Google as a developer platform

I have been using Google as a development platform, specifically their custom search engine(CSE) functionality though Google Coop. I have been a developer for 7 years now mostly on the Microsoft stack of technologies but also on Linux, OpenGL, and various web stuff. I must say I am very disappointed in pieces of Google’s offering. Specifically the documentation. I admit that I have been spoiled by Microsoft which has excellent documentation. But Google’s was especially bad. I was unable to go beyond the rudimentary samples that they had without quite a bit of work. Their showcase which you think will be sample applications are not samples at all. If you want to do exactly what they make it easy to do than life is a snap, but if you want to really extend and build a cool web application than be prepared for some serious pain.

Venture beat, a VC blog, has a post on the riskyness of startups using Google as a platform. Google recently removed new access to their SOAP API which allowed developers to have an application which talked to the search engine. Canceling APIs will not breed any sort of loyalty and will make creating applications which use Google services more risky.

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