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What is Google base data API

In the last blog we saw that our product data is uploaded into the Merchant center and the non-product data is uploaded  into the Google Base website and then internally all these data are stored in Google’s repository which is also called as Google Base. Limiting our discussion to the Product data, instead of uploading our raw feeds using ftp upload, we can also send  them to the Merchant center using the Google’s API (an interface provided by the application to programmatically do our job).

The API provided by Google in the beginning was Google Base Data API (referred as Base API). This API could be used for both feeding the products into Gbase as well as, searching the products. The details for getting started with Base API are provided here http://code.google.com/apis/base/starting-out.html and the developer guide is here  http://code.google.com/apis/base/docs/2.0/developers_guide_java.html. Visiting these links would have caught your eyes that the base API is deprecated now. Yes, Google has decided to separate the task of uploading and querying using two different API namely Content API and Shopping API along with many more features added to the new APIs.  Base API was doing the work of two men. It had a stable version of the client libraries in many programming languages.But now that Google has announced that it will retire Base API by June 1, 2011 we need to look into the two new guys for continuing our uploads and queries.

The following figure shows uploading and querying for data using the older Base API. Customers upload their product catalog data feed files using the Merchant Center or using the GData libraries to programmatically transmit the catalog. Once the data is parsed, validated and inserted into Google Base, its available for search in Google Product Search and can be queried in Commerce Search.


Older Architecture

Upload and Query using older Base API

After Google Base is retired in June, the item types such as jobs, real estate, events, and activities will not be supported.  For more info read <http://searchengineland.com/google-to-replace-base-api-with-two-shopping-apis-59301>

Now coming to the newer APIs, the content API allows retailers to upload product data to Google. It can be used to add, delete, query or modify any item individually or in a batch. The data can be used for Google Product Search, Google Commerce Search(GCS), and Product Ads. The Search API is aimed at helping Google Affiliate Network publishers and Google Commerce Search customers. Those who upload feeds in forms of XML or CSV files directly can continue to use the Merchant Center as before.

The figure given below shows uploading and querying for data using the Content and Search APIs for Shopping. Customers can continue to upload their product catalog using the Merchant Center but if they are doing the upload programmatically, they will use the Content API for Shopping to transmit items. These items get validated, parsed and indexed per use case depending on where an item should appear ( GCS or Product Search). Once the data is available for search, the Search API for Shopping is used to to retrieve both the items and facets in one call. You can look into http://code.google.com/apis/commercesearch/docs/migration.html for more details.



New Architecture

Uploading and Querying using the new APIs


We will look at the Content API in the subsequent blogs. Meanwhile you can get started with content API with Getting Started Guide.



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