addition to security aspects, considerations were made for accessibility, data privacy, and responsiveness requirements. DevOps and cloud techniques were also applied based on Kubernetes.

The Success

Highest customer satisfaction. Realization on time and on budget.

Key Benefits

  • Improved quality and efficiency through digital transmission to the specialist procedures and personalized user accounts
  • Optimization of user guidance
  • Less time-consuming administrative work

Agile project management as the key to success

Agile project management based on Scrum was a key success factor. In two-week sprints, the AFBG digital platform was implemented iteratively and transparently for all participants at all times. On the one hand, this approach resulted in significant efficiency gains, while on the other, requirements that only became more concrete as the project progressed could be incorporated into the ongoing development without any hurdles. The first version of AFBG Digital was thus realized from kick-off to go-live within just six months as one of the first OAA procedures nationwide. As a result, the AFBG Digital application went online on schedule on November 15, 2022.

Better overview meets easier application process

The implementation of the new solution has resulted in numerous advantages for both applicants and the administrations themselves. From now on, users will benefit from improved clarity and a simplified application process. Forms on paper that were previously difficult to understand and help texts that were not very user-friendly are now a thing of the past. The time-consuming and laborious search for the correct applications and forms, including attachments, can also be put to rest.

The new solution includes a configurator that asks the applicant various questions. It first determines which requirements the applicant has, which case constellations apply and which documents and data are required in each case. Finally, users receive information on the required documents. These are made available for collection in the portal and then processed in the specialist procedure before the decision can be sent to the BundID in the mailbox. The approval office then sends the notification to the postal address once in the traditional way.


The application status can then be viewed at any time via user account, so that applicants are always informed about the current status. This enables users to track the entire process transparently and have access to the latest information and updates at any time and from anywhere.


»The general conditions we encountered could only be sensibly addressed with agile project management so as not to jeopardize the extremely ambitious schedule. This is a novelty for public sector clients and requires enormous trust in the service provider. I am therefore all the more pleased that our agile teams mastered this challenge with a precision landing in the truest sense of the word

– Stefan Dreher, COO & Authorized Signatory, Almato AG


Customer Statement

»With our combined efforts and the enormously motivated team, we actually managed to meet the very last acceptance deadline in mid-November. That was a huge challenge in terms of time. We were very, very happy that we had landed such a good deal with the tender and the awarding of the contract and that we got such a good team that was motivated, committed and highly qualified to implement it and also mastered the time challenge

Franziska Berendt
Head of the project group supervising the OAA online service AFBG Digital,
Ministry of Science, Energy, Climate Protection and the Environment


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