Gordano, a scrappy challenger to Microsoft in on-premise messaging and collaboration software, has spruced up its messaging suite by extending its Gizmos mashup capability to let users embed widgets within windows.
The Gordano Messaging Suite, a bundle of e-mail, Web mail, calendaring, instant messaging, anti-virus and anti-spam applications, has for months employed the company's new Gizmos mashup technology to let users leverage data from external data sources without leaving the application.
Leveraging Greasemonkey scripts, Gizmos may now be embedded within windows. Users may also create new custom windows and populate these with information of their choosing.
For example, Gizmos used Twitter APIs to create a Twitter client that displays within the GMS WebMail interface, allowing Gordano users to leverage the microblogging tool within their business collaboration context. Provisioning an RSS Reader directly within the WebMail interface is also now an option.
John Stanners, managing director of Gordano, told eWEEK Gizmos was originally scripted to stay within the reading pane of e-mail.
The latest incarnation lets programmers write their own windows. For example, one Gizmos utility lets users test the mental alertness of the e-mail sender, something similar to Google's Mail Goggles widget in Gmail.
This is possible because Gordano engineers rewrote the Web interface, originally scripted in Java, in AJAX to give it a more modern feel for users.
"It was becoming a bit tired and clunky," John Stanners, managing director of Gordano, told eWEEK. "The move to AJAX has allowed us a lot more flexibility with what we do with the Web client and we introduced Gizmos, our take on widgets or mashups. "
Adding mashup capabilities has become a common practice among e-mail application providers. By letting users personalize their inboxes, making them more socially interactive with their contacts and increasing stickiness, companies such as Gordano believe they keep their users loyal to the app.
This is crucial as Microsoft, Yahoo, Yahoo's Zimbra, Google and other mail providers are slugging it out to increase their user bases for e-mail, which is the social hub for consumers and business users.
Gordano's on-premise nature makes it a viable alternative to Microsoft Exchange or Yahoo's open-source Zimbra suite. Twenty thousand customers, including NASA, U.S. Army (5,000 seats), and Northrop Grumman, use Gordano, which runs on Windows, Linux, Solaris and AIX operating systems but not the Mac.
However, Gordano's Gizmos mashup technologies also puts Google's Gmail in the crosshairs, though that popular Web mail app has tens of millions of users and rising fast.