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Google releases new Drive API for adding real-time workflows to apps

Google is offering up some of the magic from Drive to enable developers to add real-time functionality to their own collaboration apps.
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Written by Rachel King on
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Google has unveiled its new Drive "Realtime" API, which is touted to simplify backend work for developers while building apps for online collaboration.

The Realtime API is designed to bring the same real-time collaboration that powers Google Drive, handling network communication, storage, presence, and conflict resolution, among other issues.

Brian Cairns, a software engineer on the Google Drive team, explained some of the essentials a blog post on Tuesday about how the API works:

The API provides collaborative versions of familiar data objects such as maps, lists, strings, and JSON values and automatically synchronizes and stores modifications to these objects. Your application reads from and writes to these objects like any other local object. Change event handlers can be added to collaborative objects so that your app can react to changes from other collaborators.

Google has been increasingly support of third-party development and apps being integrated with the Drive cloud storage service.

In February, Google rolled out some UI changes to Drive, which included the shift of "Drive-connected" apps to the same prominance as Google-produced apps (i.e. Docs, Sheets) on the updated Create sidebar menu.

Furthermore, users were set up to browse and install Drive-enabled apps right from within Drive without having to go to the Chrome Web Store or elsewhere.

For a closer look at the Drive Realtime API being put to use, check out the promo video for Gantter, a free online project scheduling tool and Gantt diagram editor:

Image via Google Developers

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