Application programming interface Stories August 26, 2015

GOOG: 628.62

46.56

Google’s Container Engine for managing software containers now available

Google’s Container Engine, the system through which developers can easily create and manage clusters of software containers, is now generally available. Software containers are isolated environments where individual applications can run separate from any other applications, allowing for more granular resource management and increased security, among other things. A web application might have separate containers for the webserver, cache, and database, for example.

“While containers make packaging apps easier, a powerful cluster manager and orchestration system is necessary to bring your workloads to production,” Google said in its blog post about the announcement. “Container Engine makes it easy for you to set up a container cluster and manage your application, without sacrificing infrastructure flexibility.”

There are two open-source technologies underlying Container Engine’s ease of use and flexibility: Docker for automating the deployment of applications inside software containers, and the Google-built Kubernetes for making these siloed applications work together in unison even when hosted across multiple cloud hosts. Companies can move all their infrastructure needs to Container Engine or just move some and find cost savings if, for example, Google’s solution is cheaper. Whatever the need, another reason you might move some processes over to Container Engine is that it’s fully managed by Google reliability engineers, and comes with a 99.5% uptime guarantee.

Beyond management of clusters, Container Engine also equips them with logging and container health checking tools, and makes it incredibly easy to scale CPU and memory up or down as an applications’ needs change. Define your containers’ needs, such as the amount of CPU/memory each requires, number of replicas, and keepalive policy, and Container Engine will actively ensure requirements are met. This goes back to the mention of granular resource management: siloing applications with Kubernetes into separate, virtual environments allows one to easily limit the resources any one environment gets access to, preventing an app gone haywire from hogging too much of the total available memory, for example.

Google has been able to draw from real-world experience in building Container Engine, as the company says that it packages all of its own web applications — like Gmail and Search — into containers, deploying more than 2 billion instances of them each week.

Application programming interface Stories August 17, 2015

GOOG: 660.87

3.75

Right on the heels of Google unveiling the official name for Android M — it’s Marshmallow — the company has released the final preview version of the operating system bump along with the Android 6.0 SDK and access to all the new APIs that Marshmallow includes…

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Application programming interface Stories August 5, 2015

GOOG: 643.78

14.53

Google opens up data on site search performance with new Analytics developer API

Have you ever wondered what the most commonly searched terms which lead to your site appearing in Google’s results are? Or maybe the top queries on mobile that lead to your site appearing in results? Well, Google has offered a Search Analytics Report in the Google Search Console for some time which provides this exact kind of data (where have you been?), and now it has created an API developers can use to play around with this data in their own apps.

It’s called the Search Analytics API and with it, developers get access to all the data on traffic that has come to them through search, and can sort it by parameters like country to gain insights into, for example, what are the top queries in India that lead to visitors.

The potential here is for developers to create graphical user interfaces to this data, so less tech savvy individuals would gain the ability to sift through their search data without needing prior knowledge on how to use an API.

Application programming interface Stories August 20, 2014

The popular transportation service Uber has quickly been growing this year with new features like adding your destination right on the smartphone app when requesting a ride and poaching long time Apple engineering manager Chris Blumenberg who managed the Maps team. The service is even integrated into the Google Maps app on iPhone and Android, and check out the Uber care package the company sends new employees.

Today Uber is taking a major step toward integrating its service into even more apps and services as it introduces an API for developers to use in their own apps and a list of partners already planning to take advantage of it.

As of today, we officially open—to all developers—access to many of the primitives that power Uber’s magical experience. Apps can pass a destination address to the Uber app, display pickup times, provide fare estimates, access trip history and more.

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Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!

Application programming interface Stories May 9, 2014

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A seemingly drastic turn of events in the appeals court has reversed the ruling on some elements of the Google-Oracle trial.

The ruling enables Oracle to claim copyright ownership over some parts of Java. The crux of the trial was whether API names and constructs could be owned. The initial decision said that it couldn’t, giving Google a landslide victory. However, the appeal court papers now say the exact opposite:

For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the declaring code and the structure, sequence, and organiza- tion of the 37 Java API packages are entitled to copyright protection. Because there is an insufficient record as to the relevant fair use factors, we remand for further proceedings on Google’s fair use defense.

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Application programming interface Stories January 17, 2014

Storage space on your Android phone just got less problematic, thanks to Google Drive API

If you’re finding that app data is using up more and more of the storage capacity on your Android phone, Google has just rolled out something that is likely to help: an API that allows developers to store app data on Google Drive instead of in your phone’s flash memory.

It will also mean that data created by apps using the API will be automatically synced between device. 

The change will be completely invisible to users – it will Just Work. When an Internet connection isn’t available, data will be cached locally until it can again reach Google Drive. There will be some impact on data usage, but for most apps this is likely to be trivial.

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