March 24, 2009 - Open API’s and Widget-Based Architecture Enhances Ease of Use and Flexibility of IGLOO’s Online Community Platform
March 24, 2009 - (Kitchener, ON) - IGLOO Software (www.igloosoftware.com), a leading provider of on-demand community and social software solutions is announcing their new framework for building community solutions at the upcoming Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco. This modular framework provides developers with a flexible set of tools for customizing and extending IGLOO online communities - quickly, easily and cost effectively.
IGLOO's new framework consists of four critical key components for solution development:
- A Theme Manager to create and manage the layout, design and branding of the community.
- A Global Configuration Panel to toggle application settings "on" or "off".
- A drag and drop Widget Manager to create and configure custom application widgets.
- A core set of Open API's for integrating with enterprise applications like ERP and CRM systems, as well as cloud-based applications and like Google widgets and Salesforce.com.
The platform's widget-based architecture will allow developers to create custom content widgets sourced from almost any third party application. Eventually, organizations will be able to create a library of content widgets that can be dropped into any page within the online community. This modular approach aligns with IGLOO's Web 2.0 philosophy; using lightweight applications to create and share community content which are fast to set up and easy use.
The flexibility of the new platform allows for tight integration with almost any external application or data source. Initial support to view and interact with external content from within the community includes:
- Salesforce widgets to allow a real time view into the sales pipeline and easy access to other sales and customer data.
- A Facebook widget to securely connect with discussions happening outside of a community.
In future releases of the widget architecture, the range of available functionality will evolve to allow:
- Community content and functionality to be shared as an iGoogle gadget for easy access to your community data on portals supporting the iGoogle protocol, including their desktop integration.
- Bringing a community closer together with other social sites, such as MySpace, LinkedIn and Yahoo! using Google's OpenSocial.
In addition to the openness of IGLOO's widget architecture, the Open API allows developers to access community content for their own purposes in a secure and flexible way. The API makes it easy to create web and desktop applications that view content or actually perform actions on the content. The IGLOO API has been in Beta for some time, during which it has been used by BlackBerry® and Windows desktop clients for "where you are" access to your community. It has also been used to:
- Create custom import/export tools for community data
- Community content analysis and auditing
- Facilitate single-sign on with external systems
- Allow access to data from other mobile devices or desktop environments
IGLOO understands that community content is also valuable intellectual property; its Open API gives organizations complete control and access to it. Some of IGLOO's key customers are already using this new architectural framework to create custom branded communities, enable desktop integration and provide fast and secure access to content from mobile devices.
"The new platform is all about flexibility and modular applications that enable interconnected networks of teams and individuals within an organization to work together more efficiently and effectively," says David Shak, VP of Platform Development for IGLOO Inc. "Companies no longer have to spend millions of dollars and wait for months to deploy an application. They can have team-based communities up and running-with business users already working in them-in a matter of weeks. It's all about fast, easy and affordable access to people and expertise. It's solution deployment and delivery at internet speed and our mobile client is very much an extension of this."
Discover how easy it is to manage the layout and design of your online community using widgets; view the video.
IGLOO develops online community and social software solutions for groups, teams and organizations of any size. Our solutions combine Web 2.0 technology with on-demand hosting, consulting, e-engagement and all of the community support services necessary for a sustainable and successful deployment. Organizations use IGLOO communities internally to improve employee productivity (Workplace Communities) or externally to foster relationships with members, customers, partners and suppliers (Marketplace Communities). Fully integrated collaboration, content management and Web 2.0 social networking tools enable organizations to quickly and cost-effectively create online communities to leverage talent, knowledge and relationships across organizational and geographical boundaries. IGLOO is funded by RBC Venture Partners. Jim Balsillie is Chair of the IGLOO board. For more information visit: www.igloosoftware.com.