Monday, January 23rd, 2006

Zimlets: Zimbra tries to enable easier mashups

Category: Editorial

Zimbra has released a simple API that enables you to integrate with their Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS) in a mashup kind of way.

It is great to see vendors give developers a nice easy API into their system, enabling us to tweak the application from outside of the box.

“We developed Zimlets in direct response to our customer and our community feedback,” said Ross Dargahi, Founder and VP of Engineering, “Zimlets provide enterprises with an easy and flexible model for integrating disparate applications and information systems with the Zimbra Collaboration Suite.”

Past approaches to extensible linking and actionable content technology have relied on client-side installation and execution of the linking and action-defining code. Zimlets deliver a number of capabilities that these technologies do not, including:

  • The ability to leverage the richness of AJAX, allowing for mash-ups of multiple user interfaces;
  • Compatibility with any standard Web browser and any client operating system, without the installation of any software;
  • Functionality across client devices which support the Web (i.e., mobile phones, PDAs, tablet PCs, set-top boxes);
  • Object recognition across mailboxes, due to server-side execution/recognition of actionable objects;
  • Increased security, due to an AJAX-based model which routes requests through a secure, managed server that can proxy a client’s security privileges as appropriate;
  • Ability to run under a protected execution model – similar to JSPs and Servlets – in a way that prevents them from inadvertently or maliciously interfering with other system processing;
  • Mouse-overs, which allow users to mouse over text to preview actionable content (i.e., inventory status can be seen when mousing over a part number, a map can be seen when mousing over a physical address); and
  • Reduced client-side computation overhead, due to the performance of pattern matching and linking on the server side.

How to build a Zimlet

You end up packaging a few files such as:

  • XML Declaration of the Zimlet
  • CSS file for the Zimlet
  • JavaScript code for the Zimlet
  • Backend code.

E.g. for a SMS example

  1. <zimlet name="com_zimbra_sms" version="1.0" description="SMS Zimlet">
  2.     <include>sms.js</include>
  3.     <includecss>sms.css</includecss>
  4.     <resource>sms-icon.gif</resource>
  5.     <handlerobject>Com_Zimbra_sms</handlerobject>
  7.     <zimletpanelitem label="SMS" icon="SMS-panelIcon">
  8.         <tooltiptext>Drag'n'drop a contact, message, appointment or double click</tooltiptext>
  9.         <dragsource type="ZmContact" />
  10.         <dragsource type="ZmMailMsg" />
  11.         <dragsource type="ZmConv" />
  12.         <dragsource type="ZmAppt" />
  13.         <contextmenu>
  14.             <menuitem />
  15.             <menuitem label="Preferences..." id="PREFERENCES" />
  16.             <menuitem />
  17.         </contextmenu>
  18.     </zimletpanelitem>
  20.     <userproperties>
  21.         <property type="string" name="cellNum" minLength="4" maxLength="32" label="My Cell:" />
  22.         <property type="string" name="favCellNum" minLength="4" maxLength="32" label="Fav Cell:" />
  23.     </userproperties>
  24. </zimlet>


Posted by Dion Almaer at 12:43 pm

3.6 rating from 39 votes


Comments feed TrackBack URI

how about a website where college students or hs students can get together and share term papers? buy sell trade etc…use ajax there for live finds. key words or tags are used and the engine finds a paper..Weird that its illegal to offer copies of music ,anothers labor but it should be legal to offer ones own labor to any other…
What about homework helpers too where you can find others to do your homework and then email it to you.

Comment by smarcus — January 24, 2006

How about linking to the article that you are quoting from and to the company that you are talking to at least in the first mention of their name in the article. I just wanted to go to the Zimbra website to refresh my memory, but no links here except to the ever annoying PDF (with no warning).

Comment by Wesley Walser — January 24, 2006

[…] Zimlets: Zimbra tries to enable easier mashups (tags: zimbra javascript api ajax) […]

Pingback by John Tokash » Blog Archive » links for 2006-01-26 — January 26, 2006

I want to just know about an ample way to develop a zimlet. I mean there should be the proper mechanism and logic as well that how the code walks from xml file to the other file in the bundle of zimlet. Is there any documentation with appropriate examples which could be very helpful to make a zimlet. I’ve read the Zimlet whitepaper but seems incomplete to develop a complex zimlet. So please help me.

Comment by Ashwani Sahni — November 27, 2007

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