USGovXML is a non governmental effort to index publicly available web services and XML data
sources. USGovXML documents, in one place and in a uniform manner, the web services and XML data sources
that are provided by the US government. It includes detail information about the data source
(i.e. name, description, links to documentation, tech support, etc.) as well as source code
snippets (written in C#) to help developers better understand how the data sources can be used.
When snippets are presented, the projects in which those snippets were extracted can be
downloaded as zip files. If an example is available, the Example link on the page describing
the data source will be highlighted. Clicking on the link will redirect you to a location that
contains the zip file. To use these projects, developers will need Visual Studio 2008
(or later), .Net Framework 3.5 (or later) and a connection to the internet.
USGovXML was created as an outgrowth of the frustration of not being able to find a single place on the internet that listed publically available web services provided by the US government. The federal agencies have done a good job of making information about its public data sources available on their web sites. However, because each agency site is laid out differently, ferreting out the information required by a software developer can be a tedious task; even more so when data requirements spanned multiple agency sites. Therefore, in addition to being an index, USGovXML can be thought of as being a template i.e. a uniform way in which to find information on agency sites that is of particular interest to software developers.
Also lacking from many agency sites were adequate examples; especially examples for .Net developers. Therefore, where appropriate, USGovXML provides examples written in C#. The projects in which these examples exist are available for download as zip files.
Finally, consuming some of these services is no trivial task i.e. they require specific domain expertise. In others, Java / .Net inter-operability isues were discovered. As more developers began to consume these services, it was quite likely that many of them would have experienced the same problems. And, when they did, they would have contacted tech support and had to wait for a resolution. Therefore, in the interest of expediting the development process, USGovXML established a self help forum on Google Groups
USGovXML went online in November, 2008.