U.S. Department of Labor Launches Online Tools to Help Developers Build Apps

As part of the Obama administration's Open Government Initiative, the Department of Labor has launched a new site featuring APIs and SDKs to help developers better use DOL data in apps.

The U.S. Department of has launched a set of new online tools for software developers to tap into DOL data for use in applications.

The DOL's new first-of-its-kind federal Website is aimed at making it easier for software developers to incorporate Labor Department data into online and mobile applications. The site features published APIs (application program interfaces) and SDKs (software development kits) that enable developers to remotely access data collected by the department.

The tools, available at http://developer.dol.gov, are part of the Labor Department's ongoing efforts to increase transparency, participation and collaboration through the administration's Open Government Initiative, Labor Department officials said.

"While a handful of other federal agencies are making data available through one or more APIs, the inclusion of SDKs is a federal first," said Deputy Secretary of Labor Seth Harris, in a statement. "By doing so, we're lowering the technical barriers and providing developers of all experience levels the opportunity to turn good ideas into powerful software applications for the American public."

APIs and SDKs allow registered developers, when writing software programs, to perform live queries against data, which helps ensure they have up-to-date information and lessens the data file size limitations for those accessing applications from mobile devices, DOL officials said.

The site currently features seven APIs providing access to items ranging from employment and wage data gathered by the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics to details of inspections conducted by the department's Wage and Hour Division and its Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Additional data will be added each week. SDKs are available for BlackBerry, Android, iOS and .NET platforms.

Developers and end users can connect with the DOL at: