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Yahoo Opens The API Floodgates

Let the mashups begin!

Yahoo is opening up application programming interfaces (APIs) for its Photo, MyWeb 2.0 and Calendar applications and taking the wraps off a revised Shopping API .

The new and revised interfaces will help Web developers build applications that use the Yahoo services.

The APIs are a continuation of an effort begun a year ago by Yahoo with the launch of the Yahoo Search Developer Network.

The portal giant has some scale to work with.

Ash Patel, chief product officer for Yahoo, said the company's Photos application currently has some 34 million users and hosts over two billion photos.

Yahoo recently acquired hosted picture site Flickr, which is already open and has its own set of available APIs.

The shopping API was actually first released last August and is now being updated in response to developer feedback.

"Certainly we've had the shopping API and a whole bunch of other API available and we've been learning a lot from developers as we've been developing these APIs," Patel told internetnews.com .

The new APIs take into account a mountain of feedback generated by millions of users. Patel said the latest APIs are geared for people that already store their data with Yahoo. Now, the company wants developers to come up with creative ways for Yahoo users to experience that content in new ways.

The effort includes some hand-holding. For example, the Yahoo Developer Network is intended to help developers use the APIs, old and new.

Yahoo recently launched a PHP Developer Network area on its network, which is an addition to its existing JavaScript area.

Access to the API's are available for non-commercial for free and by request on a "case by case basis" for commercial use. Patel explained that Yahoo is currently in the process of developing a comprehensive program for commercial access and tools.

"We firmly believe that by letting third party developers build applications on top of Yahoo that ultimately our users will benefit."