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Yahoo opens search developer program

Yahoo opens search developer program

Yahoo wants developers to know that its search engine welcomes them. The company is launching today a comprehensive developers program for its search technology during the Search Engine Strategies 2005 Conference & Expo. Called the Yahoo Search Developer Network, the program provides access to Yahoo's Web search engine, its four vertical search services, such as Yahoo News, and its technology for checking spelling and recommending related searches. Yahoo also rolled the developer API (application programming interface) from its Overture Services division into the program. "This is a recognition that search is going from a consumer application to a broad platform on the Web," said Eckart Walther, Yahoo's director of product development. "Search is becoming the file system of the Internet." Yahoo's developer announcement is scheduled to coincide with a keynote presentation from co-founder Jerry Yang, who is opening the second day of the four-day conference. Yahoo isn't the first search engine to open developer access. Google Inc. offers the Google Web APIs for its Web search engine and last month opened its AdWords advertising system to developers. But Walther said he expects Yahoo's APIs for its spell checker and related search technology to stand out from its competitors' developer programs. For example, developers could write a Web service for their Web applications to retrieve spelling suggestions from Yahoo Search. The developer network also features APIs to Yahoo's Web search, image search, video search, news search and local search. Through the network, the Overture API, which was launched in 2001, will become available to a broader set of developers, Walther said. For each API, developers are limited to accessing 5,000 queries per day. Yahoo is offering sample code for popular Web application development languages including Java, JavaScript, Perl, Python and PHP. Yahoo also wants to build an online community among developers through its site. It is creating mailing lists and discussion groups focused on each API, showcasing applications and starting a developer Weblog and wiki for collaboration on questions, ideas and feedback. "We really want to get closer to the developers, and this is a big step in that direction," Walther said. While initially focused on search, the developer site and program are likely to expand to include APIs for other Yahoo services, Walther said. UKFast is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites.

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