Utah puts bids on RSS

Utah's Purchasing and General Services Division publishes procurement bids through a Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed, one of the first government purchasing agencies in the country to use the growing Extensible Markup Language-based Web format.

People who want to know what new bids have been posted simply subscribe to the division's Web site by inserting the RSS feed's URL in a news aggregator or reader that sits on the user's computer and regularly polls RSS-enabled sites for new items. Those items then appear in the aggregator's window as a headline and short description.

This way users can scan, in a relatively short time, new items of interest from dozens of Web sites at a time.

Bids are e-mailed to people who subscribe to the division's service, said Douglas Stout, administrative services manager of the division, "but we'd definitely like to see more participation from bidders."

The agency started the RSS feed because one of the division's customers asked for it, and because it only took an afternoon's work to put up the RSS capability, there was no other consideration needed, Stout said.

The division is "just playing with [RSS] right now," Stout admitted, but he's hopeful that his group's use of the new technology could get many other people to use aggregators to receive bid information and thereby help to create a standard for this kind of use of the XML-based service.

Although still a niche item, RSS has been attracting more interest as a way of publishing Web-based information easily to a broad audience, particularly in the commercial sector. It's an even smaller niche in government circles, but it's also starting to attract interest there.

Utah is one of the first states to apply a focus to using RSS, with the legislature already publishing a general interest RSS news feed on its activities. The executive branch and Administrative Office of the Courts also publish Web content through RSS feeds.

Brian Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached at hullite@mindspring.com.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.