Microsoft Releases Bing API – With No Usage Quotas

Michael Manoochehri, June 8th, 2009

BingWhen Microsoft launched their much-touted new search engine Bing last week it generated a lots of press and despite a somewhat muted expectations, it turned-out to be something of a hit. But lost in all the broader buzz about Bing was some news for developers: Bing has an API. We’ve now added a new Bing API Profile with technical details.

Like the Bing service itself, the API is a re-branded and enhanced version of the Microsoft’s Live Search API. Just days before the official Bing launch, the API was updated with many of the features of the new Bing service. That earlier announcement for Live Search 2.0 has the highlights:

  • Developers can now request data in JSON and XML formats. The SOAP interface that the Live Search API required has also been retained.
  • Requested data can be narrowed to one of the following source types: web, news, images, phonebook, spell-checker, related queries, and Encarta instant answer.
  • It is now possible to send requests in OpenSearch-compliant RSS format for web, news, image and phonebook queries.
  • Client applications will be able to combine any number of different data source types into a single request with a single query string.

The Bing API is part of a larger set of web application development services called “Project Silk Road.” Microsoft’s Bing Developer Center describes how Bing fits into the Silk Road project:

A key part of Project Silk Road is a re-architected Bing API that offers open, flexible options for building or enhancing your site or applications. Developing an application with the new API is straightforward: Choose a SourceType (or SourceTypes – you’re not limited to one), choose an output protocol (JSON, SOAP, or XML) and then customize according to your needs. All you need to get going is an AppID.

More detailed information on features specific to the various data source types can be found at the MSDN website.

In a world where APIs are often limited in many ways, it’s notable that in addition to these technical updates that Microsoft has removed the API usage quotas found in the Live Search API, with the requirement that it be used for “user-facing applications” only. Note that the terms of use have also been loosened to allow more flexible presentation options such as “no restrictions on ordering and blending search results”.

To access the service, developers must create an AppID using an (anachronistically named) Windows Live ID login. US-based developers may also choose to participate in a pilot program to generate revenue from their search applications.

Given that Microsoft has often found themselves a distant third in search queries behind competitors Yahoo! and Google (Microsoft recently accounted for just over 8% of all search queries, compared to Google’s 64%), the prospect of a better search engine could be good for search competition. And with the new Bing API there’s also more opportunities for developers who opt to build on this new feature rich and standards-aware API.

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49 Responses to “Microsoft Releases Bing API – With No Usage Quotas”

June 8th, 2009
at 3:00 am
Comment by: Alessandro Catorcini

You are actually getting the data from an old white paper. There are more types available today than you mentioned: you should add Video, Mobile Web, Flight Status instant answer and Machine Translation

Enjoy

–Alessandro Catorcini
Bing API Program Management

June 8th, 2009
at 3:20 am
Comment by: Microsoft gives us the no-usage-limits Bing API - The Next Web

[...] The ProgrammableWeb states [...]

June 8th, 2009
at 7:00 am
Comment by: Arjun Ram

If you notice carefully, commercial applications are NOT allowed to be using the API. Makes a big difference between Yahoo and Bing!

A small but an important difference.

June 8th, 2009
at 10:15 am
Comment by: Microsoft publica el API de Bing | Malavida Blog

[...] Fuente: Programmable Web [...]

June 8th, 2009
at 10:21 am
Comment by: Marshall Kirkpatrick

What- no commercial use? Is that true??

June 8th, 2009
at 10:23 am
Comment by: Alessandro Catorcini

@Arjun

Not sure where you are reading this. It’s nonsense: commercial applications are allowed and welcome.

June 8th, 2009
at 11:41 am
Comment by: Matthew

Sigh. Pretty much useless for most commercial usage:

“On any page in which you display Bing results, you will only display advertising that we serve or provide.”

Come on, some monetization flexibility is required. You’re already reserving the right to inject ads in the returned results:

“We may also include advertising in Bing results provided through the services and, if we do so, you will not remove, modify, or interfere with the display or viewing of this advertising.”

Web properties almost already have existing deals with ad networks, or may even (gasp) need to display adsense from time to time. It’s not the end of the world if you coexist with other ad networks.

June 8th, 2009
at 12:16 pm
Comment by: Arjun Ram

@Alessandro,

Happy to be proven wrong but what about the following lines in the terms?

“Your license to use the services is limited, however, to solely your Websites and applications that are provided without charge to the end user”

How can you support commercial applications with terms & conditions like these?

June 8th, 2009
at 1:39 pm
Comment by: Digital Ocean Studio - Inbound Marketing » Blog Archive » Microsoft gives us the no-usage-limits Bing API

[...] The ProgrammableWeb states [...]

June 8th, 2009
at 3:26 pm
Comment by: iStore Ecuador :: Tribu iStore

[...] artículos mas recientes que hablan sobre el lanzamiento de Bing; esperamos que lo disfruten. http://blog.programmableweb.com/2009/06/08/microsoft-releases-bing-api-with-no-usage-quotas/ http://www.thetimes.co.za/Careers/Article.aspx?id=1012688 fuente/ source: [...]

June 8th, 2009
at 5:43 pm
Comment by: Alessandro Catorcini

@Arjun

Thanks for pointing that excerpt out. It is sending an unintended message and will be amended soon.

June 8th, 2009
at 7:18 pm
Comment by: マイクロソフト、Bing APIリリース | KGRAND World Tech News Reader

[...] APIリリース // [Programmableweb] BingにはAPIがあります。現在、技術的詳細で新しいビングAPI [...]

June 8th, 2009
at 9:55 pm
Comment by: マイクロソフト、Bing APIリリース | KGRANDJP for iPhone

[...] [Programmableweb] BingにはAPIがあります。現在、技術的詳細で新しいビングAPI Profileを加えました。 [...]

June 8th, 2009
at 10:32 pm
Comment by: Microsoft gives us the no-usage-limits Bing API « Dogfeeds——IT Telescope

[...] The ProgrammableWeb states [...]

June 9th, 2009
at 2:39 am
Comment by: Nueva API para Microsoft Bing | Globbos

[...] Programmable Web, la API que Bing promociona ahora es una versión mejorada de la API anterior que tenía el [...]

June 9th, 2009
at 3:40 am
Comment by: Arjun Ram

@Alessandro,

Glad to hear that it was unintended, we have already had an active discussion about this on twitter. If you make the change, pls send me a note at blog [at] arjunram [dot] com and I will post an update on twitter for others benefit.

Cheers!

June 9th, 2009
at 10:56 am
Comment by: Tim

Hum. Yahoo BOSS was unlimited, until they decided it wasn’t unlimited anymore. Be careful if you plan to build something on a 3rd party platform, TOS are always subject to change, even when the evangelists say you can trust them for not changing TOS.

June 10th, 2009
at 3:09 am
Comment by: Goodbye Virtual Earth, Hello Bing Maps

[...] since Microsoft announced the release of Bing, their next generation search platform (with its own Bing API). Along with the name change, several of Microsoft’s product offerings have also rebranded, [...]

June 10th, 2009
at 1:20 pm
Comment by: Virtual Earth Becomes Bing Maps…06.10.09 « The Proverbial Lone Wolf Librarian’s Weblog

[...] Microsoft announced the release of Bing, their next generation search platform (with its own Bing API). Along with the name change, several of Microsoft’s product offerings have also rebranded, [...]

June 10th, 2009
at 7:07 pm
Comment by: Build A Mobile Web Search Site Using Bing or Yahoo Data? | Wap Review

[...] good the Microsoft mobile web results are but it looks like it’s worth exploring as there is no charge, no usage limits and no restrictions on ordering and blending results when using the Bing Search [...]

June 11th, 2009
at 1:00 am
Comment by: A couple of updates on Microsoft Bing: … | Cafyn

[...] Bing API has been released with no usage quotas: http://blog.programmableweb.com/2009/06/08/microsoft-releases-bing-api-with-no-usage-quotas/ – Virtual Earth is no more as Bing Maps launches: [...]

June 13th, 2009
at 9:27 am
Comment by: SitePoint Podcast #17: 12 Kinds of Awesome

[...] Microsoft Bing releases API with no usage quotas (Programmable Web) [...]

June 13th, 2009
at 11:05 am
Comment by: 6 New APIs: Bing x 2, Chinese Chops, and Games

[...] Bing API: The Microsoft Bing API offers open, flexible options for building or enhancing your site or applications. Developing an application with the new API is straightforward: Choose a SourceTypes (Web, Images, InstantAnswer, Phonebook, RelatedSearch, Spelling), choose an output protocol (JSON, SOAP, or XML) and then customize according to your needs. For more, see our story on Microsoft Releases Bing API – With No Usage Quotas [...]

June 13th, 2009
at 5:33 pm
Comment by: 6 New APIs: Bing x 2, Chinese Chops, and Games | Open Source Blog

[...] Bing API: The Microsoft Bing API offers open, flexible options for building or enhancing your site or applications. Developing an application with the new API is straightforward: Choose a SourceTypes (Web, Images, InstantAnswer, Phonebook, RelatedSearch, Spelling), choose an output protocol (JSON, SOAP, or XML) and then customize according to your needs. For more, see our story on Microsoft Releases Bing API – With No Usage Quotas [...]

June 14th, 2009
at 12:39 pm
Comment by: The Technology Post for June 8th | rapid-DEV.net

[...] API – Microsoft Releases Bing API – With No Usage Quotas – Programmable Web (Suggested by Chris Woodruff) [...]

June 16th, 2009
at 7:08 am
Comment by: Mobile News - Mobile Industry Buzz!! » Build A Mobile Web Search Site Using Bing or Yahoo Data?

[...] good the Microsoft mobile web results are but it looks like it’s worth exploring as there is no charge, no usage limits and no restrictions on ordering and blending results when using the Bing Search [...]

June 16th, 2009
at 6:24 pm
Comment by: Bing:…ahora le toca a la API de Bing! « Pasión por la tecnología…

[...] Bing:…ahora le toca a la API de Bing! Archivado en: Bing — Juan Carlos González Martín @ 10:23 pm Si en los últimos posts os hablaba sobre las diferentes ramas que tiene Microsoft Bing: Bing Travel, Bing Maps o Bing Translator, hoy toca hablar sobre si podemos de alguna forma como desarrolladores aprovechar la potencia de la plataforma Bing…la respuesta es que por supuesto, ya que al igual que su predecesor Windows Live Search, Bing cuenta con una API que está disponible para que la podamos usar en nuestros desarrollos de forma gratuita. Esta API viene a mejorar y modernizar la API de Windows Live Search (realmente es una actualización de esta), ya que nos permite trabajar con formatos JSON y XMl, consultar distintas fuentes de datos en un mismo query string, o enviar peticiones RSS estándar…podéis consultar estas novedades y otras a través de este enlace. [...]

July 30th, 2009
at 4:25 am
Comment by: Tim Acheson

This is essentially Microsoft’s long-awaited takeover of Yahoo’s web search portal, but packaged in a way that will be more palatable to Yahoo. It’s a deal carefully crafted and cushioned, to minimise the hurt caused to Yahoo’s tender pride. It’s more than a “deal” and it’s more than a merger. . This is a takeover by another name.

“That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

http://www.timacheson.com/Blog/2009/jul/yahoo_upgrades_their_search_engine_to_bing

July 30th, 2009
at 11:53 am
Comment by: Craigslist Search

Can’t wait to add Bing integration to http://craiglook.com !

August 7th, 2009
at 1:55 pm
Comment by: Being Optimistic at the Deathbed of Yahoo Search API

[...] Microsoft allow Bing’s results to be shown in Yahoo APIs? Microsoft’s shiny new Bing API might win over the nostalgia of maintaining the [...]

August 21st, 2009
at 3:25 am
Comment by: digiwebtools

I am afraid that no usage limit can’t be for long time.
After getting more users, Microsoft will close soon :( .

September 24th, 2009
at 10:33 am
Comment by: Phil

TOS still forbid non-MS advertising. Pretty useless for any commercial site…

June 4th, 2010
at 4:39 pm
Comment by: justinbryan

Its true that currently microsoft is looking for adding more and more users but after that they will definitely filter out this system

August 26th, 2010
at 3:59 pm
Comment by: Yahoo Okays Revenue Streams in its Social Streams

[...] to come with commercial restrictions, though many often ignore money-making mashups. When Bing API was released without usage quotas, there was a lot of discussion (see comments) about whether its non-commercial [...]

October 21st, 2010
at 9:06 am
Comment by: Diseño Web

Happy to be proven wrong but what about the following lines in the terms?

“Your license to use the services is limited, however, to solely your Websites and applications that are provided without charge to the end user”

How can you support commercial applications with terms & conditions like these?

October 23rd, 2010
at 9:28 pm
Comment by: Vuelos baratos

Hum. Yahoo BOSS was unlimited, until they decided it wasn’t unlimited anymore.

October 26th, 2010
at 12:00 am
Comment by: Cesar Millan el encantador de perros

Glad to hear that it was unintended, we have already had an active discussion about this on twitter. If you make the change, pls send me a note at blog [at] arjunram [dot] com and I will post an update on twitter for others benefit.

Cheers!

October 26th, 2010
at 9:22 am
Comment by: nicolas - arquitectos en cordoba

share this review: Yahoo BOSS WAS unlimited, it wasn’t Until They DECIDED unlimited anymore. BE CAREFUL if you plan to build Something on a 3rd party platform, TOS Are always subject to change, Even When the evangelists say you can trust Them for Not Changing TOS.

November 3rd, 2010
at 8:19 am
Comment by: ley de atraccion

Glad to hear that it was unintended, we have already had an active discussion about this on twitter.
Cheers!

November 22nd, 2010
at 4:35 am
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iike it’s worth exploring as there is no charge,

December 9th, 2010
at 1:15 am
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December 11th, 2010
at 1:41 pm
Comment by: paisajista

Perfecto!

January 5th, 2011
at 4:03 pm
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January 25th, 2011
at 10:20 am
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it’s worth exploring as there is no charge,

June 9th, 2011
at 8:34 am
Comment by: viviendas prefabricadas en cordoba

This is essentially Microsoft’s long-awaited takeover of Yahoo’s web search portal, but packaged in a way that will be more palatable to Yahoo. It’s a deal carefully crafted and cushioned, to minimise the hurt caused to Yahoo’s tender pride. It’s more than a “deal” and it’s more than a merger. . This is a takeover by another name

July 3rd, 2011
at 3:22 pm
Comment by: escorts en cordoba

How can you support commercial applications with terms & conditions like these?Thanks

September 15th, 2011
at 9:23 pm
Comment by: Alicia - el secreto

Que interesante, buscare paginas mas recientes sobre este tema, Gracias por compartir.

Saludos.

October 16th, 2011
at 9:37 am
Comment by: The Coming Assault on Twitter « The Near Futurist

[...] do itself good by preparing for the worst. Prologue: as I wrote this, I read a news article from ProgrammableWeb that Microsoft has just released the Bing Search API with no usage limits. As a third-place search [...]

December 12th, 2012
at 3:01 am
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