Instead of writing about a specific federal API this week, I want to talk about a new, evolving way of building Web interfaces and complete applications. Web Components allow developers to create their element that extends the HTML5 set of tags. Developers can create a Web Component that is a button that performs a specific function, such as composing and sending an email. Alternatively, a Web Component can be a complete application that a developer can easily drop into a Web page or mobile app.
The fourth technology is the HTML Import which packages the Web Component and allows the developer to include Web Components into the Web page or mobile app. As you can guess, APIs are working behind the scenes to make each of these technologies work.
If you would like to learn more about Web Components, you can start with these resources. (This list does not imply endorsement by the federal government. These are just illustrative examples):
- A technical introduction to Web Components
- A video presentation of the potential of Web Components (33 minutes)
- Google’s Polymer
- Component Kitchen’s interactive Web Components tutorial
- How to create your HTML elements using Web Components
Web Components present another way that federal agencies can package and distribute their APIs. Maybe a possible new project is to create a federal Web Components library for website developers and mobile app developers?*API – Application Programming Interface; how software programs and databases share data and functions with each other. Check out APIs in Government for more information. Each week, “The API Briefing” will showcase government APIs and the latest API news and trends. Visit this column every week to learn how government APIs are transforming government and improving government services for the American people. If you have ideas for a topic or have questions about APIs, please contact me via email. All opinions are my own and do not reflect the opinions of the USDA and GSA.