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Google's visualization API goes after Microsoft's cash-cow

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 0 comment
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Mountain View (CA) - Google Apps just got much more attractive with a new visualization API that lets users create graphics around data that is included in text documents, spreadsheets and presentations. This major extension is yet another threat for Microsoft, especially its Office suite, and another sign that Google is getting much more serious about becoming an application provider.

At first sight, Google’s brand new Visualization API is a simple JavaScript based API (Application Programming Interface) that visualizes structured data (that being database, spreadsheets, regular documents) and enables creation of Google Gadgets. The results of this approach, however, are impressive, judging from the Gadgets that are already available. Despite the fact that the selection of available Gadgets was limited at the time of this writing, the capability of this API is already being demonstrated.

The 25 available Gadgets (sorted into Charts, Analytics, Project Management, Tables, Maps and Search) include traditional visualization methods such as bar charts, line charts, pie charts and area charts, but also animated pyramid, funnel and donut versions. The selection also includes gauges, heat maps, organizational and project charts.

All gadgets are integrated with Google Apps and the iGoogle portal, allowing interaction between the two. Importing data in already released applications is a breeze. You’re not limited to importing data from files : You also can select a dataset from a website and visualize it through one of available plug-ins. Or you can create a Gadget on your own.

Google offers extensive instructions for creating Gadgets using this API. Even if you are not a developer, we are quite certain that new plug-ins will start appearing like mushrooms after rain.

If Office users start looking to Google for doing business, it appears that another a cornerstone of Microsoft’s market dominance is threatened to be wiped out.

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