Google has released a developer tool that lets software creators of all skill sets try out its Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) without leaving the browser.
The APIs Explorer is designed to save developer time and provides access to six APIs at launch, with the promise of more to come.
"Google is always looking for new ways to make it easier for developers to get started with our APIs. When you come across a new Google API, you often want to try it out without investing too much time," wrote Anton Lopyrev and Jason Hall of the Google developer team.
"Today, the Explorer supports over a half dozen APIs - and we expect that number to grow rapidly over the coming weeks and months."
The supported Google APIs currently available are those for its Buzz social networking app, Custom Search, Diacritize, Moderator, Search for Shopping, Translate and the Google URL shortener.
A few easy tasks are offered as a walkthrough, and Lopyrev and Hall suggested that developers could start working on their own creations quickly.
"By selecting an API you want to explore, you can see all the available methods and parameters along with inline documentation. Just fill out the parameters for the method you want to try and click 'Execute'," they wrote.
"The Explorer composes the request, executes it and displays the response in real time."
A handful of data formats are supported by the API Explorer, including JSON for responses and request payloads, and XML-based formats like AtomPub and Portable contacts. Again the bloggers added that more were likely to follow.
Because of the nature of some of the data in question, contacts in Google Buzz for example, the Explorer adds an administration layer to 'private access' requests which presents a dialogue box asking for certain permissions to be granted.
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