Chapter 13. BOSS API FAQ's

General FAQ's

  1. What is BOSS API and what can it do for you?

    BOSS API (Build your Own Search Service) is an API that connects into Yahoo's search infrastructure. It allows developers, start ups, and established consumer internet companies to leverage the power of Yahoo's search capabilities.

  2. How is BOSS API different from other APIs?

    There are plenty of APIs out there in the search space. Some of them give you an iframe or a widget. The current Search API is designed for rapid development of search applications and mashups. BOSS API is an extension of that rapid development concept and for the first time developers can tap into Yahoo's search infrastructure and build applications for commercial use without restrictions around presentation or ordering of results. You can take BOSS API results, blend in your own secret sauce, and build a search engine of your own design.

  3. Which search content can I find through BOSS API?

    This first release of BOSS API, developers can fetch search content for Web, News, and Image results.

  4. What is a RESTful API?

    REST stands for Representational State Transfer. Yahoo Web Services use "REST-Like" RPC-style operations over HTTP GET or POST requests with parameters encoded into the request URL.

    For more information about REST please check out the following:

  5. What will the results look like?

    As a developer using BOSS API, you can choose JSON or XML result outputs.

  6. What do you mean by re-ordering results?

    Developers have expressed interest in altering the result order, removing results they do not want, and blending in their own data. All of these activities are allowed and encouraged with BOSS API.

  7. Do I have to serve advertisements in my search?

    No. Ads are not compulsory.

  8. When will the search ads be available? What can I do until then with this API?

    Search Ads will be available to qualified developers when BOSS API is launched.

  9. What can't I do with BOSS API?

    Yahoo has made the terms of service significantly more flexible than most other APIs, including our previous Search API. Please read the BOSS API terms of service for more information.

  10. What do I need to do to access the APIs?

    Developers must obtain a BOSS API App ID. This App ID is different than the Yahoo Search API AppID. The sign up is on the BOSS API page

  11. Are these the only features that you'll have? Or When will you rollout additional verticals / features?

    This first update to BOSS API in 2011 is our baseline. Significant upgrades are planned and more updates will be provided when we get close to releasing those features. Yahoo would like your suggestions and feedback for upcoming releases. Please go to the Suggestions Board and click on the BOSS checkbox and send us your suggestions.

  12. Is there a developers kit for the BOSS API?

    Yahoo is releasing an experimental Python library called the Boss Mashup Framework which provides simplified interfaces for retrieving search results via the Boss API. The framework also provides functions for remixing the results with other data sources.

  13. Where can I get support for using the BOSS API?

    Support for this product is outlined in the Chapter 1, Getting Started section.

  14. Is there a message board or discussion group for the APIs?

    YES. Please join the Yahoo Search BOSS group at .

  15. Can I use POST parameters for BOSS API?

    No. BOSS API uses GET to pass query parameters.

  16. Can I submit a request from a web browser?

    Browser requests are currently not possible since BOSS API uses oAuth. A browser extension may be released in the future.

  17. Can I make simultaneous requests to BOSS API?

    Yes, you can make simultaneous calls to the BOSS API service. Please note that you will receive 503 gateway timeout errors for the first few simultaneous calls but that should go away after.

  18. Is there a YQL table for BOSS API?

    A table was built by Sam Pullara, a BOSS API developer. You will need to provide your consumer key and secret to the table; For example, select * from where ck=... and secret=... and q="yahoo".

  19. Where is the BOSS Mashup Framework?

    Click here for the BOSS Mashup Framework. The BOSS Mashup Framework is a non-supported code library, and is licensed under the terms set forth in the Yahoo Search BOSS API Terms of Use.

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