Application programming interfaces (APIs) are quickly being used more often in government. API’s, to put it simply, are a set of rules how systems can interact with each other. API’s allow developers access to agencies data, which can be used to make engaging mobile content and innovative uses of data for improved citizen engagement. API’s are an important element of the recently announced, Digital Government Strategy. Emily Jarvis cites that the Digital Government Strategy requires agencies to take two backend systems and convert them to API’s.
There are numerous examples of how government agencies are leveraging API’s to improve how services are delivered and communication improved with citizens. On September 13, be sure to join GovDelivery’s webinar as Richard Fong, Technical Implementation Consultant with GovDelivery, will explain what an API is and why it’s so essential to the new federal Digital Government roadmap. Richard will provide insight into GovDelivery’s API, which helps automate previously manual processes so you can save time and resources on routine tasks. Richard will also share some exciting government success stories that illustrate how easily and successfully government agencies can leverage APIs to drive efficiency and engagement. (You can register here for the webinar)
One great example of how API’s work comes from the National Weather Service (NWS). A recent GovDelivery post states:
NWS quickly and easily drafts messages with forecast information, including severe weather updates, and uses GovDelivery Digital Communication Management to deliver those alerts via email and SMS/text message to nearly 140,000 citizens and stakeholders. But with events like tsunamis, seconds matter, which is why the NWS utilized cutting-edge application programming interface (API) technology to send out tsunami bulletins even more quickly than before.
When issuing a tsunami hazard bulletin, speed and accuracy are extremely important. In order to provide near real-time messaging, the GovDelivery Send Bulletin API is used to rapidly disseminate tsunami bulletins to the public. The application integration is able to send both an email message to subscribers as well as an SMS/text message to mobile phone/wireless subscribers. GovDelivery APIs are designed to automate previously manual processes, so this was a perfect option for NWS to send critical tsunami updates.
With online documentation and support from GovDelivery staff, NWS was able to quickly write the integration. Because the APIs employed open standards such as REST and XML, it made deploying the solution easy.
The GovDelivery post states that the reasons why this is great for NWS is simple, identifying, “NWS and other government organizations can get out of the business of sending out communications (and all the operational logistics this entails) and focus instead on their core business mission.” The process of automation and saving time to focus on core business functions is one of the dozens of benefits of developing an API. Join GovDelivery on September 13 to learn more about API’s, and how they can be implemented at your agency.
|GovDelivery is the #1 sender of government-to-citizen communications, serving over 400 government entities worldwide and more than half of major U.S. federal agencies. Organizations use GovDelivery to send over 200 million messages every month on a broad range of topics including national emergencies, health alerts, tax policy changes and more. Check out their User Group on GovLoop as well as the Technology Sub-Community of which they are a council member.|