Author Topic: What is Red Leaf?  (Read 6383 times)

precisonline

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What is Red Leaf?
« on: August 03, 2010, 07:29:58 am »
As you may recall, for the past few months we've been working on a solution to provide web access to Prelude information.  This project is coming along VERY well now, and while there is much to be said, right now I'd just like to give you a heads up as to what's coming, when you can expect it to arrive, and how you can participate should you have such a desire, of course!

Our web access product will be known as "Red Leaf".  While this may seem something like a random name, there is actually a (mostly) rational explanation for it!  But that's a story for another time.

Out of the box we will be delivering a standalone website with similar capabilities to the "existing" product, but the similarities end there.  Whereas the existing product is difficult to customize without impacting the upgrade path, the very foundation of Red Leaf is customization.  Want to change how your products display on the search page?  No problem!  Want to make your invoice form look more like your paper copy?  No problem!  Want to ADD a feature?  Still... NO PROBLEM.  These changes and more can be applied to Red Leaf with absolutely zero impact on your future ability to receive upgrades and enhancements.

How is this possible?  Well, our philosophy with Red Leaf is quite different from the existing web access product for Prelude.  Rather than building a completely closed and standalone website for your Prelude information, Red Leaf is built upon a flexible and open API that provides access to your Prelude information while using customizable pages to serve that information.  With this API, each customer can choose to use the out of the box site, customize it however they like, or even integrate Prelude information into their own corporate website separate from the Red Leaf site!

Over the next few weeks I'd like to keep you up to date on our progress as we approach our anticipated September 1, 2010 release date.  I'd like to tell you more about our lightweight connector that makes this and so much more possible.  I'd like to tell you how we're going to save customers some serious money by reducing annual licensing costs.  And come late August, I'd like to show you how we're making it happen.  If this all sounds interesting enough, just let me know and I'll add you to my announce list.

If you want to participate, that's easy just call me or drop me an email and let me know what kind of features you'd like to see.  There's no cost and no commitment if you have something to share; if it's something that can help us all, I'd really like to know!  (While we have our feature list worked out for the initial release, with this kind of flexibility we may have some options for incorporating your ideas right away.  Or... just maybe... we might already have thought of it!)

These are exciting times indeed and in the new few weeks we're going to change the world as we know it. I appreciate your ongoing support of Precision Solutions, and look forward to showing you all that's possible with Red Leaf!
-Kevin
Accidents "happen"; success, however, is planned and executed.

Colin Alfke

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Re: What is Red Leaf?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 07:24:02 am »
Does (or will it ever) work with something besides Prelude?

precisonline

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Re: What is Red Leaf?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2011, 08:34:50 am »
Red Leaf as it exists today is tied into Prelude because of the specific files and updates that have to occur.  However, the technology we've created for the API is such that it could be adapted to just about any Unidata or Universe application.  And once the API is in place, the UI is simple.
-Kevin
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Colin Alfke

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Re: What is Red Leaf?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2011, 09:43:54 am »
So how hard would it be to adapt the API to an existing application or a new application? Would it help or hinder if SB+ was involved?

precisonline

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Re: What is Red Leaf?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2011, 11:23:26 am »
Adapting Red Leaf to interface with a different application would depend on the application to a large degree, I would expect.  Having SB+ helps with the entry screens for Red Leaf configuration, but SB+ is completely factored out on the web side of things.

With Prelude, we started the API development by identifying the key functionality in Prelude that we wanted to offer from the web context.  The features we originally identified included the ability to search for products, add products to a cart, convert a cart to a Prelude order or quote, and search transactional history.  The API then was then constructed to move the appropriate information to and from the web, and to perform the updates on the Prelude side so that the information could flow seamlessly throughout the application.

So with any other application it would work the same.  We would have to identify the key functionality in that application that we want to offer from the web context, and then design and implement the API accordingly.  Once that's done it's a matter of wrapping up the API with a customizable UI (which Red Leaf already has the infrastructure to support) and we'd be there.
-Kevin
Accidents "happen"; success, however, is planned and executed.