The Web is transforming into a platform for distributed applications where rich clients connect to web services to retrieve and store data, but these services need a common language. The Atom Publishing Protocol provides is one such language. Since 2003, the Atom format has been used as yet another feed format like RSS, but the Atom protocol opens the door to far more uses of Atom as both a means for distribution and publication. Ben Ramsey introduces the Atom format and protocol, explaining how these can form the foundation of any service for publication and distribution of content.

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