New Community-Powered Developer Portal Revitalizes Open Data

April 9, 2014 12:00 pm PST | Open Data
Dev.Socrata.com

In the open data community, civic developers are the “force multipliers.” They combine open data and technology to engineer innovative, creative solutions to community problems. They discover new trends from data and help us discover how the world around us works. And they push our industry as a whole to always do more, reach further, and strive harder.

In order to be successful, the developer community needs fuel. They need access to data, APIs, and most importantly the resources and documentation necessary to tie them together as well as possible. To that end, we’re proud to relaunch our Socrata Open Developer Portal as our commitment to providing the best developer experience possible.

Our new developer portal is packed with content and features built to help developers get started with the Socrata Open Data APIs as quickly and easily as possible:

  • Step-by-step walkthroughs of API functionality along with runnable examples that query live APIs as well as integrations with API test tools that allow you to change and experiment each query

  • Deep API-level documentation of the datatypes, operations, and query functionality provided by both SODA and SoQL

  • New documentation and resources for the developers that work within our community of data publishers, in order to help them integrate their real-time data sources with their Socrata platforms

  • Better access to the connectors, SDKs, and libraries provided by Socrata and the developer community at large. In addition, many of those resources now have their own resource sites complete with documentation and how-to guides.

In the future, the Socrata Open Developer Portal will continue to be evolved with additional language-specific guides, examples, and resources. Our developer portal will hopefully become the hub of an active network of resources and activity for the Socrata developer community as a whole.

This is where the community comes in. Our new developer portal has been completely developed as an open-source resource, and is managed and published via Github Pages. This allows any interested party to fork, modify, and send our team a “pull request” of changes to any of our developer resources. Those changes could be as simple as a fix of a typo, or they could be an entirely new “how-to” document or example of how to use the Socrata APIs with a new language or framework. If the pull request meets our contributor guidelines, we’ll accept the change and their changes will be merged in with the rest of our developer resources.

This also marks the launch of a great new resource for learning about engineering, technology, and developer experience at Socrata. The new Socrata Developer Blog, for which this is the first post will feature:

  • Updates on changes and improvements to our developer experience

  • Details on the exciting work coming out of our developer community

  • A peek into the internal technological work produced by our engineering team that keeps it all humming

If you’re interested in keeping up to date about the goings on of technology at Socrata, please make sure you bookmark or subscribe to our new Tech Blog in order to always receive the latest news.

Thanks, and keep hacking on open data!


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