Difference Between SAM.gov and Beta SAM.gov-Transition Happening-What is Transitioning and When

By: Allie McDonnell and Christine WIlliams on 05/10/2021

The transition of the System for Award Management (SAM) is and has been somewhat confusing for people.  What is transition and when is it transitioning are most common questions.  Below is a summary of the 10 online websites migrating to the new system as well as the expected timeline of when each system is expected to migrate.  The introduction is borrowed from the government, specifically, Sue Gerardo with the Defense Logistics Agency.

Currently, the General Services Administration (GSA) manages Federal acquisition and
awards processes through 10 online websites. The ten online websites that handle these processes are undergoing a multi-year modernization cycle that will merge the sites into one streamlined environment for Federal award management.

BETA.SAM is the transition environment, and many organizations are working to
transition completely. The term BETA.SAM.gov is used to distinguish itself from the legacy site, SAM.gov.  Original websites will continue to co-exist with BETA.SAM.gov until they are officially retired. The plan is for the original SAM.gov website to be retired and eventually be renamed as “SAM.gov,” which will become the official U.S. government website for people who make, receive, and manage Federal Awards.

All data and relevant information will be brought over from the older websites, including entity registrations and historical contract data. This means that entity registrations will automatically transition. Upon the completion of the modernization process, there will be a dedicated homepage with a single sign-on which will give users the resources needed to make, receive, and manage federal awards. Features will include one powerful search tool, one robust reporting tool, and one workspace containing relevant information regarding federal awards.

  • On the FPDS website it states the reports module is now retired and to use beta.SAM.gov to access any Contract Data Reports (standard & ad hoc.)
    • Only the FPDS reports function has transitioned (static, standard, administrative, and ad hoc reports) Although, the rest of the FPDS will remain in place at FPDS.gov; FPDS is not being retired at this time.
    • Make sure to create and run reports in beta.SAM.gov.
  • Regarding the two different SAM data bases, see below for the highlighted differences as referenced in the attached fact sheet provided by the GSA.
    • The two websites running concurrently that sound similar but are not similar in function. Currently, they serve different functions, and exist for different reasons.
    • SAM.gov will remain the same site it has been for years and is the place users should continue to go if they want to register to do business with the federal government.
    • The new(ish) site, beta.SAM.gov will incorporate all the functions of SAM.gov, and these sites will coexist until the current SAM.gov fully transitions into the new site, GSA will alert users and public well in advance of this change.
    • Once SAM.gov transitions into the new site completely, the “beta” moniker will go away and there will be only one SAM.gov.

Some helpful links/resources are listed below: