One of the most interesting features of Google Docs is the real-time collaboration. The ability to work on a document in parallel and see everyone’s changes and updates almost instantly changes the way you work together.
Now, Google is opening up the tech via the real-time collaboration features via an API making it available to all developers who integrate with Google Drive.
The Drive Realtime API is quite powerful, it enables developers to build collaboration into any app.
The technology and the infrastructure behind the real-time tech is beyond what most small scale developers can do, at least on a reasonable time scale, so having this part handled by Google makes all sorts of new apps possible.
"The API provides collaborative versions of familiar data objects such as maps, lists, strings, and JSON values and automatically synchronizes and stores modifications to these objects," Google explained.
"Your application reads from and writes to these objects like any other local object," it added.
Neutron Drive, Gantter and draw.io are already using the Realtime API. The API is now open to everyone, so developers can build their own apps as well.