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Helpful Hints for the New Contract Opportunities Function in beta.SAM.gov: How to Use the Contract Opportunities API

Now that FBO.gov has retired and its key functionalities have been transitioned, beta.SAM.gov is the authoritative source for contract opportunities. To access the things you used to do FBO.gov, just go to “Contract Opportunities” in beta.SAM.gov


As users begin to get acquainted with the new and improved functionalities in beta.SAM.gov, we’ve been pointing out some helpful hints in key areas. 

In previous articles here, we’ve discussed how to save and download searches, how to use the search filters, and how to track opportunities. Now, let’s review how to access the contract opportunities data via an Application Programming Interface (API) or with daily downloads available on beta.SAM.gov.

APIs allow computers to exchange pre-formatted data without human intervention in real time. The contract opportunities API provides opportunities data in a format that is easy for other systems or applications to ingest. To access an API, you must first request a public API key. To make this request, log in to beta.SAM.gov and go to the Account Details page. You must enter the account password on the Account Details page to view the API key information. If an incorrect password is entered, an error will be returned.

After the API key is generated, it can be viewed on the Account Details page immediately. The API key is visible until you navigate to a different page. If you receive an error message during the API key generation or retrieval, then you must try again.

The contract opportunities API is located on GSA’s open data portal at open.GSA.gov. Select “Explore APIs” then select “Explore API Directory.” This page presents all of GSA’s available open datasets. Scroll down to the contract opportunities API, which is labeled “Beta.SAM.Gov Get Opportunities Public API.”

Please note APIs have the following request rate limits:

  • Non-Government Users: 10 requests/day

  • Non-Government Users Associated with an Entity: 1000 requests/day

  • Government Users: 1000 requests/day

  • Government Users with a System Account: No Limit

Contract opportunities data is also available for download in CSV formatted files. This file is a snapshot of the data as of that day in beta.SAM.gov. It is updated nightly at 9:00 pm ET. Access the data files from the Data Services area of beta.SAM.gov using these steps (no login is necessary):

1. Select the “Menu” icon (three horizontal lines) from the gray bar at the top of the site.

2. Select the “Data Services” button.

3. Select the “Contract Opportunities” folder 

4.  Select the “datagov” folder

5. Select the “ContractOpportunitiesFullCSV.csv” file and you will be prompted to select a location on your computer to save the file.

Access the beta.SAM.gov Learning Center any time for step-by-step videos and instructions. Remember, if you need further assistance using beta.SAM.gov, the Federal Service Desk is here to help Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, at FSD.gov


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