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
“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.”
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.