Amazon, Google and other Web companies have begun giving developers direct access to their databases so developers can create their own “front doors” and other paths to information, such as book listings and search results. These custom APIs (application programming interfaces) allow developers to tailor such content to their specific needs.
Google is giving developers direct access to its search database, bypassing its Web site and allowing them to design their own ways to use the valuable technology. Amazon has allowed similar access to its inventory database, releasing free developer kits that have enabled others to produce faster searches of “light” versions of the company’s catalog, as well as other experiments.
The sidebar on the page has a collection of various applications created by developers using these web services.
Tim O’Reilly writes: “While I applaud Microsoft’s efforts with .Net (including many aspects of My Services), because they really have been innovating and reaching for the future, trying to build a true “internet operating system”, I also believe very strongly that we want that operating system to work a lot more like Unix/Linux and the Internet than like today’s single-vendor GUI operating systems. That is, we want a system with a simple architecture that allows many players to contribute their own components, without having to ask permission, and with a minimum of control by any one party.”