Realtime API and 2 New ways for Apps to Write Google Drive Launches

Google Drive Realtime API lets you build real-time collaboration that powers Google Drive to your own apps. "app data folders" and "custom properties" provide new ways for apps to write to Drive.

Google Drive Realtime API, a new developers tool lets you easily add the same real-time collaboration that powers Google Drive to your own apps.

"This new API handles network communication, storage, presence, conflict resolution, and other collaborative details so you can focus on building great apps." Google writes.

In addition, "the Drive Realtime API also keeps track of who is connected to your application and provides your app with events for when collaborators join, leave, or make changes," Google adds.

Google Drive Realtime API

The API, Google writes, provides "collaborative versions of familiar data objects such as maps, lists, strings, and JSON values and automatically synchronizes and stores modifications to these objects." In addition, developers can also add custom objects and references.

Because the Drive Realtime API is based on operational transformation (OT), local changes are reflected instantly, even on high-latency networks. "The Drive Realtime API automatically transforms changes to the data model so that every collaborator stays in sync."

Additionally, "the Drive Realtime API also supports custom objects and references, including trees and arbitrary graph structures. As with other collaborative objects, the Drive Realtime API automatically synchronizes these objects with other collaborators and stores them in Drive," Google adds.

Developers interested can look at the Google Drive Realtime API technical documentation, or try out the Drive Realtime API and a Drive Realtime API Playground to take you through the API step-by-step.

Update 04/05: To help developers build richer integrations with Google Drive--company today introduced "app data folders" and "custom properties."

In order to run smoothly, your app may depend on data it stores in Drive. But occasionally, users may accidentally move or delete the very file or folder your app needs to function.

""App data folder" is a special folder in Drive that can only be accessed by your app. The app folder's content is hidden from the user and from other apps, making it ideal for storing configuration files, app state data, or any other files that the user should not modify.

Although users cannot see individual files in the app data folder, they are able to see how much app data your app is using and clear that data in the Manage Apps dialog," explains Google.

Google Drive App Data Folders

In addition, apps can add custom properties now to any Drive file. "The new properties collection gives your app the power to create searchable fields that are private to your app or shared across apps."

For example, "a classroom app could keep track of the grade for a document or a project management app could keep track of the current status of a document going through a review process," google said.

Check out the technical documentation at https://developers.google.com/drive/appdata.