Google has just announced that it's Visualization API (our API Profile) now supports server-side data requests. In essence, the API now supports an "open-wire" protocol that allows individuals and organizations to create visualizations directly from data on a server.
The news was announced on the Google Code Blog, which describes the expanded capabilities of the Visualization API:
Organizations can now expose their server-side data, such as in SQL databases and even in Excel spreadsheets, and display this data through visualizations from our growing directory. This flexibility makes it possible to connect easily almost any data source to a wealth of 40+ visualizations, including standard pie and line charts and complex heat maps and motion charts.
Indeed this is great news for developers who want to directly tap into data stores to quickly create visualization mashups. The news comes at the same time as Salesforce.com's Dreamforce conference, in which Salesforce.com released a new set of tools, including visualization tools based on the Google Visualization API. There is updated documentation available as well as an open-source Python library that can be used to easily develop with the API. Note that the API is RESTful and response formats include JSON, CSV, and HTML. Google continues to be a leader in releasing and expanding APIs for everything from maps to finance to spreadsheets to health.