Thursday, July 28, 2011

Early Google Base Posts on the OakLeaf Systems Blog

Updated below on 7/30/2011 with reasons why I abandoned attempts to use Google for sharing data from relational tables.

Google opened a public beta version of Google Base to testers on 11/16/2005. According to program manager Bindu Reddy’s First Base post to the Official Google Blog:

imageToday we're excited to announce Google Base, an extension of our existing content collection efforts like web crawl, Google Sitemaps, Google Print and Google Video. Google Base enables content owners to easily make their information searchable online. Anyone, from large companies to website owners and individuals, can use it to submit their content in the form of data items. We'll host the items and make them searchable for free. There's more info here.

Google Base pages no longer are available from the Google site and the last post to the Google Base site in the Wayback Machine appears to be 12/18/2008. The following table provides links to my early posts to the OakLeaf Systems blog about a number of Google Base tests I ran in 2005, as well as a review of the DabbleDB beta in March 2006:

Date Post
11/16/2005 Google Base and Bulk Uploads with Microsoft Access
11/17/2005 Google Base and Atom 0.3 Bulk Uploads
11/27/2005 Bulk-Uploaded Items Disappear from Google Base
11/29/2005 Windows Live "Fremont" vs. Google Base Classifieds
12/5/2005 Problems Uploading a Google Base Custom Item Type from a TSV File
12/12/2005 Google Base and Blogger Items Missing from Google Search
3/19/2006 Dabble DB: The New Look in Web Databases

It’s interesting to note that Google supported data insert operations using the Atom format before AtomPub became a standard. Microsoft later adopted AtomPub as the foundation of it’s Open Data Protocol (OData) for RESTful create, retrieve, update, and delete (CRUD) operations on Windows Azure storage, as well as SharePoint lists.

Added 7/30/2011: I abandoned my attempts to use Google Base for sharing database and spreadsheet tables at the end of 2005 because I encountered issues with severe latency (as long as a few hours to publish inserted data), limited and restrictive data type repertoire, chancy (and slow) data upload techniques, and a cumbersome, unintuitive client UI.

Google removed Google Base’s search page on 10/8/2009 and abandoned Google Base in September 2010 by moving it into the Google Merchant Center as the data store for Google Product Search. Google Merchant Center’s data has a restrictive schema with required attributes predefined for selling products. Google announced on 12/17/2010 that Google Base's API had been deprecated in favor of a set of new APIs known as Google Shopping APIs. Google also abandoned its Google Health services that had database-backed services in June 2011. Microsoft currently is attempting to woo former Google Health users to its HealthVault service with a data conversion application.