We’re inviting government organisations (both local and central) to post details of their APIs on GitHub so we can improve the picture we have of development taking place across government and the types of data sharing occurring.
Why we need more transparency and consistency in the API space
Even though there’s more cross-government working in the API space than ever before, there are still many cases of government organisations developing APIs in isolation. This can lead to the government solving the same problem multiple times, often in different ways.
GDS, along with the API and Data Exchange cross-government community, maintains a set of API Standards and API design guidance, and holds regular API events, all in order to agree common standards and the sharing of best practice. Collaborating on a list of APIs should create more transparency in the development space, and should further help government development teams communicate with each other about challenges and approaches.
Publishing an open list of government APIs is an approach increasingly common internationally. At a recent API event, Canada’s Office of the Chief Information Officer presented on its cross-government API Store.
The Canadian API Store is a catalogue of government APIs to increase findability, and is a collaborative effort across government. Users can discover services or data through the API Store to help the Canadian government’s ‘tell us once' programme of work.
How to add your API to the collaborative catalogue
Adding your API to the catalogue is quick and easy.
- Open a GitHub Issue.
- Include a link to your API’s base URL and documentation.
- Submit the GitHub issue for review.
The catalogue is limited to APIs that exist between government organisations, or between government organisations and industry, or that publish open data.
How you can feedback on this work
We will run a feedback session at one of the next API events to see how departments and local government find contributing to the list. Our next API meetup is in Newcastle and will be hosted by DWP and open to both government employees and suppliers. If you want to attend, you can sign up on the Eventbrite page.
Alternatively you can reach out to us in the comments below or send an email to our Service, Design and Assurance team.