google-sitesGoogle Sites, a tool for creating internal websites where your company can collaborate, can now work with the rest of your business software, Google says. The search giant is releasing an application programming interface (API) that lets applications move data in and out of the Sites service.

This follows other announcements by Google to make its applications, such as Gmail, compatible with outside software. In some cases, like the ability to synchronize Google Apps with Microsoft Outlook, the goal is to ease the transition to Google from other products. In others, like the Sites API, the point is to make Google work better with the other tools businesses use. It also means that the data you store in Google Sites isn’t locked-in if you decide to switch to different software.

Here are some ways the company says you could use the API:

  • Update Google Sites from third-party applications – e.g. your sales team’s Google Sites pages can update automatically when new leads are added to your customer relationship management system.
  • Migrate files and content from workspace applications like Microsoft SharePoint and Lotus Notes to Google Sites.
  • Export Google Sites pages, edit them offline, and re-import the updated content.
  • Export your sites, including every page revision, for backup.
  • Easily monitor changes across your important internal and public sites, all from a single gadget.
  • Push new content like changes to employee policies or a new corporate logo to any site on your domain, even sites created by individual employees.

Of course, not every one of Google Apps’s 175 million customers (such as VentureBeat) has the interest or resources to build their own applications using this API. But you might use applications built by other companies, such as LTech’s application for moving data from Microsoft Sharepoint to Google Sites.