“Everything Should Be an API,” Says FCC

Kin Lane, April 6th, 2011

FCCThe 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.

Tags: Gov
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13 Responses to ““Everything Should Be an API,” Says FCC”

April 6th, 2011
at 9:19 am
Comment by: Justin C. Houk

Good post Kin,

Glad to see the FCC is serious enough about their APIs that it is building its website around them. That is a sure sign to their developer community that they are committed. Great to see you posting on PW!

April 6th, 2011
at 11:41 am
Comment by: Kin Lane

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!

April 6th, 2011
at 2:14 pm
Comment by: 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.

April 9th, 2011
at 1:01 pm
Comment by: Eric

Great to see a government take a progressive approach with web development and APIs. I wrote about how crucial APIs are here: http://www.trendslate.com/2010/11/24/lead-with-your-api/

May 15th, 2011
at 7:33 pm
Comment by: Our Latest Project: fcc.gov | Seabourne

[...] to follow Web 2.0 principles, most notably building the entire website on top of RESTful APIs." — Programmable Web "It puts fcc.gov on the road to becoming one of the best government communications [...]

August 3rd, 2011
at 10:23 pm
Comment by: Steven VanRoekel named new federal CIO by White House | Gov 2.0: The Power of Platforms

[...] brought a .com mentality to the FCC, including a perspective that “everything should be an API” that caught some tech observers, and worked with a new media team that established a voice [...]

August 4th, 2011
at 11:11 am
Comment by: Steven VanRoekel named new federal CIO by White House | Gov 2.0: The Power of Platforms

[...] brought a .com mentality to the FCC, including a perspective that “everything should be an API” that caught some tech observers’ eye. He worked with an innovative new media team that [...]

September 15th, 2011
at 5:05 pm
Comment by: Our Latest Project: fcc.gov | Seabourne Consulting

[...] to follow Web 2.0 principles, most notably building the entire website on top of RESTful APIs." — Programmable Web "It puts fcc.gov on the road to becoming one of the best government communications [...]

December 20th, 2011
at 3:48 pm
Comment by: The FCC Lanches API Curation Platform Called MyFCC « apievangelist

[...] in April, the FCC launched their API driven content platform, stating that “Everything should be an API”. In doing so the FCC did two very significant [...]

December 21st, 2011
at 11:21 am
Comment by: MyFCC Platform Enables Government Data Mashups

[...] site available via an API.  MyFCC continues with the earlier vision of Steve Van Roekel, that Every Site Should be an API, which we covered back in April, 2011. Van Roekel was then the managing director of the FCC, and [...]

August 15th, 2012
at 12:16 pm
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August 29th, 2012
at 4:21 pm
Comment by: 21st century smarter government is 'data-centric' and 'digital first,' says US CIO - O'Reilly Radar

[...] brought a dot-com mentality to the FCC, including a perspective that “everything should be an API” that catches some tech observer’s eye. He worked with an innovative new media team [...]

October 9th, 2012
at 2:21 am
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