What Would Google Do? Sometimes it may be worth asking.

I have seen a couple different posts pose the question, “What would Google do?” I am taking a different tact. I work for a large organization making web applications. The web applications are used by external clients, but there is a rather limited group of users. Limited as compared to an application that is designed for general use on the Internet.

So, sometimes there are challenges developing our applications. I try to use Google as inspiration for coming up with creative solutions to the challenges.

To start this column out, let’s begin with a common task: uploading data files. Assume that you have a feature that uploads a batch data file. How should the file be formatted? This is a situation where I might ask, “What would Google do?” There are a couple different data uploads that Google supports.

Google Base is a service that provides a data feed. Google Base provides a way to describe structured data that will be included in a Google search. Here is more information about the data feed.

Google Apps, Google’s hosted applications like email, word process, and spreadsheet, has a data feed for provisioning users. They call this a Provisioning API.

In upcoming posts, I plan to look deeper into both of these data uploads that Google supports to help answer the question, “What would Google do?”

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