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Google Spreadsheets Gets an API

You can mash-up Google Maps, you can mash-up with Google's Calendar, Search, Base and Blogger. Now you can mash-up with Google's Spreadsheets, too.

But why would you want too? Google is hoping that the developer community will figure that out.

"We can't wait to see what great applications, and mash-ups, this growing developer community will put forth with Google Spreadsheets Data API," Laura Beth Lincoln, software engineer at Google wrote in a mailing list posting announcing the API.

The Google Spreadsheets Data API will use the GData API block, which Google said provides a simple standard protocol for reading and writing data on the Web. GData is what Google uses for Google Calendar API, Code Search API, Blogger Data API and Google Base among other Google services.

GData combines both Atom 1.0 and RSS 2.0 XML syndication formats in addition to a few extensions for dealing with queries.

"The Google Spreadsheets data API allows client applications to view and update Spreadsheets content in the form of a Google data API ("GData") feeds," Google's Spreadsheet Data API's developer guide states. "Your client application can request a list of a user's spreadsheets, edit or delete content in an existing Spreadsheets worksheet, and query the content in an existing Spreadsheets worksheet."

As it currently stands the Google Spreadsheets data API is somewhat limited in at least one respect. It can only work with an existing Google Spreadsheet.

"The Spreadsheets data API does not currently provide a way to create or delete a spreadsheet," the developer guide states. "For testing purposes, we recommend that you create a spreadsheet manually."

Google Spreadsheet was officially launched by Google at the Office 2.0 Conference just under two months ago. The Google Spreadsheets application has been under development since at least June of this year.