The magic of gzip compression

All developers agree that saving bandwidth is a critical factor for the success of a mobile application. Less data usage means faster response times and also lower costs for the users as the vast majority of mobile data plans are limited or billed on a per-usage basis.

When using any of the Google Data APIs in your application, you can reduce the amount of data to be transferred by requesting gzip-encoded responses. On average, the size of a page of users returned by the Provisioning API (100 accounts) is about 100 Kb, while the same data, gzip-encoded, is about 5 Kb — 20 times smaller! When you can reduce data sizes at this dramatic scale, the benefits of compression will often outweigh any costs in client-side processing for decompression.

Enabling gzip-encoding in your application requires two steps. You have to edit the User-Agent

string to contain the value gzip

and you must also include an Accept-Encoding

header with the same value. For example:

User-Agent: my application - gzip

Accept-Encoding: gzip

Client libraries for the various supported programming languages make enabling gzip-encoded responses even easier. For instance, in the .NET client library it is as easy as setting the boolean UseGZip flag of the RequestFactory object:

service.RequestFactory.UseGZip = true;

For any questions, please get in touch with us in the respective forum for the API you’re using.

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