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Google's AJAX API Explained

written by: Arnold Zafra•edited by: Aaron R.•updated: 8/16/2009

For quite some time now, Google has been making available several HTML and Javascript-based AJAX APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) which are aimed at improving the usability and interactivity of websites. Here's a brief backgrounder on AJAX API and the different types of Google AJAX APIs.

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    Definition of AJAX API

    AJAX APIs are HTML and Javascript coding scripts which is one of the many products of Google Code, Google's repository of web development and programming products and services which freely available for programmers and developers to use and explore to develop useful web application and add interactive functionality to websites.

    AJAX which stands for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML is defined as a new technique for creating faster, better and more interactive web application. AJAX makes it easier for JavaScript to communicate directly with server that allows web pages to request information bits from the server instead of requesting for the whole pages.

    API on the other hand is defined as the Application Programming Interfaces. Combining the use of AJAX and API makes it easier for you (if you are a website owner) to add interactive functionalities to your website without requiring you to learn programming languages. It's as simple as copying and pasting a series of codes and scripts to your websites HTML files.

    AJAX APIs are free and open sources scripts. Meaning you can use it freely and you can modify or customize it if you understand basic HTML principles.

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    Different Types of Google AJAX APIs

    Currently, there are nine Google AJAX APIs available for anyone to use. Briefly here's what each of these Google AJAX APIs do:

    Google Maps API - If you've edited a map using Google Maps, you can easily add it to your website using this API.

    Google AJAX Search API - Allows you to embed Google Search to your website including Video, Local and News Search verticals

    Google AJAX Feed API - Lets you download Atom and RSS feeds from any source using Javascript. You can then embed those feeds to your websites.

    Google Visualization API - This API allows you to create visualizations and reporting applications by accessing structured data using a common format.

    Google AJAX Language API - Using Javascript, this API lets you translate and detect multiple languages on websites.

    AJAX Libraries API - Lets you access popular AJAX libraries from Google's servers.

    Google Book Search APIs - Another useful AJAX API, this time for integrating Google Book Search and Preview

    Google Earth API - Similar to Google Maps API, this one lets you integrate Google Earth to your sites.

    Google Friend Connect APIs - For social networking purposes, this API allows you to integrate social flows and data directly within your website's markup.