RealTime IT News

Google Continues Flirt with Web Developers

With eyes firmly fixed on winning the approval of the Web developer community, search technology favorite Google has launched a Web API service using the SOAP and WSDL standards.

The Web API service, another crafty giveaway from Google, lets software developers query more than 2 billion Web documents directly from their own computer programs. Google said the API allows communication via Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), an XML-based mechanism for exchanging typed information.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based Google said the API would allow developers to issue search requests to its index Web pages and receive results as structured data; access information in the Google cache; and check the spelling of words. The Web APIs support the same search syntax as the Google.com site, making it an instant hit with the Web developer community.

The latest launch, which runs alongside the Google Programming Contest is part of the company's strategy of opening up parts of its technology to developers.

Already some developers are tinkering with remote applications using Google API service. Chris McClelland, a programmer based in Marblehead, Mass., has created an AOL instant messaging bot -- BotGoogle -- that returns the top five hyperlinks to Google searches via IM. McClelland, a Google fan and AIM bot enthusiast, believes the Web API service will promote creativity among programmers.

"It will allow us to create bots that access Google's database in various languages," McClelland said, noting that some program ideas include auto-monitor the web for new information on a subject; collecting market research insights and trends over time; inventing online games or creating new UI for searches.

RadioUserland is also jumping on the bandwagon, describing the Google API release as "maybe the most momentous release of SOAP or XML-RPC support so far."

"We're jumping on the bandwagon in a big way. We have some great stuff in the pipe for Radio and Frontier people...We want our community to be the first to explore the new power that Google is revealing today." RadioUserland said.

The site it would use the interface to add 'Google Boxes' on Radio Weblogs. "You'll see SOAP developers, on all platforms, getting to work, creating and publishing the glue that turns the Internet, finally, into a fantastic scripting environment. Google is just the juice we need."

To use the Google Web API, developers must download the kit that provides documentation and example code. The download includes Java and .NET programming examples and a WSDL file for writing programs on any platform that supports Web services.

The download includes a license key that entitles programmers to 1,000 automated Google queries per day. For more information, see Google's FAQ page.