Yahoo boosts Web data joiner

YQL gets the ability to write and modify data as Yahoo adds 'missing' SQL verbs

Yahoo is enhancing on Wednesday its Web service API for querying and joining data across any Web source or service on the Web, with the addition of capabilities to write and modify data on Web services.

Specifically, the Yahoo Developer Network is offering a feature for the YQL (Yahoo Query Language) that extends the platform by adding "write" capabilities. YQL lets developers query and join data across a Web source or service on the Web.

[ In April, Yahoo also extended YQL with an "execute" function. ]

"Using our YQL Web service, apps run faster with fewer lines of code and a smaller network footprint. YQL uses a SQL-like language because it is a familiar and intuitive method for developers to access data. YQL treats the entire Web as a source of table data, enabling developers to select * from internet," said Jonathan Taylor, of the YQL team, in a blog post.

Wednesday's extensions add "missing" SQL verbs to YQL, including Insert, Update, and Delete. "This enables YQL Open Data Tables to insert new Twitter status messages, not just list them; to add new comments to a blog as well as read them; to store data in a remote database; to Insert Into Internet," Taylor said. Open Data Tables in YQL allow developers to use their own table definitions and bind to any data source using SQL-like syntax and fetch data.

Featuring a SQL-like language, YQL debuted in October and treats the Web as a source of table data. Web services can be accessed using a SQL-like language instead of using typical programmatic access, Yahoo said. YQL serves as a command line version of Yahoo Pipes,  which is a composition tool for mashing up and aggregating content from around the Web. The goal of YQL is to make data from Yahoo and the Internet accessible via a single common interface.

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