Google APIs Discovery Service: one API to find them all

MAY 09, 2011
By Anton Lopyrev, Monsur Hossain, and Joe Gregorio, Google Developer Team

As announced at last Google I/O, the new family of Google APIs client libraries runs on top of a brand new API infrastructure, which allows Google to reduce the amount of work needed to release and maintain the client libraries. This is done through a simple API that provides machine readable descriptions of Google APIs that the client libraries take advantage of.

Today, we are announcing the Google APIs Discovery Service, which is the secret sauce behind the new client libraries. This service exposes machine readable metadata about Google APIs including:
The service is accessible through a lightweight JSON-based API. Navigate your browser to to get a quick look at the available data.

You can use the APIs Discovery Service to build tools for interacting with Google APIs, such as IDE Plugins and client libraries. We use the service at Google to build a number of such tools:
With the launch of this service, we are also open-sourcing the code for the APIs Explorer, which can serve as a great example of how to use the service.

Read more about Google APIs Discovery Service in the documentation, or explore its API in the APIs Explorer. If you are attending this year’s Google I/O and you want to know more about the service, make sure to attend our session “Building Custom Client Libraries for Google APIs” where you can chat with the developers of the service face-to-face.

We look forward to seeing what sorts of things you can build. Let us know of any issues and feature requests in our developer forum. Happy hacking!

Anton Lopyrev is an Associate Product Manager for Google APIs Infrastructure, previously a software engineer on Street View. He is a computer graphics enthusiast who is also passionate about product design.

Joe Gregorio is a Software Engineer. In the past four years at Google he’s worked on APIs, Google App Engine, Google Wave, and now has come full circle and is back working on APIs.

Monsur Hossain is a Software Engineer for Google APIs Infrastructure and enjoys making it easier to use APIs.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor