Sunday, August 16, 2009

    Innovate with Google Maps and Google Docs

    Have you seen IT companies websites recently? They doesn't seems like they themselves are aware of the true potential of Web 2.0. Here are few tips and trick to use when (re)designing your company website.

    Company's Contact Us web page / Locate Us pages are simple static content with address. Hard to visualize and outdated, doesn't reflect company's diversity, even when the office addresses runs to the bottom of the page. You should, at that point, think back and check whether the website represents company's brand.

    Here is an example to spruce up the company's contact information. Company website is the first point of entry for a customer where he would like to visualize about company's capabilities to do certain things. What is far more amazing is that you doesn't need to be a Javascript or web designer guru to do this.

    Doing this was so simple in Google docs, that all I needed to do was to enter my fake company's address in one column and contact information in another (Okay, I cheated I used little bit of HTML to make contact information look good). Than I selected the range and told Google spreadsheet to insert a Google Map gadget. Once I am done customizing the gadget I asked for publishing URL and whoof!! I got this beautiful looking Google Map representing my company's location. I could have done far more innovation had I have been used Google Maps API.

    The possibilities are unlimited but you have to open your mind towards them.

    Tuesday, August 4, 2009

    Grails - A RAD framework

    During my quest to learn a new framework I stumbled upon Grails. I have heard about it very often but actually never dared to dive into it thinking that it might be yet another scripting framework like Ruby. But I was wrong and I must admit that I was mesmerized by what I saw (read it as "with What I achieved") in Grails. On the homepage of grails it says "the search is over", its a bold statement to make, but quite frankly it will make you feel like it when you start discovering its power. 

    It is actually what Java should have been if it would have been written in 21st Century. The ease with which it helps you handle MVC architecture is great but what is amazing is the ease with which it handles CRUD operations and performs things with "convention over configuration" approach.

    Long back I was wondering when a programming language be written which can understand plain simple English and performs the tasks. Grails does it and does it pretty good, no wonder it has developed so many followers. I mean who would not want to get away from reinventing the wheel all the time and just concentrate on building some lean mean applications.

    The Grails community is also shaping up pretty well with so many plugins supported each day, I can only assume that this is the next generation framework. Do check back after some time as I will be publishing my first hand experience on Grails very soon.

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