Building Raplets – Get started from here!

31 Oct

Ever noticed the advertisements sidebar in your Gmail inbox? Now you can turn it into a platform to add interactive apps that can lead to a better email experience… and possibly to a better business outreach… using ‘Raplets’ (I know the terms kinda new and strange but we’ll get to it soon)!

“Rapportive shows you everything about your contacts right inside your inbox.” (Taken from the Rapportive website)

Rapportive, is a free add-on for Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Mailplane. It adds a sidebar to your Gmail inbox which displays your social contacts. Just open up an email and the sender’s details including his name, image, email address, updates from Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (Just to name a few!) are displayed in the Rapportive sidebar. Awesome way to establish a ‘rapport’… hence the name, Rapportive!

Imagine how great it would be to have such an app display your products, have people interact with your services or to be able to interact with the services you use for running your business?

Raplets, are small (but powerful \m/,) gadget like applications that can be added to the Rapportive sidebar. You can write your own Raplets within a few lines of code, using your favorite programming language and basic knowledge about JSON. I’ll introduce you to the basics of making a Raplet, things to take care of while making it and how to include it in your Gmail inbox. And of course, we’ll make our very own Raplet to get going as well!

Prequisites:

  • Request the Documentation!: I will be covering only the basics. For the complete details and usage, request your copy of the Raplets documentation from Rapportive. Contact Rapportive.
  • Rapportive: Install Rapportive for the browser you are using. You can install it for free from Rapportive.com.
  • PHP: We’ll be using PHP as our programming language.
  • Server: We need a server to host our Raplet. A local installation works fine! I suggest you use Wamp as we’re using PHP for programming.
  • Basic understanding of JSON.

In the next post, we’ll make a ‘Hello World’ Raplet, to give you a basic understanding of how a Raplet works.

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