It’s been a big day for us, with news of:
- A new version of Bungee Connect going live last night
- A press release announcing our move from private to public beta (if want to sign up for a Bungee Connect developer account, sign up here)
- Dave Mitchell’s (Bungee Labs’ founder and CTO) blog post taking a stab at the definition of “Platform as a Service” (PaaS)
- Two new importable libraries for Bungee Connect–check out Amy Ballard’s posts from our Community team: the Amazon SimpleDB sample library and Google Calendar sample library
- A brand new reference application we’ve been working on for the last three months called WideLens, available now as an importable sample from within Bungee Connect
In this post, I want to focus on the new WideLens reference application from a Bungee developer’s standpoint – why we built it and how Bungee developers can modify and extend the Bungee reference application for their own purposes.First – why we built it. We had a few goals in mind when we came up with WideLens as a Bungee Connect reference app idea:
- Show the kind of application that can be developed using Bungee Connect: highly interactive, secure and scalable web applications connecting to and leveraging multiple, distributed web services (REST/POX and SOAP) and relational data stores
- Motivate Bungee developers to work through the required learning curve because they are inspired by WideLens as a reference application
- Leverage WideLens to educate developers on how to extend and customize an existing Bungee application, illustrating Bungee development best practices and design patterns using WideLens as an example
- Encourage developer community activity, e.g. kick-start collaborative development projects among Bungee devs who want to work together to build WideLens derivative Bungee apps
WideLens – Functionality and Connectivity
Brad Hintze, Bungee Connect’s product marketing director has described some of WideLens’ features in this post (e.g. the app’s bi-directional connectivity to various calendaring services and application such as Google Calendar and Microsoft Exchange via web services, and WideLens’ use of a MySQL database as the application’s data store), plus he provides links to videos showing WideLens in action.
Modifying and Extending the WideLens Reference Application
As we were coming to an end of the current version WideLens, we began a project with Dave Nielsen, one of the developers who signed up during the Bungee Connect private beta.One of the proof points we wanted to establish for ourselves and to our Bungee developer community is that someone from outside of the Bungee Labs team could – from cold start – learn some of the basics of Bungee Connect’s development environment, and with a little hand holding from the our community team and exchanges over our IRC channel, could run with the WideLens app to build a derivative work.So the challenge we presented to Dave was, could he:
- Import a pre-release version of WideLens into his DesignGroup?
- Modify it to add a new calendar data source and display it within WideLens?
- Deploy the derivative Bungee app?
- Have this modified version of WideLens available within the Salesforce.com dashboard?
- Write up the the steps involved so other developers could learn how extend the WideLens reference app for themselves?
I’m really pleased to say Dave took this challenge on and succeeded! You can read his technical article over on our docs wiki: “Extend WideLens to Display Salesforce.com Custom Events.” To begin your exploration of WideLens, you can import the “WideLens Reference App” from the “Premier Examples” folder in the Design Tab, or Dave’s derivative app “SalesforceOpps_WideLensDerivative” from the ‘Applications’ folder.
WideLens is Free Software (Open Source)
We provide the WideLens reference application under an open source license in order to allow developers to create derivative works with as much freedom as possible. The license is a Bungee Connect Type-R library source license which is based upon the BSD open source license. What does that mean? Well, you should read the licence for the details, but in a nutshell it means that developers can freely use & modify this code to create their own works without having to open source their own code. It’s a very liberal license.
Learn More About WideLens
- Overview of WideLens
- Video of WideLens User Experience
- Review Extend WideLens to Display Salesforce.com Custom Events
- A new forum board where you can ask your questions and discuss the WideLens Reference App.
- We’ve also scheduled a webcast for this week where Brad will provide an technical overview of the WideLens calendaring reference application, and Dave Nielsen will discuss how he extended the WideLens reference app to display Salesforce.com custom events:
Bungee Connect Webcast – Extending WideLens
Introduction to WideLens for Bungee Developers How to Extend WideLens to Display Salesforce.com Custom Events Date: Thursday, February 21, 2008 Time: 12:00 pm, Mountain Standard Time (GMT -07:00, Denver ) WebEx / Call details at the BCDN Forum
We look forward to seeing what ideas you come up with for WideLens and the resulting derivative Bungee apps you develop. In the meantime, if you need any help or guidance from our team, visit the Bungee Connect Developer Network Forums and connect with us on IRC channel.
VP Community, Bungee Labs