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Brendan
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Antonio
By Brendan O’Brien and Antonio Fuentes, Google Developer Team

Today we reached another milestone in our efforts to provide infrastructure and tools to make it easier for developers to use Google APIs: we have released the Google APIs Client Library for JavaScript in Alpha. This client library is the latest addition to our suite of client libraries, which already includes Python, PHP, and Java.

This compact and efficient client library provides access to all the Google APIs that are listed in the APIs Explorer. The client library is also flexible, supporting multiple browser environments including Chrome 8+, Firefox 3.5+, Internet Explorer 8+, Safari 4+, and Opera 11+. In addition, the JavaScript client library supports OAuth 2.0 authorization methods.

You can load the client library using the following script tag:

<script src="https://apis.google.com/js/client.js?onload=CALLBACK"></script>

Loading an API and making a request is as easy as executing:

gapi.client.load('API_NAME', 'API_VERSION', CALLBACK);

// Returns a request object which can then be executed.
// METHOD_NAME is only available once CALLBACK runs.

var request = gapi.client.METHOD_NAME(PARAMETERS_OBJECT);
request
.execute(callback);

You can use the APIs Explorer to check all the methods available for an API, as well as the parameters for each method. For instance, use the above syntax with the plus.activities.search method of the Google+ API to query activities:


<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
 <head>
 </head>

 <body>
   <script type="text/javascript">

function init() {

 // Load your API key from the Developer Console
 gapi.client.setApiKey('YOUR_API_KEY');

 // Load the API
 gapi.client.load('plus', 'v1', function() {
     var request = gapi.client.plus.activities.search({
         'query': 'Google+',
           'orderby': 'best'
           });

     request.execute(function(resp) {
         // Output title
         var heading = document.createElement('h4');
         heading.appendChild(document.createTextNode(
resp.title));
         var content = document.getElementById('content');
         content.appendChild(heading);

         // Output content of the response
         if (!resp.items) {
           content.appendChild(document.createTextNode(
'No results found.'));
         } else {
           for (var i = 0; i < resp.items.length; i++) {
             var entry = document.createElement('p');
           entry.appendChild(document.createTextNode(
resp.items[i].title));
             content.appendChild(entry);
           }
         }
       });
   });
}
   </script>
   <script src="https://apis.google.com/js/client.js?onload=init"></script>

   <div id="content"></div>
 </body>
</html>

To try this yourself, sign up in the Google APIs console or refer to the documentation on acquiring and using a developer key in the Google+ API.

The Google APIs Client Library for JavaScript is currently in Alpha, which means that we are actively developing it, but wanted to get the library in your hands as soon as possible, and we welcome any feedback to make the code better. While you can use the current library to start writing code, you should use caution when writing production code as library code changes may break your application. We are working hard to upgrade this release to Beta and beyond soon, and to release even more client libraries.

To get started, visit the JavaScript Client Library documentation page. We also welcome your feedback, which you can provide using the JavaScript client group.


Brendan O'Brien is a Software Engineer for the Browser Client group at Google. Prior to working on JavaScript APIs he was a frontend engineer for iGoogle. He is passionate about JavaScript and enjoys building web applications.

Antonio Fuentes is a Product Manager for the Google API Infrastructure group. He has experience launching products in the cloud computing, infrastructure, and virtualization space.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor