Ever wonder what ‘s behind Yahoo!’s YQL? I did until I came across a pretty comprehensive explanation on Yahoo’s Developer Network site. First of all, YQL stands for Yahoo! Query Language, and it’s an expressive SQL-like language that lets IT developers query, filter, and join data across Web services. It promises to make apps run quicker – with fewer lines of code and using fewer network resources. And YQL can be used for commercial and non-commercial purposes.
YQL apparently eliminates the need for developers to locate URLs and documentation to access and query different Web services. It promises to enable developers to access and shape data across the Web via a single, simple language, eliminating the need to learn how to call different APIs.
Yahoo! Says that YQL exposes an SQL-like SELECT syntax that is easily recognizable to developers and expressive enough to nab the right data. This can all be done without opening another Web browser.
Role of Open Data Tables
Yahoo! Says that it uses Open Data Tables so that developers can add tables for any data on the Web to the company’s API-specific tables. Open Data Tables allow users to make their data YQL-accessible.
Something Yahoo! calls Execute element also gives developers control of how the data is fetched into YQL and how it is given back to the user. It means developers can build tables that manipulate, change, and sign URLs to access almost any protected content. Thus, YQL can access and combine data across a variety of different authenticated services, for example, Twitter. This feature greatly streamlines the current labor intensive work of calling up multiple services and data sources to join merge data. The information can be tweaked and manipulated into an optimal format for users’ applications to consume.
I suggest a quick read about the specifics of YQL, or you can even join a YQL Developer Community Forum to learn how others are using it and ask questions.