It took a few months longer than anticipated (a few minor events took priority, at a corporate level), but we've finally begun to open up key AOL services, in very substantive ways.
Fundamentally, the newly announced (and extended) Open AIM SDK will enable developers to enhance the AIM network's reach and functionality.
What can you do with it:
- Extend AIM Triton at a low level
- Embed AIM functionality in your own applications
- Create your own version of the AIM client
- Embed presence functionality and communications touchpoints in web applications
To be clear: there are some restrictions and limitations on the ways in which you can leverage the AIM services we've made available, as we feel our way through the operational and business implications. But this should open up a broad set of possible applications on top of the AIM network and namespace immediately.
(In particular, Open AIM does NOT provide IM network interop with other Instant Messaging networks, at this time.)
We've got quite a road ahead of us in learning how to be "open". You'll be seeing a lot more over the next 6 months, both with desktop extensions and "bitless" web APIs (IM related and beyond) - but this is a pretty big first step for AOL.
Congratulations to the AIM team.
And for those who feel like this is too little, too late - I can only say: "Rome wasn't built in a day". Or the the related corollary: "Bite me - no one asked you."
Momentum is building.