Google replaces SOAP API with AJAX one

Mark Lucovsky, of Google, posted that Google has replaced its SOAP API with its AJAX Search API.

That’s interesting because it’ll hurt Visual Studio developers (VS likes SOAP and WSDL, not AJAX).

Yet another defining moment. This is Google’s way of saying that “we don’t care about Windows applications anymore.”

Last week I posted a video with Lucovsky where he shows off some of the things that are possible with the AJAX Search API.

Lucovsky writes: “While the AJAX Search API does not provide server-side access to search results, it has a number of more powerful features, including access to Video, Maps, Blog Search, and News search results.”

What do you think? How will this hurt or help Microsoft and/or Google?

UPDATE: Dave Winer wants to string up the developer and/or team that came up with the just shipped Del.icio.us API.

UPDATE 2: Yesterday Dave Winer chimed in on the Google API deprecation. He thinks it leaves opportunities open for Google’s competitors.

UPDATE 3: David Cooley likes Google’s new API, says “they listen.”

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62 thoughts on “Google replaces SOAP API with AJAX one

  1. Well somebody gotta help me with what Microsoft and Yahoo team is upto against Google on my, on MY, system. My Google toolbar is in war with the Yahoo toolbar that doesn’t even show up in my installed software list – the list from where you can uninstall software, the add/remove list I mean, and when I try to remove the Yahoo toolbar, the google toolbar vanishes instead. So If I click on Google, Yahoo toolbar disappears and vice versa. What scamster company Microsoft is turning into. I went to Manage Add Ons on the IE and got rid of Yahoo toolbar for good, but then my google tool is showing up adjacent to the address bar and so small i cannot even see what I am writing in it. Microsoft, don’t you guys have anything better to do with all your billions and other resources? Now come on guys, if you wanna beat Google then do it like gentlemen.

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  2. Well somebody gotta help me with what Microsoft and Yahoo team is upto against Google on my, on MY, system. My Google toolbar is in war with the Yahoo toolbar that doesn’t even show up in my installed software list – the list from where you can uninstall software, the add/remove list I mean, and when I try to remove the Yahoo toolbar, the google toolbar vanishes instead. So If I click on Google, Yahoo toolbar disappears and vice versa. What scamster company Microsoft is turning into. I went to Manage Add Ons on the IE and got rid of Yahoo toolbar for good, but then my google tool is showing up adjacent to the address bar and so small i cannot even see what I am writing in it. Microsoft, don’t you guys have anything better to do with all your billions and other resources? Now come on guys, if you wanna beat Google then do it like gentlemen.

    Like

  3. People seemed to think this about SOAP. It’s not. It’s about data versus service. They aren’t saying they don’t believe in SOAP. They are saying they don’t believe in providing add free data.

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  4. People seemed to think this about SOAP. It’s not. It’s about data versus service. They aren’t saying they don’t believe in SOAP. They are saying they don’t believe in providing add free data.

    Like

  5. Interestingly, Google being heavily critiqued on the slashdot thread regarding this move, and slashdotters love Google (though I’m seeing less and less love as time goes on). Google wants to lock everyone into its own API. SOAP is a multi vendor backed standard, works great with PHP and fantastic with ASP.NET. This is Google’s lock in strategy.

    The other reason that Google is dropping SOAP is that its own api for SOAP was garbage compared with ASP.NET and the various PHP SOAP tools. Google could not compete with other SOAP APIs, so they drop SOAP and hope the industry follows. I don’t see it. ASP.NET, for one, is already too prevelant for Google to hope the SOAP vanishes just on their say-so.

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  6. Interestingly, Google being heavily critiqued on the slashdot thread regarding this move, and slashdotters love Google (though I’m seeing less and less love as time goes on). Google wants to lock everyone into its own API. SOAP is a multi vendor backed standard, works great with PHP and fantastic with ASP.NET. This is Google’s lock in strategy.

    The other reason that Google is dropping SOAP is that its own api for SOAP was garbage compared with ASP.NET and the various PHP SOAP tools. Google could not compete with other SOAP APIs, so they drop SOAP and hope the industry follows. I don’t see it. ASP.NET, for one, is already too prevelant for Google to hope the SOAP vanishes just on their say-so.

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  7. I think this says that Google is 100% in on the “web only” world where fat clients don’t exist. But I don’t see that happening. I think there will always be a need to rollout a fat client for certain tasks. The web is not mature enough to provide 100% fat client functionality in a thin client.

    I say this, but I want you to know that 99% of my development is targeted towards web applications. But in doing so I often dumb down my UI’s to perform better because the web platform just isn’t there yet. And I use the latest tools and frameworks too. And what about those server instances? I have written several SOA based apps that make SOAP calls for data interaction. Do those just not exist in Google’s world either?

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  8. I think this says that Google is 100% in on the “web only” world where fat clients don’t exist. But I don’t see that happening. I think there will always be a need to rollout a fat client for certain tasks. The web is not mature enough to provide 100% fat client functionality in a thin client.

    I say this, but I want you to know that 99% of my development is targeted towards web applications. But in doing so I often dumb down my UI’s to perform better because the web platform just isn’t there yet. And I use the latest tools and frameworks too. And what about those server instances? I have written several SOA based apps that make SOAP calls for data interaction. Do those just not exist in Google’s world either?

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  9. Doesn’t look like they did it because ‘they don’t care about windows platform’.

    Looks like the ROI wasn’t good. And, owning some realestate on a third party webpage through a widget adds more value to google.

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  10. Doesn’t look like they did it because ‘they don’t care about windows platform’.

    Looks like the ROI wasn’t good. And, owning some realestate on a third party webpage through a widget adds more value to google.

    Like

  11. This isn’t so much of a move against Windows Apps, but the ability to modify search results with ease. SOAP works just fine with PHP, Perl and other languages.

    This is more about not letting third parties modify (and possibly degrade) “Powered By Google” searches.

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  12. This isn’t so much of a move against Windows Apps, but the ability to modify search results with ease. SOAP works just fine with PHP, Perl and other languages.

    This is more about not letting third parties modify (and possibly degrade) “Powered By Google” searches.

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  13. > Sadly, incomplete, it is about SOAP.

    1. Nobody cares about data formats. SOAP is just as good or bad as anything else. Plus it is already implemented. The reason to change must be compelling. Little API details don’t count.
    2. They switched to a non-programmatic API that gives ads. They wouldn’t do that unless their strategy changed because they changed to something completely different in kind.

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  14. > Sadly, incomplete, it is about SOAP.

    1. Nobody cares about data formats. SOAP is just as good or bad as anything else. Plus it is already implemented. The reason to change must be compelling. Little API details don’t count.
    2. They switched to a non-programmatic API that gives ads. They wouldn’t do that unless their strategy changed because they changed to something completely different in kind.

    Like

  15. “That’s interesting because it’ll hurt Visual Studio developers (VS likes SOAP and WSDL, not AJAX).”

    Not sure how you’ve come to that conclusion, maybe you’ve never heard of Atlas. Obviously you’re a VS expert otherwise you wouldn’t be making such statements.

    Like

  16. “That’s interesting because it’ll hurt Visual Studio developers (VS likes SOAP and WSDL, not AJAX).”

    Not sure how you’ve come to that conclusion, maybe you’ve never heard of Atlas. Obviously you’re a VS expert otherwise you wouldn’t be making such statements.

    Like

  17. Robert, I don’t think Dave’s got this one right. See Simon Willison’s comments on Dave’s blog:
    http://scripting.wordpress.com/2006/12/20/scripting-news-for-12202006/#comment-26360

    as well as his larger writeup:
    http://simonwillison.net/2006/Dec/20/json/

    I’ve been an XML fan and proponent since the early days (SGML anyone?), but more and more I’m moving towards JSON for these types of use cases. It’s easier and slimmer, and saves you from having to invent your own markup everytime. Not to mention it’s browser (aka AJAX) friendly.

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  18. Robert, I don’t think Dave’s got this one right. See Simon Willison’s comments on Dave’s blog:
    http://scripting.wordpress.com/2006/12/20/scripting-news-for-12202006/#comment-26360

    as well as his larger writeup:
    http://simonwillison.net/2006/Dec/20/json/

    I’ve been an XML fan and proponent since the early days (SGML anyone?), but more and more I’m moving towards JSON for these types of use cases. It’s easier and slimmer, and saves you from having to invent your own markup everytime. Not to mention it’s browser (aka AJAX) friendly.

    Like

  19. Robert,

    AJAX API allows you to display max of 8 results on your webpage. Users have to navigate to Google to see more results. You can order the results, but cannot get all of then at one go and further refine the results. These are big limitations. More here

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  20. Robert,

    AJAX API allows you to display max of 8 results on your webpage. Users have to navigate to Google to see more results. You can order the results, but cannot get all of then at one go and further refine the results. These are big limitations. More here

    Like

  21. Scoble, this is the reality of Second Life, a game you have talked about so much:

    Giant floating pulsating cocks put in place by griefers. Second Life, like most online games, will probably be ruined by griefers.

    I want you to keep in mind that the reality of Second Life is by and large furries and griefing rather than acting like it’s an amazing brave new world.

    Of course, this doesn’t even touch the issues regarding the fact that Linden dollars are not legally equivalent to real money and their databases are not transactional, creating the opportunity for lossage of real-world money.

    Like

  22. Scoble, this is the reality of Second Life, a game you have talked about so much:

    Giant floating pulsating cocks put in place by griefers. Second Life, like most online games, will probably be ruined by griefers.

    I want you to keep in mind that the reality of Second Life is by and large furries and griefing rather than acting like it’s an amazing brave new world.

    Of course, this doesn’t even touch the issues regarding the fact that Linden dollars are not legally equivalent to real money and their databases are not transactional, creating the opportunity for lossage of real-world money.

    Like

  23. Well I for one am not happy in a way with them deciding to stop providing keys for their SOAP API Service.

    One of the Modules I’ve taken at University is Distributed Systems and Networks and well one of the assignments we were going to do consisted of using the Google SOAP API. But as they have decided to stop providing Keys for it our tutor had to tell us that as of yet he hasn’t got an assignment for us thus delaying the time until when we do it.

    Hopefully he will find something else similar from another site. Shame really as I was looking forward to doing some work with the SOAP API! 😦

    Like

  24. Well I for one am not happy in a way with them deciding to stop providing keys for their SOAP API Service.

    One of the Modules I’ve taken at University is Distributed Systems and Networks and well one of the assignments we were going to do consisted of using the Google SOAP API. But as they have decided to stop providing Keys for it our tutor had to tell us that as of yet he hasn’t got an assignment for us thus delaying the time until when we do it.

    Hopefully he will find something else similar from another site. Shame really as I was looking forward to doing some work with the SOAP API! 😦

    Like

  25. It is true that this is another defining moment, but I don’t agree that this is Google’s way of saying that “we don’t care about Windows applications anymore.”

    Instead, it looks like that Google is saying: “I am the standard.”

    Like

  26. It is true that this is another defining moment, but I don’t agree that this is Google’s way of saying that “we don’t care about Windows applications anymore.”

    Instead, it looks like that Google is saying: “I am the standard.”

    Like

  27. There seem to be a lot of miunderstanding of what these API’s are about. The SOAP API allows a user to get as many search results as they like (say for instance the first 1000 results from a particular search). In addition to search results there is also a spelling suggestion function, essentially the ‘Did you mean’ that is displayed if you mistype or misspell a search, or enter something that G doesn’t recognise. G limit the API usage to 1000 searches a day. The terms of use say that this API is for personal non commercial use. It was probably originally intended for research.

    The AJAX API is just for displaying adds.

    A lot of people use the SOAP API for semi commercial functions typically many SEO tools use it to determine ranking.

    The fact that the so-called SOAP API uses SOAP is largely irrelevant, the issue is that it is much more capable than the AJAX API.

    The bottom line is that Google make money by people using the AJAX API, they don’t make anything from users of the SOAP API.

    Personally I think they are shooting themselves in the foot again, although the SOAP API doesn’t make them money it does give visibility and credit, Most users will probably just go to YAHOO! instead. I can make the same comment about G’s aggressive search SPAM filters. They do seem to see themselves as the web censor, users who don’t like censorship will use YAHOO! instead.

    Like

  28. There seem to be a lot of miunderstanding of what these API’s are about. The SOAP API allows a user to get as many search results as they like (say for instance the first 1000 results from a particular search). In addition to search results there is also a spelling suggestion function, essentially the ‘Did you mean’ that is displayed if you mistype or misspell a search, or enter something that G doesn’t recognise. G limit the API usage to 1000 searches a day. The terms of use say that this API is for personal non commercial use. It was probably originally intended for research.

    The AJAX API is just for displaying adds.

    A lot of people use the SOAP API for semi commercial functions typically many SEO tools use it to determine ranking.

    The fact that the so-called SOAP API uses SOAP is largely irrelevant, the issue is that it is much more capable than the AJAX API.

    The bottom line is that Google make money by people using the AJAX API, they don’t make anything from users of the SOAP API.

    Personally I think they are shooting themselves in the foot again, although the SOAP API doesn’t make them money it does give visibility and credit, Most users will probably just go to YAHOO! instead. I can make the same comment about G’s aggressive search SPAM filters. They do seem to see themselves as the web censor, users who don’t like censorship will use YAHOO! instead.

    Like

  29. Yes Mike B: This change is more like: Google replaces SOAP API with a Banner Ad (with colour scheme options of course).

    Like

  30. Yes Mike B: This change is more like: Google replaces SOAP API with a Banner Ad (with colour scheme options of course).

    Like

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