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Google APIs is a set of APIs developed by Google which allow communication with Google Services and their integration to other services. Examples of these include Search, Gmail, Translate or Google Maps. Third-party apps can use these APIs to take advantage of or extend the functionality of the existing services.
The APIs provide functionality like analytics, machine learning as a service (the Prediction API) or access to user data (when permission to read the data is given). Another important example is an embedded Google map on a website, which can be achieved using the Static maps API, Places API or Google Earth API.
Usage of some of the APIs require authentication and authorization using the OAuth 2.0 protocol. OAuth 2.0 is a simple protocol. To start, it is necessary to obtain credentials from the Developers Console. Then the client app can request an access token from the Google Authorization Server, and uses that token for authorization when accessing a Google API service.
Google Apps Script
Common use cases
- Drive apps are various web applications (often third party) which work within Google Drive using the Drive API. Users can integrate these apps into their Drive from the Chrome Web Store which allows them to do work entirely in the cloud. There are many apps available for collaborative document editing (Google Docs, Sheets), picture/video editing, work management or for sketching diagrams and workflows.
- Custom Search allows web developers to provide a search of their own website by embedding a custom search box and using the Custom Search API. They can customize the search results and make money off the ads shown using AdSense for Search.
- App Engine apps are web apps that run on the Google App Engine, a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) cloud computing platform which allows web developers to run their websites in Google datacenters. These web apps often take advantage of APIs to manipulate services such as TaskQueue (a distributed queue), BigQuery (a scalable database based on Dremel) or DataStore.
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