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One Less Barrier Between Civic Application Developers and Government Data

Socrata Launches a Developer Site, Building on its Commitment to Help Civic Application Developers Access Government Data Through Modern Open Data APIs

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- (Marketwire) -- 08/11/10 -- Socrata, Inc., a leading enabler of Open Data Services for government organizations, today launched the Socrata Open Data API (SODA) Developer Site to provide practical tools and resources to civic application developers who need programmatic access to government data. The focus of the Developer Site is to make it easy to access the API, retrieve data and perform more advanced operations such as searching and filtering, all in the developer's language of choice.

One of the unique and highly useful features of this site is the extensive use of dynamic code samples that developers can run and preview, in context, throughout the reference documentation. These inlined runnable samples make use of an interactive console that also allows programmers to explore the API interactively, by issuing API commands against any public Socrata-powered dataset and seeing real results in JSON, XML and even RDF notation.

The Socrata Open Data API (SODA) Developer Site is the third meaningful step in Socrata's campaign to unlock government data for developers. Kevin Merritt, Founder and CEO, provides perspective on Socrata's continued commitment to developers: "Our first step was to API-enable the shared Socrata platform with a common, standards-based API, so that every dataset was readily and uniformly accessible. The second was to contribute the Socrata Open Data API (SODA) specifications to the Open Data community under a Creative Commons license. Today we're launching a Developer Site specifically for civic developers to have a virtual place to congregate, share best practices, learn from each other, promote their work and yes, of course, learn how to better make use of SODA and government data."

The initial step-by-step guides and code libraries contain samples in Ruby, Java, Python, JavaScript, C# and PHP and will continue to grow with feedback from the community. Other features of the SODA Developer Site include community forums, jumpstart guides and videos, API documentation and a developer blog maintained by Socrata developer evangelist, Chris Metcalf, with additional contributions from Socrata developers. Socrata's code libraries - higher level, reusable source code modules - are open source and available both on the SODA Developer Site and on github at http://github.com/socrata.

Socrata will continue to contribute to the Open Data community so that developers no longer have to screen-scrape websites or assume the burden of transforming the source data into usable formats and keeping it up to date. Dan Melton, Chief Technology Officer at Code for America agrees: "Open data is extremely important to building out government as a platform. With the launch of SODA and the developer site, Socrata adds another awesome tool set to the Gov 2.0 initiative. We're excited to support the new service and look forward to building on top of it."

Socrata will continue to evolve the developer site based on feedback and ideas from the Open Data community and invites all civic application developers to check out the site at http://dev.socrata.com and take it for a test drive.

About Code for America

Code for America helps city governments become more transparent, connected and efficient by connecting the talents of cutting-edge web developers with people who deliver city services and want to embrace the transformative power of the web to achieve more impact with less money. Inspired in part by Teach for America, CFA works with city officials and leading web development talent to identify and then develop web solutions that can then be shared and rolled out more broadly to cities across America. For more information please visit: www.codeforamerica.org

About Socrata

Socrata, Inc. (Socrata), is the proven leader in Open Data Services, a category of Web solutions that enable federal, state, and local governments improve the reach, usability and usefulness of public data while lowering the costs of serving large datasets.

Socrata develops, operates and licenses the most comprehensive set of commercial Open Data Services including:

--  Socrata Social Data Platform™: a cloud-based, turnkey solution that
    enables data publishers to provide a universally accessible and engaging
    data-consumption experience, delivered within configurable, branded
--  Socrata Social Data Player™: makes it easy to embed and propagate any
    Socrata-hosted dataset across the Web while maintaining source fidelity
    and full interactivity.
--  Socrata Open Data API (SODA): a freely-distributed, open, standards-
    based, non- proprietary application programming interface that makes
    every public Socrata-hosted dataset accessible to developers

Socrata is a private company, based in Seattle, Washington, with venture financing from Frazier Technology Ventures and Morgenthaler Ventures. To learn more about Socrata, visit www.socrata.com.

Socrata, Making Data Social, Social Data Platform, Social Data Player and Socrata Open Data API are trademarks of Socrata, Inc. All other product and company names may be trademarks of their respective companies.

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Socrata, Inc.
Kevin Merritt
Founder & CEO
206-340-8008 x201
[email protected]

Socrata, Inc.
Chris Metcalf
Developer Evangelist
206-340-8008 x204
[email protected]

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