At the I/O developer conference, Google announced the launch of a new Gmail API. Eric DeFriez, the technical lead for the API, said that the IMAP standard worked well for connecting Gmail to e-mail services. However, it wasn’t designed for “all of the cool things” that developers want to do with the service. The new API has granular permissions like send-only. It also lets developers keep track of changes to the inbox. The API also has significant speed improvements.
“Designed to let you easily deliver Gmail-enabled features, this new API is a standard Google API, which gives RESTful access to a user?s mailbox under OAuth 2.0 authorization. It supports CRUD operations on true Gmail datatypes such as messages, threads, labels and drafts,” said DeFriez. “As a standard Google API, you make simple HTTPS calls and get your responses in JSON, XML or Google Protobuf formats. You can also make these calls from standard web languages like Java and Python without using a TCP socket, which means the API is accessible from many cloud environments that couldn?t support IMAP.”
The API allows you to query the inbox change history so you can avoid the need to do ?archaeology? to figure out what changed.
[Source: Google Apps Developer Blog]