Redbooth — formerly Teambox — hopes developers will create new business tools as it launches an API to enable its collaboration-as-a-service platform. The new API allows developers to create in-app integrations that synchronize and extend business process workflows. For example, the API can allow a customer-support issue received via Zendesk to be automatically forwarded as a new task to the relevant support team, a common business workflow that usually is managed manually and requires duplicative data entry.
“Redbooth is all about collaboration,” Bruno Pedro, Redbooth's Director of Platform, told ProgrammableWeb. “We are a task-oriented product, focused on real-time, unified collaboration. We are available on a number of different devices, in a number of different ways. Our new API release will let all employees become more collaborative around tasks.”
Redbooth offers a variety of collaboration services, including the following:
- Task management and reporting (including milestone calendars and Gantt charting)
- File and content management
- Team discussion tracking
All features (except videoconferencing) are being opened up via API so that developers can add them into their apps.
The goal of the API and the platform is to let external developers extend their own apps by adding these features. I am a firm believer in the growth of single-feature apps, and developers shouldn’t be worried about adding different features like sending emails or adding external databases. There should be a way to add other tasks to their apps as needed.
We want to offer external developers an easy way to add third-party integrations into their apps.
Pedro sees two main markets for API developers.
Building Integrations for Redbooth Customers
Some can build apps that are aimed at Redbooth’s existing customer base. These could include the midsize to large companies that Redbooth services in industries like finance, education and health care — large companies that need a lot of collaboration, especially around shift work or where employees work remotely. In this case, the app would be built solely for existing Redbooth customers and would offer some new type of integration. This would be ideally suited to existing API providers — such as SaaS or predictive analytics products — that want to create new integrations (Redbooth has integrations for data storage services, business intelligence, software development and marketing cloud services).
New opportunities for Third Party Apps Using Collaboration Features
A new market Pedro is hoping to open up with the platform approach is to have developers incorporate the Redbooth services — like managing task lists — into their apps, without the third-party developer’s end customers having to create Redbooth accounts.
For example, developers could use the API to include the Redbooth task management feature in their app. To do so, they would create a database of potential tasks for the end-customer base (and the ability for end customers to add their own new tasks). Through a combination of the Redbooth API and their own code writing, the developers could then create a feature within their app so that each of their end customers can create their own task lists. Because Redbooth provides a limitless number of projects within the one account, developers using the API can set up a new project for each of their app users. That way, each app user has a personal task management list managed within the app, all powered by Redbooth’s capabilities in security, performance and usability.
While this is an example of the potential to incorporate the features, Pedro is more interested in the use cases that developers may come up with. “We are open to many implementations,” he says.
Pedro believes developers can be confident using the Redbooth platform to add collaboration features into their apps:
The API was created because we took the approach of an API-first design approach. Redbooth’s APIs are being used by the Redbooth product itself. The Web front end, our mobile apps: We all use the API. This is not an API that we aren’t taking care of. We are using it ourselves, it's the core of our product and the core of all of the features we will be launching in the future.
Developers can sign up for a free trial and test the API through a console/sandbox environment at the Redbooth platform site.