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Commerce Department Needs Your Input on Digital Strategy

On May 23, 2012, the White House released the Federal Digital Strategy that outlined the use of “modern tools and technologies to seize the digital opportunity and fundamentally change how the Federal Government serves both its internal and external customers–building a 21st century platform to better serve the American People.” The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is requiring agencies to implement at least two such tools or technologies by August 23, 2012.

As part of the Digital Strategy, the Department of Commerce has identified two areas that are ripe for improvement and several platforms within each that could be updated: APIs and mobile-optimization. As such, today we are asking for your input in deciding which two items we will commit to completing by OMB’s August 23 deadline. In the comments section contained below, we welcome your feedback on the possible candidates for improvement, or other opportunities we may have overlooked. Your feedback, combined with other internal and external conversations, will guide Commerce’s digital plan in the coming months and years.

For APIs, Commerce has identified:



Main Customers

News from the Office of the Secretary

Blog posts and news releases

General public and Commerce employees


News releases from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration

General Public

American Community Survey

Estimates of the characteristics of the United States' population and housing over a specific data collection period

General Public, Statisticians, Educators

Provides information to help U.S. businesses participate in the global marketplace with information on trade events, tariffs and export counseling assistance

U.S. Business, particularly exporters

Performance metrics OR informational content for Minority Business Development Administration's annual conference

Minority-owned businesses

For mobile optimization, Commerce has identified:

Service Name

Service Description

Main Customers

Public-facing Departmental Website

General public and Departmental employees

Public-facing Website for Bureau of Industry & Security

Exporters, general public, and Bureau employees

Information to help U.S. businesses participate in the global marketplace with information on trade events, tariffs and export counseling assistance.

U.S. exporters and businesses interested in exporting

Information to support job growth and economic expansion through a network of MBDA business centers,

Minority-owned business firms and Bureau employees

In-depth reports, fact sheets, and briefings on policy issues and current economic events.

General public and agency employees

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Mobile friendly homepage for the iPad

It would be great to have a more iPad-friendly homepage.

Completely agree. Enable the

Completely agree. Enable the public to use modern devices to find information on the commerce website.

Economic Data

The more economic data you make available like with the Census app the better.

I second that

I would like to see more economic data available, especially data for regions or states.


I would like to see API's for Export.Gov and the American Community Survey. Also, what about an app the Weather Service?

Strongly agree

Seems like a great way to help American businesses.

Mobile Optimized Sites

I would vote for Export.Gov. I would also recommend that you consider Business.Gov and the Weather Service site. is listed in both the API and Mobile project lists. Focusing on would be most aligned with the President’s National Export initiative and it will also help countless businesses find better and more accurate export-related information. I believe that the programmers would be able to further develop the API functionality and overlay the most relevant segments of with mobile templates that will make the site available/compatible with smartphones and other mobile devices. My suggestion would be to focus on and implement both improvement areas.


I agreee with this. In the DOC library we get lots of requests from the public regaring information that can be found on APTs and Mobile projects that focus on would be a great service to the public. #1 should be the department's #1 priority, with ESA contributing market information through that website.

In addition, the main homepage and other internal-type stuff should be last, as the main goal should work to help taxpayers-- which is directly seen in

mobile api's for Commerce web sites

This is a complete waste of money. Nobody needs instant feedback concerning trade policy or any other matter regarding commerce policy. You have a complete misunderstanding of communications. Just becuase you call it digital doesn't mean it necessary. This sound like self serving PR instead of something useful.

Mobile Apps Needed

I work in Lab Safety as a DSR. Mobile apps to help with the safety side would fill a great void. I found an app for a noise meter which helps infrequently. However, apps for fire, chemical properties, etc. would help tremendously as they could be used on my smartphone when someone has a lab emergency and we don't have access to our computers!

How to participate?

It's amazing how many simple, everyday requests are originated from a mobile device. How can US firms learn more about opportunities to propose mobile optimization services to the Department of Commerce?

Early stages yet

That's a good question. Right now we are just seeking comment on where we should put our limited time and money. However, the long term plan from the Federal Digital Strategy is to enable the American people to access high-quality digital government information and services anywhere, anytime, on any device and unlock the power of government data to spur innovation across our Nation and improve the quality of services for the American people.

In the future, I imagine that Commerce will be publishing data and content via APIs so that the private sector can build upon them much like the National Weather Service does for the Weather Channel, Weather Underground, etc.

Check back on this blog as we continue to implement the Federal Digital Strategy for our progress and where the private sector can help us improve and build their own products.

Put your efforts into EXPORT.GOV
Growing businesses need to learn the mechanics of the global marketplace and find new customers.

Identity and Security

All of the efforts are important, however, the key to commerce of any kind is the security of the network and it's identity provisioning. (Particularly for export data base information, those looking to steal IP and Trade Secrets might find such a search engine useful in profiling for new victims with great product ideas.) is a great idea and if combined with, we can eliminate unfair trade agreements and help small businesses and consumers alike. This would be a direct business to business exchange, where tokens for virtual money, mobile apps, smart cards, and standards will play a role.

It might be necessary to change Federal rules for grants in manufacturing for the US Government from 500 employees to 2 in order to enable income for millions of small enterprises and "garage inventors", especially in new technologies... which is where the "action" is. This numerical "glass ceiling" is where the problem lies in protecting old manufacturing at the expense of new methods and materials, such as additive manufacturing, or 3D printing. would help greatly for the special circumstances of disadvantaged groups, like women for example and it would be nice to see grants and RFP's for those quotas in that sector, easily searchable.

A deep search engine and "Big Data" is really what NIST is going to have to develop and one which is mostly optical computer oriented and compatible with all the different network protocols. Time stamping to the atomic clock will become critical for secure health networks and eCommerce.

The newly established Identity Ecosystem Steering Group should be helpful in these areas.

Good luck on these worthwhile initiatives and thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Robin Ore

IPhone Friendly . . .

My chief question that one seems able to answer:

So what are you (i.e., end user) actually going to do with the information (i.e., Buy, sell, trade, open a busines, close a business)? Do we really NEED every speck of data at our fingertips?
The "I am data; therefore, I MUST be posted!"

Government to Citizens Mobile Application Development

The trend towards on demand and self-service government supports both innovation and cost-saving measures for cash strapped agencies. With more citizens to support and limited resources, reaching the maximum number with the most efficient expenditure of capital is crucial. With no closing time and no lines, government supports citizens wherever they live work and play.
As more citizens conduct their business on the go, the mobility of information becomes a crucial factor in the overall efficacy of government service. Mobility is becoming a core component of daily life and agencies must remain agile as government service changes due to new mobile demand, on any device, at any time. Moreover, agencies must be able to quickly and easily create dynamic mobile applications that are aware of user context, preferences and location in order to drive service, intelligent process automation, and greater citizen satisfaction.
The AT&T Mobile Enterprise Applications Platform is designed expressly for organizations that want to incorporate a mobile presence and service into their existing portfolio of customer service options. AT&T MEAP offers an open and flexible architecture that leverages your current IT infrastructure and investment to bring together the key elements of a comprehensive mobile deployment. With MEAP, the possibilities are endless.
The MEAP market consists of a software platform that includes server and/or client software that either extends the reach of existing IP or other mission-critical applications (including groupware, messaging, customer relationship management [CRM], sales force automation [SFA], enterprise resource planning [ERP], host, or B2C customer-facing applications) or offers the ability to develop new applications for mobile users leveraging a variety of wireless devices (including smartphones, ruggedized devices, media tablets, and mobile phones). MEAP may include the platform, development tools, and front-end applications as sold in a single offering. MEAP software offerings may be either delivered as an on-premise solution with a perpetual license or offered as a cloud service with a per user/month licensing model.

MEAP vendors offer such platforms to enterprise customers, mobile operators, device manufacturers, systems integrators, or other channel partners. They include pure-play mobile vendors, larger ISV and application providers, and device manufacturers that also provide software solutions.
Mobile users, including mobile professionals and mobile field workers, access these enterprise applications through a number of connections, including real-time wireless (through a wireless data network) and WiFi or a synchronization solution — or a combination of both. MEAP addresses the need to deliver corporate applications specifically to mobile and wireless environments.

MEAP represents the core platform for the enablement of mobile enterprise applications, whether they are native, hybrid, or mobile Web-based applications. Deployment of a MEAP solution provides organizations with a turnkey platform that delivers many key functions, including critical integration into a broad set of back-end systems, application development frameworks to build custom applications, and key synchronization technologies to enable accurate movement of data and robust rendering of applications across multiple networks and device/operating system types. Also, many MEAP solutions provide additional components that are critical to a mobile enterprise offering, such as ready-built packaged applications by industry or application type that sit on top of the MEAP platform, core mobile device management (MDM) functions, and mobile enterprise application stores.