Google Releases AJAX Feed API

The new API allows developers to easily access data feeds in mashups.

Google has released a new tool to help developers more easily access data feeds. The Google AJAX Feed API simplifies mashup creation for Web developers by providing easy access to public data feeds through JavaScript.

Bret Taylor, group manager for developer products at the Mountain, View, Calif., company, said that including feeds in JavaScript mashups is notoriously difficult. However, the AJAX Feed API takes the pain out of the process by enabling developers to access feeds with just a few lines of JavaScript code instead of struggling with server-side proxies or delving into XMLs complexities.

"Typically, including these feeds is difficult, and you have to write a lot of server-side code," Taylor said. But the AJAX Feed API automatically handles the necessary proxying and offers a clean, straight-forward interface for accessing syndicated data.

"The developer just gives the API the URL of the feed they want to bring in," Taylor said.

"One of the difficult parts of accessing data feeds is there are a lot of different versions of feed formats out there," Taylor said. But the AJAX Feed API "does a lot of the heavy lifting" in terms of which feed format is being used and then automatically supports it, he said. "You dont need to become an expert in every feed format," Taylor said.

/zimages/2/28571.gifRead more here about Microsoft joining OpenAJAX Alliance.

The AJAX Feed API supports Atom 1.0, Atom 0.3, RSS 2.0, RSS 1.0, RSS 0.94, RSS 0.93, RSS 0.92, RSS 0.91, and RSS 0.9, Taylor said.

Moreover, using the AJAX Feed API, a developer can display a dynamic blogroll on a personal home page, display recent photos from a public Picasa Web Albums feed on a blog or even plot a feed of news events on a Google Map, Google officials said.

The new API brings mashup creation within reach of users ranging from bloggers to hobbyists to professional coders. It can be used independently of the Google Web Toolkit Taylor said.

Taylor will feature the AJAX Feed API in a talk April 18 at the OReilly Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, titled "Who Needs Server-Side Code? AJAX APIs and Product Integration 2.0."

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