There are a growing number of apps that generate APML but it’s a manual process to export this data, just like OPML. We just added a feature to our Sync Engine that enables a persistent APML URL that can be dynamically consumed by applications, and because this is your data, you decide if it’s public or private.
What does all this mean? Well for starters it simplifies the nature of APML data integration but more importantly it provides a vehicle through which you can empower 3rd party applications that have attention features with data that is generated through your use of mobile, web, and dedicated RSS apps.
The Sync Engine is something I have come to appreciate as a legitimate engineering achievement in that it is not tightly coupled into any single endpoint but really stands on it’s own as a service. 3rd party applications can take advantage of our APIs to enable sync services within their application, which then becomes another endpoint the user syncs to.
One of the few disappointments of OPML is that it just didn’t go far enough to enabling a service based approach to subscription management, the same could be said of APML. If we are relegated to a process that requires a user to manually update APML then it will not be sustainable, but of course this is something 3rd party apps can overcome by using our Sync Engine to manage this process.
Back when we announced that NewsGator’s RSS clients are now free, I also mentioned that we’d be supporting APML across the entire platform. Some of our client applications implement exporting APML at the moment…but we’ve now implemented a persistent APML endpoint in our online platform. What this means is, if you’re using sync with NewsGator Online, there is a well-known URL that represents your APML attention data.