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AOL Opens IM (A Bit) To Developers

America Online is cracking open a bit of its instant messaging infrastructure so that ISVs and integrators can build on it.

Starting Monday, developers can go to this site for details on how they can tie their applications into AOL's new IM infrastructure.

"This is a big day for us ….we've been working toward it a long time—since 1996 when AIM and ICQ started we've been moving from a more closed to a more open environment," said Jamie Odell, the head of AIM products for Dulles, Va.-based AOL.

AOL is not making source code available but is providing a full SDK with APIs and documentation. With these tools a developer could build plug-ins, custom clients or "mash ups" of popular applications that work with AOL's new "Triton" client, AOL said.

"You could create a gallery of plug-ins, maybe an app that lets you check your Fedex delivery times," he noted.

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