Google’s Looker gets a facelift to appeal to developers

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Google is bringing major updates to a business intelligence platform it acquired last year (Looker) in a new release announced on Wednesday.

The release will have a developer portal, support for Microsoft Azure hosting, an interactive way to view APIs (application programming interfaces), and incremental persistent derived tables. Google is keen to reposition its acquisition as a development platform that does more than providing good old-fashioned business intelligence and visual representations of the same.

Pedro Arellano, the director of Looker outbound product management, said that even though the way we experience data in personal settings has changed, the tools used have not.

Expanding Looker

Arellano used auto-navigation apps and workout tracking apps as an example of purpose-built business intelligence engines.

The team behind Looker, Arellano added, sees it as an API for data and ‘everything companies want to do.’ He said that the company is committed to making the offering able to build data experiences customized to fit how people work.

One of the key features is Looker’s Extension Framework, which is part of the new Looker Developer Portal, to enable automated hosting, security, and DevOps so developers can focus more on building software.

What Looker offers

Adding Microsoft Azure support confirms that Google is committed to supporting rival clouds since many organizations opt for more than one provider.

The new version comes with several tools intended to increase developer productivity. Because of its interactive features, the API Explorer is perfect for examining Looker API, prototype requests, and use copy-and-paste functionality to execute API calls.

Developers can bring the filters they declare on any Looker dashboard into embedded apps or extensions, an allowance that reduces the cost of app maintenance. To top it all off, there is a new Looker mobile app to provide reports on multiple devices, get support in 22 languages, and secure your biometric identification.