The last year there have been many good examples of very useful web-applications. Finally software companies have looked beyond the initial benefits of using web-application - such as no need for local installation, setting up your own server, lower distribution costs, ubiquitous access. Now the focus have shifted to building an effective & good looking user-interface and integration (RSS, Web Services, XML).
Among these new breed of web-applications are: - Flickr from Ludicorp. Organize and share photos. - Bloglines. RSS reader. - 24SevenOffice. CRM/Invoice/Accounting/E-mail. - Salesforce. CRM - Del.icio.us. "Social bookmarks" - Basecamp from 37Signals. Project management - Gmail from Google. Email
In the list you'll find 24SevenOffice.com - the company I work for. In this post I will outline my experience with building a web-application. Recently I was in charge of making a new version of the CRM module in 24SevenOffice.com.
Case study - CRM module
After the CRM module is loaded I want to search for a customer. Here I will search after 24SevenOffice:
I hit enter and the search list (iframe) is presenting the results. The first result is automatically highlighted. I can click enter to go to the first result or I can use the keypad to move down through the list. Alternatively I can type more or use backspace and the search query will be change in the search field. I want the second company in the list and click the arrow down and then hit enter.
The tabs below are shown with all the associated contacts on the selected company. The count on each tab is updated in the background. The reason for this is so the user does not need to click the task tab to see how many tasks there are listed on this customer. That would require an extra click and extra waiting time for the user.
After I have got the information I required on this customer. Maybe I was looking for the phone number or needed to update the address. Now I want to add a new company - a potential customer who just called. I click the 'new company' button.
Want to see it live? Click this link for a test drive. Select CRM -> Customer Relationship Management in the menu (Internet Explorer 5.5+ required)
More information about web-applications and why 2005 will be the year web-applications finally will become useful and common:
Now that we can make web applications, here's why we should, and will, do it.: - The application lies at only one place - The user doesnt need any software - The user isnt the administrator - The administrator is the applications programmer - The application makes no assumptions about the user - Multiple versions is a thing of the past - Its portable - Its simple and trustworthy - The app architecture is transparent to the client