"Everything Should Be an API," Says FCC

Kin Lane
Apr. 06 2011, 08:46AM EDT

The FCC is leading by example with its beta release of the FCC.gov website on Monday. In this latest version of the site, the FCC has worked hard to follow Web 2.0 principles, most notably building the entire website on top of RESTful APIs. “Everything should be an API”, FCC managing director Steve Van Roekel said during the press briefing, according to O'Reilly's report.

Beta FCC.gov

The FCC move is part of a growing trend of APIs being used for internal development in order to effectively deploy everything from websites to mobile applications. The most notable may be Twitter's redesigned website which it launched last September. The new Twitter site consumes the same APIs used by its ecosystem developers.

Van Roekel gave some background for the redesign. As part of it, beta.fcc.gov will also be the center of an open, API-driven ecosystem. This will include:

  • reboot.fcc.gov/developer/ - A set of developer APIs, including FCC Consumer Broadband Test, FCC Census Block Conversions, FCC FRN Conversion, FCC License API, and a Spectrum Search API.
  • reboot.fcc.gov/data/ - An online clearinghouse for public FCC data sets

This new API-driven approach is meant to standardize the FCC's approach to delivering information between internal groups, via its website, and with the community at-large, while making good on its promise for a more open government. The FCC first released an API last September.

To see the government make this move represents an important step for APIs, with the FCC now taking the lead and showing the importance of APIs in this new technology driven economy.

Kin Lane I am a programmer and entrepreneur, with a focus on the business of APIs. I study how APIs are changing the business landscape, and the rise of API driven developer ecosystems. I share my insights by blogging on API Evangelist and ProgrammableWeb, and put into action as API evangelist for CityGrid.

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Thanks Justin.

I agree. It shows that RESTful APIs are maturing. And when the government is demonstrating this kind forward thinking, one can hope others follow.

I"ll be following /data and /developer channels closely. I don't want to see the same fate as data.gov. Hopefully they truly see their APIs as essential to operations
and never as a "budget line item".

Stoked to be part of PW!

Jason

Nice Article. Are RESTfull APIs and web services the same thing? It seems like service orientation and everything becoming a service is taking roots. BTW we us a product called JaxView for security and monitoring of such APIs for our internal and external cloud. very cool.

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