February 21, 2007

Yahoo Pipes! What is it?

According to Yahoo their pipes product is defined as “Pipes is a hosted service that lets you remix feeds and create new data mashups in a visual programming environment.” So, what is this product all about? How good is this product? What opportunities does it give? Let’s have a closer look and find out.

The basic idea behind pipes is to get feeds from different sources like Yahoo, Google, Digg etc, and present it in a better, useful way to the user. What pipes can do now is assemble personalized information from different sources and output the result as standard RSS 2.0. Since the result is RSS 2.0 you can subscribe to and read your pipes in your favorite aggregator. The big advantage is the user can not just assemble information from different source but can filter, analyze the content to get what he need. You can also create pipes that accept user input.

Yahoo has built the pipes out of their YUI and the interface is good. They have made it quite simple for the users to create pipes and get their job done. Another interesting part is that you can share, edit others pipes! So you can learn from what others have made already or if you are lazy just click on “Save a copy” ;) Creating your own pipe can be done in few minutes. All you have to do is specify an input which can be from a feed, flickr, yahoo search etc. Your input can also be taken from a form i.e., text box, data, location, numbers etc. Once you have your inputs you need to process the data that is input! Pipes provide Operators that can filter, truncate, loop through, sort and much more. Final the output of the pipe is provided to the user.

I just tried making a simple search pipe and did it in less than 5 min flat! Definitely pipes were not made to do simple search but that was my first yahoo pipe! I recommend yahoo pipes you all those who relay on feed and have lot of sources.

No comments :