Last night, we had the November 2010 Dublin GTUG meet. This is a short report on the meet.
As the GTUG has been evolving, we’ve been keen to try to get the sessions more focused on one technology, rather than having quite a mixed bag – this makes it easier for a potential attendee to decide if they are interested or not in the session. Last night was really the first session operating in this mode – the session was specifically focused on the Google App Marketplace.
The session comprised of two longer talks – one given by Claudio Cherubino of Google Developer Relations and one given by Morgan Lynch of Yendo.com. The two talks complemented each other very nicely: Claudio opened the proceedings by discussing Apps Marketplace in general and Morgan gave some specific experience using App Marketplace from a business and application developer perspective.
Claudio started by describing what App Marketplace actually is, how it relates to Google Apps and the usage of the Google Apps platform. He then described the process of developing an app for the Marketplace, what the integration points are, what technologies underpin the App Marketplace and how it works in general. He then gave some more specific example of how easy it is to develop a web-based voicemail app based on Twilio, how the workflow operates and gave some snippets of PHP code to show how to obtain the user’s login identifiers (via OpenID) and authorization to access their data (based on OAuth). Finally, Claudio talked a little about the new Billing API which will be offered via Checkout and will make the job of handling payment for App Marketplace apps much simpler. All in all, the demo application that he showed was put together with about 100 lines of code – it was remarkably powerful for the little work required to develop it, which really shows up the power of the platform.
Morgan Lynch from Yendo then gave his story. Yendo is a small business focused on providing cloud based accounting applications; Morgan had some experience in this space and thought that the offerings out there were typically quite antiquated and there was an opportunity to develop a slick cloud based application which could be offered as a SaaS proposition. Yendo originally developed their solution as a standalone web based offering, however, when App Marketplace was announced they decided to integrate with it. Morgan reported that the integration – with their .Net based application – was a very simple process indeed, taking only a matter of days. Further, the Marketplace has global reach and it enabled Morgan to get access to customers in very diverse, remote places – something that would most likely not have happened without the Marketplace channel. Marketplace gave Morgan access to a large amount of users and his targets for users on the system increased dramatically as a result.
There were some interesting questions posed to both Claudio and Morgan. Some of the questions were:
- how international is Marketplace – not very, it’s still English, but they are aware that this is an issue
- what types of users does Yendo get through Marketplace – mainly v small organizations, often sole traders (and often in jobs that you wouldn’t expect to be signed up to Google Apps)
- what kind of scrutiny does Google give apps sold through Marketplace – v little, they rely on the users of the apps to perform their own due diligence and they have some commenting mechanisms which should show up poor quality apps quite quickly
The only other order of business was to decide if there will be a meeting in December to do some coding. A show of hands convinced us that there is enough interest to give this a go – so this will be organized and details will be circulated. Everyone must get their thinking caps on for cool, but simple, apps to develop!