Jamie Thomson

Thoughts, about stuff

SkyDrive API revisited

with 8 comments

On 20th August 2007 I wrote a blog entry called "What would you put in a SkydriveAPI?" which was written in response to Angus Logan’s question:
What APIs would you want to see for SkyDrive?
That is consistently one of my highest visited blogs because at the time of writing it comes up as the first result if you do a search for "Skydrive API" on Google. Clearly people are searching for information about a SkyDrive API so clearly one is desired.
Here we are over 10 months later and the expected Skydrive API has not yet materialised. My suspicion is that the impending developer-focused releases of Live Mesh has stalled a Skydrive API because the two cover very similar ground (i.e. cloud-storage, file-collaboration).
In my blog entry of last year the respondents and I compiled the following list of "wants" for a cloud storage API:
  1. Store documents created using traditonal desktop software (e.g. MS Office) directly to cloud storage
  2. Store documents created in other online software (such as Google Docs) in cloud storage
  3. Embed cloud storage viewers into social networking sites and other websites
  4. Access cloud storage from rich clients on a mobile phone
  5. Synchronise traditional hard drive storage with cloud storage. This includes the hard drive on my smartphone.
  6. Play media stored in cloud storage in the media players I have on my PC
  7. Sync my Zune directly with media store in cloud storage
  8. The ability to write a plugin to backup Windows Home Server to cloud storage
  9. Would like cloud storage to act like a normal drive in My Computer
  10. Have a sync tool like Groove
  11. Very important to support 64 bit

[N.B. In all of these cases I have substituted the term "SkyDrive" with "cloud storage" because that encompasses both SkyDrive and Mesh which is what I am comparing in this blog entry]

The question I now find myself asking is "How much of this list will be provided by a Mesh API?" Even writing as I am prior to the release of such a thing I strongly suspect that a Mesh API  will encompass all of the above requirements. Equally, I believe that SkyDrive will be exposed as a "virtual" device within Live Mesh thus SkyDrive effectively becomes the publicly-available portion of Mesh and http://skydrive.live.com becomes the window into it. Hence, the Mesh API will be all we need to interact with SkyDrive – the need for a SkyDrive-specific API has disappeared.

So, my supposition is that we will never see a SkyDrive API. Do you agree?


Windows Live Tags: clubhouse, mesh, skyDrive, story, API

Written by Jamiet

June 30, 2008 at 3:28 pm

Posted in Live Mesh

8 Responses

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  1. I agree that it makes sense.  Therefore it won’t be implemented.


    June 30, 2008 at 3:56 pm

  2. I don’t know how well this addresses you’re #1.  MS did create an Office Live add-in, so you can save MSOffice documents directly to your Office Live Workspace in the cloud.  It also creates a networked folder icon in your My Network Places so it links directly to the web folder.  I guess you could drop just about anything there if you wanted, though I’ve never tested that out.  Again, MS seems to have all the right tools to make good stuff, but just can’t make it happen for whatever reason.  Is it sad that I keep hoping they’ll pull it together?


    June 30, 2008 at 4:19 pm

  3. Chris,
    I believe it addresses #1 perfectly well. You save your file to a Mesh folder and it automatically gets synced to the cloud. To me, that’s better than having to install a specific Office add-in.
    Sync technologies will get my vote every time but I guess it depends on your interpretation as to whether Mesh fulfills #1 or not.


    July 1, 2008 at 5:58 am

  4. Nice post Jamie. 
    Because SkyDrive is a sort of public documents folder, it would be interesting to see how, in such a scenario as you suggest, they would ‘front-end’ a SkyDrive virtual folder on the Mesh.   I.e.: would there still be a skydrive.live.com where the public could browse to and add comments, etc.  And could you add other ‘virtual’ nodes to your Mesh.
    Mesh-backed SkyDrive sounds enticing and believable… but there would be plenty of devil in the details I think.


    August 7, 2008 at 1:33 am

  5. Gladinet and others offer utilities to emulate virtual drives, so either there’s an API, or the process is reverse-engineer-able. Unfortunately it’s all in SSL, so I can’t just netmon the details …


    February 8, 2009 at 10:57 am

  6. The first thing i’ll do with such API is share all of my Media. the 50 MB can be easily ignored (split the large file).That’s why we will never get such API


    April 5, 2009 at 2:08 pm

  7. Why does that mean we’ll never see an API?


    April 5, 2009 at 8:12 pm

  8. If someone is still interested in a SkyDrive "API", visit project SkyDrive .Net API Client on CodePlex.It’s not a real API, but can be useful for hobby developers.For non-developers, there is also available a Total Commander file system plugin for SkyDrive. Easy to deploy and easy to use.


    June 23, 2009 at 8:49 pm

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