Sohail Amjad was just an undergrad student at the Punjab University when he developed the Gmail Notifier for email running on Apps. When Google added Sohail's Gmail Notifier for Google Apps to its Enterprise Gallery, this opened up the door for so many other youngsters who can work in the SaaS space.
"I used to use Gmail due to its huge space and search functionality. Then I signed up for Google apps but realized that Google's Gmail Notifier (Google Notify) didn't work with Google Apps. I tried googling for another notifier but was unable to find one. That's when I thought I should just develop my own." The application has been built on Windows XP & Vista using Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 and .Net Framework 2.0. He took one week for research and another week for development of the first version which he developed to facilitate himself and later thought of sharing it with everyone else who is using Google Apps. The current version of the application, available at gmailnotifier.net, has been downloaded more than 11,565 times. Sohail went to Australia in July of 2004 to complete his Masters degree in IT. After completing his degree, he got a job offer and decided to stay there to benefit from the experience. After getting more international experience he will return to Pakistan.
What kind of support did Google extend to you?
Initially I did not know about the Google Enterprise Gallery and I just setup my own website to host the notifier. Few weeks after I came to know that Google has a gallery to support "Google Apps" applications. I sent my information to Google while thinking that Google might ignore it but to my surprise I got a very positive reply and Google decided to add it in the gallery. The only problem which I faced was I had to change the notifier name from "Gmail Notifier for Google Apps" to "Sohail's Gmail Notifier for Google Apps". This was requested by Google so that it wouldn't reflect as a Google product.
Since the application has been put in part of their Google Enterprise Gallery, what benefits have you gained?
As this was not an open source application, few people trusted the application security and thought it might be spyware application to send passwords to others. It helped clear that up when Google posted it in their Enterprise gallery. It just increased traffic to my website and I noticed an increase in downloads.
How would you say, has Web2.0, SOA and WOA changed the scope of development?
It has led businesses to better ROI and helped businesses respond more quickly and cost-effectively to changing market conditions. New technologies have made it possible for developers to develop small applications quickly. Developers can now think of business processes and ideas that need to be accomplished rather than dipping their heads in code all the time. It is now easy to integrate businesses based on different technologies and platforms which I think lead to better processes and creative solutions.
What can expect for the Gmail Notifier in terms of updates?
Previous updates includes mailto links support (if someone clicks on a mail to link it will open up in Google apps compose page instead of outlook), proxy support and notification window opacity..
Currently, I am working on a version which will support multiple Google Apps accounts (up to 10 accounts max.) and automatic account login into the browser. It will also.
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