DeskApp backstory and future development

September 1, 2016

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Category: blog

Since the early ‘00’s there has been more and more activity and development for business email (and in general: groupware) on the web. While web based applications were already widely accepted and used by consumers, it took a bit longer for traditional ‘fat clients’ to get hit by their professional web based competition. This got a big boost by players like GMail around ’10. These events marked the start of the development of WebApp and it is now a strong player in this field. It combines many advanced communication and sharing applications into one interface, all available from the browser.

Our customers were quite charmed by what WebApp had to offer, although we also learned that they were still looking for additional integration with the desktop tools they were using in their day-to-day work. Some new ideas came up and the most promising was a proof of concept, developed by my colleague Michael Kromer, which made it easier to deal with some limitations of having an application in a browser. Some initial tests and try-outs at customers showed we were on to something and it quickly grew into a new product: DeskApp was born! Look at DeskApp as a desktop extension for WebApp: it adds additional features and integration options, but it leaves you in control of the data!

When should I use DeskApp?

In today’s connected landscape we are used to working with flexible web applications and people are even used to working with core business applications on the web. On the other hand, we still see most of the work being done from the same laptop or desktop device. DeskApp helps you make the most of today’s clients by providing the ‘best of both worlds’: at the core of DeskApp you will find WebApp – Kopano’s primary client. It supports the full groupware stack, allows you to work with your mailboxes and calendars (both personal and shared) and it helps you get to the information you need when you need it. Combining this with deeper integration with tools such as Web Meetings and Files, DeskApp can be a full-blown client for your daily use. All you need is an internet connection!

Features of DeskApp

DeskApp is designed to be the bridge between WebApp and the desktop. It adds features a web application in a browser can’t. You can set DeskApp to be your default email client. All email activity on your system (such as ‘mailto:’-links) are then passed on to DeskApp. Clicking a link in your browser, or sending your work in progress as an attachment from an office application creates a new email in DeskApp. Sending attachments from a file browser (such as Explorer or Nautilus) is also easy with the integration with the operating system. Creating new items has also been made easy by the quick access feature: just right click the DeskApp icon to get started with new items.

DeskApp development

Development for DeskApp is still ongoing! While Microsoft seems to transform its Outlook via click-to-run versions more and more in the direction of a cloud-controlled desktop application, we are going exactly the opposite direction with our DeskApp. We already took some great steps in this direction. The next version of DeskApp will have support for multiple profiles, making it easier to work with different accounts and mailboxes. Another topic we are spending research time on is advanced caching, which will improve the way WebApp can handle network interruptions – enabling you to continue working when temporarily disconnected during a session.

Want to know more?

Would you like to have more information about DeskApp? Or are you looking for a test-drive to try it out for yourself? Have a look at our product page.