Apart from the creation of "flat file" formats (eg MapInfo TAB, ESRI Shapefile or Google KML), we deliver open data solutions using more complex databases where dynamic SQL querying is required through a web API request. Therefore you may have your data stored neatly in a MySQL, Oracle or SQL Server table while end users can access it from a simple web URL request! This is our answer to a Web API and we have a demo of this available at https://api.mapalerter.com where we illustrate how you can query Donegal County Council's planning database from the URL.
Open Data is a phrase used in everyone's vocabulary these days, and rightly so. Opening up data allows for interaction with 3rd party developers who may even better use your data for other web and mobile applications. In the case of the Donegal example, that data can be used for mobile applications instantly.
If your government agency wants to open up your data then get in touch. We know all the FME methods to translate our data and our web API is available to you if you want something like the example on our Open Data site. If you want to modify the examples published, then we will be happy to edit our source code to match your desired queries!