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Google to enforce SSL encryption on developer APIs

September 15: HTTPS or nothing

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Google will soon require the use of SSL encryption with three of its developer-facing APIs.

Beginning September 15, Google will require all developers to use SSL connections for all requests through its Google Documents List, Google Spreadsheet, and Google Sites APIs. In other words, these APIs will only accept requests via HTTPS. If you make a request to an old HTTP address, such as http://docs.google.com/feeds/default/private/full, it will no longer work. You must use https://docs.google.com/feeds/default/private/full.

If you're using the latest version of the Google Data Client libraries, Google says, you needn't change anything. Those libraries already use SSL across the board. If you're not using those libraries, you must change all HTTP URLs in your code to HTTPS.

Google is not requiring SSL on all its APIs, but it "strongly recommends" that you use such encryption with all your Google API clients. The company has started with the Document List, Spreadsheet, and Sites API because most traffic to these APIs is already encrypted with SSL.

Mountain View has led the web in the gradual migration to SSL encryption: Gmail now defaults to SSL, it's an option with Google web search, and Google Docs – the company's online word processor – requires SSL. But other big names, including Facebook, have followed suit.

With most Google APIs, SSL is used with technical documentation, client libraries, and code samples already use SSL. This week, the company also announced that the Google Maps API is now offering SSL to all developers. Previously, it only offered SSL to "Premier" customers. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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