There’s been a lot of debate recently about Google’s
move to deprecate their SOAP API and focus
on AJAX. The AJAX API looks simpler to use, feels slicker; however it’s far more
restrictive for the developer community. The API is also basically operating as an
opaque system, as Don
Box’s post highlights. It provides access to a closed system that can only be
called a web service by a major
stretch of the imagination. The user impact is that basically, instead of supplying
results to a search a user may kick off, the AJAX interface embeds Google bits and
bobs on your webpage. This means that any advertising Google wants to carry along
also makes it to your page.
“Is this fair?” you may ask. Well, Google is providing
a service and needs to be renumerated for it. It’s a different model to charging people
based on the bandwidth their applications consume, but it means that Google can earn
direct revenue on the results they are providing by occupying a place on your website. Clemens
Vasters makes a good point that this is really healthy for their business model.
I suppose the main difference is mainly semantic. You’re not working with Google
any more .. you’re working for Google.