Yesterday, at a blog postGrammarly announced that it would discontinue Text Editor SDK, a developer tool that puts enterprise auto-editing functionality into any application. The tool will be deactivated on January 10, 2024, after which it will stop working in all apps currently in use.
For Grammarly, it appears to be a matter of how best to allocate internal engineering resources, and the company wants to focus on the core product, according to Drew Endick, senior manager for platform partners at Grammarly. He indicated that the company was looking build AI into tools, which seems important given the rise of generative AI tools like ChatGPT.
“Retiring the Text Editor SDK allows us to focus on achieving this vision and meeting the increased demand we are seeing from enterprises by dedicating our resources to addressing the challenges they face,” Endick told Zero2Billions in an email response.
The company released a beta version of the SDK in 2021, and at the time was excited about the prospect of giving developers the ability to build Grammarly’s text-editing capabilities into any application:
Rob Brazier, head of product and platforms at Grammarly, said that this beta release of the SDK gives developers access to the full power of Grammarly’s automated editing with a few lines of code. “Literally in just a few lines of HTML, [developers] can add Grammarly help to their app, and they get a native Grammarly experience available to all their users without the user needing to install or sign up for Grammarly,” Brazier told me.
Since the SDK was launched, the company reports that thousands of developers have evaluated it, and hundreds have created apps. Those developers will now have to adapt their program to remove that capability, as it will only be available to customers who purchase the service.
One of the first rules of the API is that you don’t make major changes unless you have to because of the impact on developers who are already using them. Shutting down something that’s only two years old could put developers who rely on it in a difficult position, though the company says it’s been working with the community to try and mitigate the impact.
“As with any product discontinuation, we recognize there may be disappointment from developers who invested in integrating the SDK, and we are here to support them as they remove it from their applications, said Endick.
In the a discussion on Hacker News, the sbjs poster wasn’t happy with the change. “This is so embarassing. One of the SDK’s most advanced features is now exclusive to the site itself. I can see an incentive to make this decision, but it would also be counterproductive for the same reasons,” they said.
The company won’t be adding any new functionality to the SDK between now and the closing date in January. “Developers who have built integrations with the Text Editor SDK should plan to remove the integration from their applications before January 10, 2024,” said Endick.