Grammarly, the popular auto editing tool, announced the release of Grammarly for Developers today. The company is starting this effort with the Text Editor SDK (software development kit), which enables programmers to embed Grammarly text editing functionality into any web application.
Rob Brazier, head of product and platform at Grammarly, says that the beta release of this SDK gives developers access to the full power of Grammarly automated editing with a couple of lines of code. “Literally in just a couple lines of HTML, [developers] can add Grammarly’s assistance to their application, and they get a native Grammarly experiences available to all of their users without the users needing to install or register Grammarly,” Brazier told me.
Underneath the hood, these developers are getting access to highly sophisticated natural language processing (NLP) technology without requiring any artificial intelligence understanding or experience whatsoever. Instead, developers can take advantage of the work that Grammarly has already done.
While users of the target application don’t need to be Grammarly customers (and that is in fact the idea), if they do happen to be, they can log into their Grammarly accounts and access all of the functionality that comes with that. “If their users have a Grammarly subscription, those users can link their Grammarly accounts into the developer’s application. They can sign in with Grammarly and unlock the additional features of their particular subscriptions [directly] in that application,” he said.
Brazier said that because this is a starting point, the company wanted to keep it basic, get feedback on the beta and then add additional capabilities in the future. “We wanted to start with the simplest possible way of giving access to this capability to the greatest number of users. So that’s why we started with a pretty simple product. I think it’ll evolve over time and grow in sophistication, but it is really just a couple lines of code and you’re up and running,” he said.
This is the company’s first dip into the developer tool space, allowing programmers to access Grammarly functionality and embed it in their applications. This is not unlike the approach Zoom took last year when it released an SDK to tap into video services (although Zoom is much further along on this developer tool journey). As companies like Grammarly and Zoom grow in popularity, it seems the next logical step is to expose the strengths of the platform, in this case text editing, to let developers take advantage of it. In fact, Salesforce was the first to implement this idea in 2007 when it launched Force.com.
This approach also will potentially provide another source of revenue for Grammarly beyond the subscription versions of the product, although Brazier says it’s too early to say what shape that will take. Regardless, today’s announcement is just the first step in a broader strategy to expose different parts of the platform to developers and enable them to take advantage of all the work Grammarly’s engineers put into the platform. Interested developers can apply to be part of the beta program.