Hello and welcome to my blog and first post!
A couple of weeks ago at Gate6, I got assigned my first project now that I have free time to work for them over the summer. Even though this job is without paying the benefits of learning new things is worth a lot more.
So now on to what I’m working on! Basically what I got assigned was to come up with a solution for their CRM web application they use on Quickbase. What they want to implement is an application that does the same functionality that sendtoquickbase does in Outlook but now to expand and add this functionality to webmail, Gmail to be more specific.
What I did to research on how to solve this problem was to first look at what functionality sendtoquickbase currently provides and document it to see what I can develop. This video shows the basics of what sendtoquickbase does:
Once I knew what I needed to develop, I then started researching what possible tools I could use to solve this problem. The first tool that I looked at was Google’s Contextual Gadgets which provides a neat way to add gadgets to your already existing Gmail interface. Basically, this is what it does:
A Gmail contextual gadget is a gadget that is triggered by clues in Gmail, such as the contents of Subject lines and email messages. For example, Gmail already provides a YouTube contextual gadget. If the body of an email contains a link to a YouTube video, a clickable thumbnail view of the video appears at the bottom of the email.
Though this solution seemed like the best idea at the moment, I kept on researching the depths of the internet to see if there were any other interesting ideas that could help me solve my issue. That’s when I came across something that I knew would be amazing to use and that would help improve a business environment.
The solution that I found comes from a startup company called Rapportive which basically created a browser extension that replaces the right side of your Gmail account with important information about the people you get your emails from. With their technology, they can get social media information from places like Facebook, Linkedin, and many others just by using your email and name. This can provide people who have businesses a basic CRM to learn about their clients. Though what is neat about this product for developers like me is the ability to create plugins that can do what I want inside Gmail. These plugins are called Raplets and with the easy integration that Rapportive already has with Gmail and the many browsers, people use It will provide a viable solution to what I want to create.
I will therefore document how I develop parts of my solution using raplets for future reference to anyone who wants to read my blog.