Migrating Google Docs to Google Drive

Google’s Data Standardization

Google has been known as the king of (big) data, and Kloudless integrates with Gmail to move data from email to cloud storage. Google’s push for organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful was ahead of its time. This clearly shows in Google’s design of a data protocol for developers to develop products on Google’s platform. When Kloudless integrated Google Docs, it was part of a larger list of “GData” APIs.

The Documents List API was part of a greater set of APIs following the Google Data Protocol. Besides docs, there were:

  • analytics
  • apps
  • blogger
  • books
  • calendar
  • contacts
  • exif
  • finance
  • geo
  • health
  • marketplace
  • photos
  • sites
  • youtube

When Google Drive was introduced in 2012, Kloudless had an opportunity to retool its functionality. Recently, the rise of JSON has led to APIs moving to a different data standard.

Migrating from Documents List to Drive SDK

The Google Drive SDK uses the same infrastructure as the Documents List API; however, there are a few key differences beyond the inherent syntactical changes.

Authorization Mechanisms and Scopes

At Kloudless, we wanted to facilitate users’ account creation and management. Part of this process was to help users keep track of their identity with OpenID, OAuth 1.0 and OAuth 2.0. Switching from Docs to Drive meant that beyond just switching scopes, we would be moving to a pure OAuth 2.0 implementation to authorize users. Google overhauled their entire authentication system beyond just Google Docs to promote Google+ sign in. The OAuth protocol is an open standard for authorization and many services moved away from the OAuth 1.0 RFC specification to the OAuth 2.0 RFC. OAuth 2.0 focuses on client developer simplicity while providing specific authorization flows for web applications, desktop applications, mobile phones, and living room devices.

Design and Data types and Atom Pub XML to JSON

While Kloudless predominantly uses JSON in most of its API, Google’s Data protocol allows for differentiating data types more succinctly and creating resources with both JSON and Atom Pub XML.  The underlying file store of GDrive allows for more robust querying based on the numerous metadata attributes in the XML (now also in JSON).  Furthermore, Google Drive allows you to have multiple files with the same name and to have multiple parent folders.  The structure of Google Drive is extremely flexible although Collections are now deprecated.

File uploads and secure file storage!

Google Drive allows for 10GB uploads to their service.  While other services allow for unlimited file size like Dropbox (through chunked uploads / desktop client) and Bitcasa, Google Drive’s free tier has a 15GB limit with the cheapest options to upgrade for storage.

You also have the most comprehensive access controls for a consumer application of files with Google Drive.

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Advantage: Kloudless

Kloudless works hard to have the most current API, so developers can work on user focused applications without worrying about features that no longer exist.  With every major revision to an underlying cloud storage API, Kloudless will update its back-end infrastructure to account for changes with seamless integration.  So for example, any user of the Kloudless product would not have noticed any change when moving from Google Docs to Google Drive.  We aim to provide the same seamless upgrade for all of our cloud storage services in our API.

Let us know if you’ve migrated from Google Docs to Google Drive and what you think!

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