Tuesday, July 11th, 2006
Backend scripts aren’t the only way to access the wealth of valuable web services out there. Anyone that’s done any playing around with Ajax can see the possibilities of combining the two – accessing the APIs directly from your client-side application. In this brief tutorial from ThinkVitamin.com, they follow this course and give you a simple example to get the ball rolling.
To most, the virtues of Web 2.0 are rather ephemeral; thatâ€™s always been one of its main criticisms. However, I like to think that one of the movementâ€™s key aspects is a sense of community, an ability to create sites and applications that bring people together.
Even Web APIs arenâ€™t a new idea. Googleâ€™s search API has been available via SOAP since 2002, and thereâ€™s definitely older services than that. However, the recent growth in Web API availability has been fuelled by two recent developments. The first, which Iâ€™ve already mentioned, was a philosophical change in the way that data is handled. The second was the introduction of AJAX. Again, not a new idea, or even a new technology, but sometimes itâ€™s all about timing.
They mention several of the different APIs out there (including Flickr, Google Maps, and Amazon) as well as some of the mashups that take advantage of the merging of these APIs. To illustrate the point of the simplicity of these interfaces, they include a code example of connecting to the Flickr API to grab photo information. There’s also a bit on proxying your XMLHttpRequests and a brief look at using JSON to communitcate with the APIs that support it.
Posted by Chris Cornutt at 8:28 am