ADO.NET vNext has rightly absorbed much of my attention of late, and rightly so as this is an major focus on the .NET Framework roadmap. No matter how much is made of the perceivedcompetition between Redmond and Mountain View, I am sure the latest announcements from Google have not gone unnoticed.
This caught my eye today while browsing the ZDNet blog portal. As a potentially significant development, and given the topics I talk about on this blog, it goes without saying that I will certainly be playing with this. Some key highlights include the availability of a ReSTful interface, a full set of CRUD functionality and as you might expect a bulk load mechanism.
I was immediately struck that accessing structured data such as produced by Google Base seems like an ideal task for XQuery, particularly DataDirect XQuery. Google's ReSTFul interface produces Atom (RSS) feed which are easily processed by many tools. However, this is just half the story and I don't believe exposing this information in a well thought out API is enough. Far more compelling might be to join this with data you have on your internal data sources, such as relational databases or other XML feeds and then you have a compelling integration story - do this efficiently, then you really have a compelling solution.
The is no doubt that the usefulness of this scenario is also highly dependent on the information available in Google Base. Criticality, Google allows anyone to store, or indeed post their information on Google Base. Mapping the more semantic data groupings might be a challenge for some applications, but with customizable item types, the possibilities seem limitless.
Mashups are already a trendy Web 2.0 word for bringing together information, people and communities. Automating, optimizing and managing collaborative information, such as can be stored in Google Base, together with the right XQuery implementation may well drive the next wave data integration.
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