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Governmental Agencies Are Rapidly Adopting DreamFactory


Governmental agencies around the world are adopting the DreamFactory REST API platform for a variety of innovative purposes. The customer might be a foreign country, a state, a province, or a city. This whitepaper provides some recent examples of how governmental entities are using the platform.

Why Are Governments Adopting REST APIs?

Like any other complex enterprise, governments also need to modernize IT infrastructure, make services and data more transparent, provide self-service options for citizens, and develop mobile applications. One common use case is when a governmental institution needs to provide access to public information. They need a low cost and flexible way to do this. In some cases, they are required by law to provide the information. In other cases, they need to integrate with partners like public utilities. Governments often need to develop mobile applications to provide services and information. Doing this can lower cost, provide better service, and enable significant new capabilities, like emergency warnings and notifications.

But building REST APIs by hand is expensive and time-consuming. There is no guarantee that the results will be reliable, scalable, or secure. In some cases, the government is obligated to expose a database as public information, but unsure what format the REST API should take. Governments are also trying to save taxpayer dollars where possible. For all of these reasons, the DreamFactory REST API platform is an excellent choice. DreamFactory makes it very easy to safely expose a database or services as a REST API for public information, partner integration or application development. The platform is highly scalable, extremely reliable, and the security has been tested by hundreds of thousands of developers. And open source software is a natural fit for governmental uses that require transparent solutions that minimize vendor lock-in.

Government Provides Land Use Information

A government in Southeast Asia needed to provide public information about land usage to citizens and developers building applications for real estate and other purposes. They stored their land usage records in a PostGIS database. PostGIS is an open source software program that adds support for geographic objects to Postgres. They also needed to expose a variety of SOAP and REST services that their developers would need. Some additional information was stored in MongoDB.

They used the open source version of DreamFactory to build a quick prototype, and by the time our team started talking to them, they were already in production. One challenge was that they needed to support a massive number of transactions, and the services had to be continuously available. DreamFactory engineers helped them architect their backend servers for high availability and failover. This provided a backup system for uninterrupted operation.

During extensive testing, one of the developers managed to bring the site down with too many queries. They switched to the DreamFactory Gold product and turned on rate limiting. By doing this, it helped harden the system from overuse or attack. They also turned on the API reporting features so that they could track developer adoption of the land use information system. For authentication, they used the native DreamFactory user management services. Developers can sign up for the system and login for a session ID and access.

Electrical Grid Information In Texas

A city in Texas needed to provide public information about the electrical grid to partners, developers, and utilities. Previously, city workers had to track down the information manually and send emails or faxes when people were interested in some aspect of the electrical grid. They considered opening up their enterprise services bus (ESB) for this purpose, but this solution was too complex, and there were security concerns. A much better solution was to expose this information in a lightweight REST API, and that is where DreamFactory entered the picture.

Most of the electrical grid information was stored on Oracle servers. They also had some SOAP APIs that needed to be converted to REST and exposed to developers. For authentication, they used the native DreamFactory user management services. Partners and developers can sign up for the system and login for a session ID and access to information about the electrical grid. The entire platform was completed in just about a month.

In Conclusion

This whitepaper provides examples of how governments around the world use DreamFactory to expose public information for developers and partners. In some cases massive scalability is necessary, and in other cases, the ability to provide an easy to use service platform for citizens is what matters. Other governmental institutions are using DreamFactory strictly for internal projects. If you work for a state, local, or federal agency and need a REST API platform, please give the DreamFactory REST API platform a test drive. If you encounter any problems, do not hesitate to contact support or ask a question on the forum.




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