Yahoo Keeps Opening-up

Andres Ferrate
Oct. 28 2008, 08:06PM EDT

As we discussed earlier this month, Yahoo had been slowly but steadily introducing parts of its Yahoo! Open Strategy (Y!OS), including the Yahoo! Application Platform (YAP), one of the two platforms that comprise Y!OS. Today Yahoo has announced the release of Y!OS 1.0.

If you are not familiar with Y!OS, it is being launched by Yahoo as a new and open way for developers to build applications that access Yahoo's network data. At the core of Y!OS are two platforms: the Yahoo! Application Platform YAP) and the Yahoo! Social Platform (YSL), which can be accessed via the Yahoo! Query Language (YQL).

Yahoo!'s Jay Rossiter has a blog post that summarizes Y!OS and gives insight into the vision behind the strategy:

Back in April, we rolled out our vision for a more open Yahoo! — with “open” defined as rewiring Yahoo! so we could 1) open our network to outside innovation, 2) unlock the power of your social relationships, and 3) mesh your Yahoo! experience with other sites to bring you the best of the Web.

Today that vision takes another important step forward. We’re officially cutting the ribbon for talented developers everywhere, who are now welcome to come in and access our tools and data so they can build applications for a more customized, social, and relevant Yahoo network and beyond.

The Yahoo DeveloperNetwork Blog has a similar post that gives some more technical details for the three elements that comprise Y!OS:

Yahoo! Social Platform
The Yahoo! Social Platform (YSP) consists of a suite of REST-based social APIs from Yahoo! including: Profiles, Connections, Updates, Contacts and Status. These services will make it possible for you to write social applications either on Yahoo! using the Application Platform or on your own website. We are releasing a PHP SDK to help you access these web services. Because we make use of standard OAuth and REST (both XML and JSON), standard libraries can also be used.

Yahoo! Query Language (YQL)
YQL is a new web service API that lets you access other web services using a SQL-like language rather than typical programmatic access. You can think of it as a command line version of Pipes. Its goal is to make data from Yahoo! as well as from across the internet universally accessible through a single common interface.

Yahoo! Application Platform (YAP)
YAP will soon become the mechanism for distributing your application to millions of users on Yahoo!’s homepages, media sites, and mail properties, some of the most trafficked sites on the Internet. The initial release supports a few programming models including:

- Developer hosted execution of applications with access to Yahoo's Social APIs and YQL;
- Support for OpenSocial's JavaScript API; and
- Support for server-side YML tags.

Today we are launching the platform itself; for now, we hope you’ll start building apps to view in the canvas view. We will keep you updated on the rollout schedule for embedding third-party applications within the pages of Yahoo!'s properties. In the meantime we’d love to hear from you and see what you’re building.

The New York Times and TechCrunch reported that Y!OS would launch this week and it looks like they were right. Lidija Davis at ReadWriteWeb has a post titled 'The Future of Web 3.0 According to Yahoo!' that asks the question of whether Y!OS will help make Yahoo! a viable competitor to Google. It's really too early to tell, but it will be interesting to see whether developers are willing to adopt a new platform and query language to tap into Y!OS. The blogosphere does seem abuzz today with regard to the news.

As we stated in our previous post on YAP, Yahoo does have its share of APIs, with 32 Yahoo APIs in our directory, and there’s a lot of potential for what these new platforms could mean for Yahoo.

Andres Ferrate

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