Google Drive Launches New API, Allows Third Party Apps To Edit Docs In Real Time

Google has announced the launch of API allowing real-time editing of Google Drive docs inside of third-party apps. It will also enable developers to create apps that can tap into Drive’s real-time editing capabilities.

“With the new Google Drive realtime API you can now easily add some of the same real-time collaboration that powers Google Drive to your own apps,” explained Brian Cairns, a software engineer at Google, in the company blog. “This new API handles network communication, storage, presence, conflict resolution and other collaborative details so you can focus on building great apps.”

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Users of Google Docs, as well as Spreadsheets and Slides, now have the ability to edit a document at the same time others are doing so, and each can see the changes input by collaborators in real time. The files will automatically update and sync throughout their Google Drive accounts. The collaboration feature is one of the highlights of the Realtime API. Not only will you be able to see who is currently online and working on your group projects, you will also be able to see the changes they make in real time. Drive users can notably edit their own work now, while simultaneously viewing real-time comments and changes from other users, and no longer need to download and re-upload entire documents for others to use.

“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”, added Cairns in the blog.

Currently, there are three main apps that have already started using the new Google Drive Realtime API- collaborative code editor, Neutron, project scheduling tool Gantter and diagramming tool draw.io.

Launched in April last year Google Drive works on the web, android and iOS platform. India has seen a rise in use of cloud storage services. As per a Gartner report users are expected to store up to 33% of their personal data in such cloud services.

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Let’s hope developers take notice and start integrating the new Google Drive API into their sites and apps soon. It will definitely be interesting to see what software these features make their way into

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