We were approached by a company that operates in health business. Company has a lot of branches all over the country and uses special desktop environment that helps sales persons to perform their duties. At first their idea was to purchase Feedreader OEM for use inside a company intranet. But while we were working with this company it became more and more clear that instead of full blown Feedreader they want really simple way of alerting sales persons for example about changed prices emergency situations and so on.
What were the main functional requirements for this application? Application had to run in a way that end user cannot change (and possibly break) anything. Everything had to be configurable from central location. Settings are read from registry. New feed subscriptions and old feed removals are also done automatically based on registry keys. One additional special requirement specifies the position and size of alert window. This requirement is needed because of special desktop environment. Only place to show alerts was on the upper right corner of screen. And of course we had to disable the way to move the alert window.
We have written about Feedreader platform before. To say it again - Feedreader platform is really flexible when it comes to developing different applications. We can take Feedreader core (called Newsbrain) and mold it to whatever application we currently need. Great example of flexibility is Feedreader Anywhere (FRAW) that is really the same Feedreader – only differences are user interface and database backend.
And because of all this flexibility we had an opportunity to offer 100% tailored solution for our customer. We took Feedreader core and added the parts of user interface that were needed. This simple project took less than week to accomplish and our client was really satisfied to get the solution that they had in mind.
We cannot show the real application because of sensitivity issues. At the same time here is a screenshot of a concept application that we made to demo our ideas.
If you would like to run the proof of concept application then it's available for download here. Of course it's just a proof of concept – so it's not meant as a product for working environment. Please do not forget to import registry file to set all the feeds.