GData, MySQL, and the Future of on-line Databases

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In reading Richard MacManus’ Why Google is extending RSS, I couldn’t help feeling that he was missing the point a bit.

It’s as if he was focusing on the small things (“Why RSS?”) rather than looking at the bigger picture of where all this is going.

It’s not about building an easier onramp to Google Base.

Well, it is. But, again, that’s the small stuff.

GData is the realization of the future that Adam Bosworth spoke about at the 2004 MySQL Users Conference.

It just so happened that I re-listened to his talk a several weeks ago during a walk to the bank. Hearing it for the second time, I was much more receptive to his ideas about creating a simple and open replacement for all the proprietary communications protocols currently in use by database vendors. By using HTTP and RSS or Atom, one could get 80% of the needed functionality while also greatly simplifying how things work.

The benefit is that you’d have a single API that could be used to query, update, and index structured data on the web–anywhere on the web. It’s a pretty powerful vision and something I didn’t expect to see for a couple more years.

Give his talk a listen and tell me if you don’t see Adam’s fingerprints all over GData. It’s time well spent if you care about this stuff.

Download MP3 here.

The next logical questions, for me at least, are:

1. Will MySQL add native GData support to the server anytime soon?

2. Should Yahoo begin to enable a GData API on our data stores?

I hope the answer to #1 is “yes, they should” and suspect the answer to #2 is “probably–at least for some of them.”


Jeremy Zawodny is the author of the popular Jeremy Zawodny’s blog. Jeremy is part of the Yahoo search team and frequently posts in the Yahoo! Search blog as well.

Visit Jeremy’s blog: Jeremy Zawodny’s blog.

GData, MySQL, and the Future of on-line Databases
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