Resources and Tools for APIs

Mar 12, 2013

Hosted API Tools
Children's building blocks letters spelling A P I. is a repository of shared services to prototype and provide developer resources to government agencies. Each tool uses Web services and lightweight, open source code to provide powerful functionality. Agencies are encouraged to improve any project and submit pull requests in order to share the improvements with others.

API Standards Template

With the open source release of the White House’s API Standards template, agencies have a complete model for API design and best practices that includes the best practices and agreed–upon norms of the developer community. Agencies are encouraged to use these standards for their own API production, modifying them as needed, but otherwise normalizing their APIs with those of other agencies and the private sector.

Examples of APIs in Government

API Education Series

  • APIs for Dummies—An Introduction to APIs
  • Case Studies from the FCC, FAA, and Department of Labor
  • Case Studies from the Federal Register, NASA, and GSA
  • Advanced Operations—Contracting, Legal, and IT Security
  • Advanced Technical Overview—Formats, Keys, Analytics
  • APIs and the Digital Government Strategy
  • Learn How to Use and Create APIs
  • API Standards from the White House

Case Studies

How to Make APIs—An Overview

There are several different ways to generate APIs that range in complexity and functionality. This primer provides a general overview of the different methods.

API Release Kit

Best practices around API production have agreed on a number of common elements which strongly benefit an API and warrant inclusion in the release whenever possible. The API release kit provides an outline of these components along with options for each functionality.

/Developer Kit

Government agencies are increasingly being called upon to provide a central hub by which developers can discover what APIs the agency offers and to find more information on each. The critical elements of these hubs are an agency-wide catalog of APIs, Terms of Service, and means of public engagement. However, by including further common elements, you can provide a more robust and successful developer user experience. The /developer kit provides an outline of these components.

Producing APIs through

One method by which agencies can offer Public APIs is by leveraging the power of interactive datasets on This guide provides a process, template, and example agencies can follow to accomplish this.

U.S. Government APIs Listserv

This public listserv serves as a forum for questions, ideas, news, and collaboration around government API production and is available to anyone who works or wants to learn more about APIs.

Recommended Reading


Managing APIs and Promoting Developer Adoption

The Role of APIs in Government