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Google Announces .NET APIs, Android Apps for Wearables and More

The army of developers at Google has been busy lately, with the company this week announcing a library of client APIs for the Microsoft .NET Framework, a developer preview for building Android apps for wearable devices and guidance on how to use management tools with the Google Compute Engine cloud service.

The company announced general availability of the Google APIs Client Library for .NET version 1.8.1 in a blog post by Dan Ciruli of the Google Cloud Platform Team. "This library is an open source effort, hosted at NuGet, that lets developers building on the Microsoft .NET Framework to integrate their desktop or Windows Phone applications with Google's services," he said.

He noted that the company tries to make its APIs accessible to developers working with any platform, from almost every language on nearly any hardware, with support for REST, HTTP and JSON. "However, to be truly useful on many platforms, it helps to have a client library--one that packs a lot of functionality like handling auth, streaming media uploads and downloads, and gives you native language idioms," he said.

That usefulness comes in the library's integration with OAuth 2.0, the capability to stream media uploads and downloads, support of batching requests, and more. "Whether you are plugging Google Calendar into your .NET Framework-based application, translating text in a Windows Phone app or writing a PowerShell script to start Google Compute Engine instances, the Google APIs Client Library for .NET can save you tons of time," Ciruli said.

The library, hosted on NuGet, sports dozens of APIs, letting developers work with AdSense, Blogger, Cloud SQL database management, YouTube features and more. The new .NET library joins other client libraries for Java, JavaScript, Objective-C, PHP (in beta) and Python. Early-stage work is being done on libraries for Go, Node.js, Ruby and the Google Web Toolkit.

A Getting Started page and APIs Explorer are available for developers who want to dive into the new library.

Google said no major changes have been made from the release candidate version, but the documentation has been expanded.

Just one day after the .NET library announcement, Google on Tuesday announced a project to extend Android to the new breed of wearable computing devices, called Android Wear. The company is first focusing on computerized watches, which will provide all kinds of information at a glance, monitor your health and fitness, get answers to spoken questions as with Apple's Siri and control other devices, among other capabilities. You can now sign up to gain access to a developer preview, intended only for development and testing, while an Android Wear SDK is promised "in the coming months." The preview focuses on notification APIs to help developers enhance their app notifications to create useful UXes. To aid in the development testing, Google is providing a Design Principles for Android Wear page.

Also this week, Google announced a paper to provide information on working with various existing configuration management tools on its Google Compute Engine, a "virtual datacenter" provided via a host of virtual machines (VMs).

"Over the last decade, a vibrant ecosystem of open source tools has emerged to manage the complexity of large-scale compute deployments," said solutions architect Matt Bookman in a blog post. "These tools allow you to deploy changes more rapidly, recover faster from failures, and take unused resources out of service, enabling you to keep your services' uptime high and operational costs low."

He noted that an existing Compute Engine API and gcutil command-line tool are available for resource management, but technical leads and others might find it useful to also work with tools designed for software management.

"Puppet, Chef, Salt and Ansible are configuration management tools that provide software and resource management," Bookman said. "They are open source and support Google Compute Engine. If your organization already uses one of these tools for managing other systems, we hope to help you get started using it with Google Compute Engine."

This getting-started guidance is available in the recent paper, "Compute Engine Management with Puppet, Chef, Salt, and Ansible." It discusses working with the Puppet, Chef, Salt and Ansible configuration management tools.

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