Google releases an API that lets programmers move data freely to and from Google Sites. The API gives developers full read/write access to all Sites content. Application developers can use the programming interface to write programs to migrate Web pages, documents and other content from intranets, content management applications and other wiki applications. The API embodies the tenets of Google's Data Liberation Front, which aims to help users move personal data in and out of Google's services with simple import and export functions.
Drawing on programming work from its Data Liberation Front, Google Sept. 24
released an API intended to let programmers
move data freely to and from Google Sites.
is the wiki component of the Google Apps suite of
cloud computing applications. Google Sites lets users upload
file attachments and add
information from Google Docs, Google Calendar and other Google Apps to a Web
page to be shared with users in a department or workgroup. The application
competes with wiki apps from MindTouch, Socialtext, Atlassian and IBM,
among other providers.
The Google Sites API
, launched from Google Code Labs,
makes use of the Google Data protocol to provide developers with full
read/write access to all Sites content. Software developers can use the
programming interface to write programs to migrate
Web pages, documents and
other content from intranets, content management applications and other wiki
applications, Scott Johnston, senior product manager for Google Sites, told
Conversely, "If you choose to stop using Google Sites, you can bring
your content with you," Johnston
said. "We want to lock you in because you like the product, not because we
have your content."
The API includes this import/export
to let users download an entire Google Site wiki to their computers'
local hard drives. The tool uses HTML microformats to generate an XHTML version
of Sites content for offline browsing and simple HTTP hosting that can also be
imported back into Websites.
"We have companies and users that are putting a lot of important
information inside Sites, and they want the comfort of knowing they can back it
up if they want to," Johnston
The API embodies the tenets of Google's Data Liberation Front,
which was formally launched Sept.
14 with the goal of creating import and export functions to help users move
their data in and out of Google's services.
Google is positioning tools released under the Front as alternatives to more
traditional software from companies such as Microsoft and IBM,
which are very rigid about keeping user data within the construct of their
Google no doubt hopes these gestures of good faith will endear it to more
businesses considering whether or not to use Google Apps. Google could use such
gestures; the company's cloud model has been damaged by a few Google Apps
Earlier Sept. 24 Google's Gmail experienced service degradation for 2 hours
when Google Contacts
went wonky. On Sept. 1, Google's Gmail went down
for 2 hours. Such downtime episodes undercut
Google's credibility among enterprise users, some of whom pay $50 per user, per
year for Google Apps.