Microsoft's API Rule Turns Developers Off Bing - InformationWeek

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IoT
IoT
Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
8/7/2009
12:18 PM
Michael Hickins
Michael Hickins
Commentary
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Microsoft's API Rule Turns Developers Off Bing

Microsoft is making it tough for developers new to the Microsoft universe to link up with Bing. Not the kind of thing Microsoft wants to repeat as it tries to build share for its brand spanking old search tool.

Microsoft is making it tough for developers new to the Microsoft universe to link up with Bing. Not the kind of thing Microsoft wants to repeat as it tries to build share for its brand spanking old search tool.Developers who want to access Microsoft's Bing API need to fill out a form [you need a Hotmail ID to even click through to the form] that has a usability defect so ridiculous that it shows how little care or thought Microsoft has put into the process.

In this form that developers need to complete to apply for an AppID, the field for company name allows a maximum of 100 characters, while the URL field is limited to eighty. As Web developer J Wynia put it in a Tweet this morning, "Isn't it likely that the company name is in [the] www?"

Of course it's just a form, but companies publish online forms to reduce the number of times a human being has to actually talk to the customers. And if all people ever see of you is your forms, those forms had better be darn good.

And if your online forms suck, the only thing you'll accomplish is to deeply annoy -- or even alienate -- your potential customers or partners.

In this case, being able to use this form is no trivial matter, especially if you're one of the developers Microsoft is trying to woo to the dark side and you don't already have an AppID. Microsoft notes that, "You will need to create an application ID before you can use the Bing Web Service."

Sounds like they'd like to do you a favor, if only you could perform one simple task, which is to fill out a form that can only be properly completed in an alternate dimension -- one in which TinyURL is master of the universe and the Constitution consists of the screenplay to "Honey I Shrunk The Kids."

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