The goal of the LSNC Google API Project is to come up with practical integration of the Pika case management system with four core Google Apps. We have completed beta testing of two of those integrations, for Google Calendar and Google Docs, and this month are bearing down on the last two, for Gmail and Google Groups. The project as a whole will be completed by year’s end and will include documentation at the project code site to help IT folks familiar with Pika to replicate the project.
From the UX perspective, the goal is to create integrations that are as seamless as possible. For example, the first integration we built was one that synchronizes the Pika tickler calendaring function with the personal calendars of all the advocates associated with a particular client case record. For us the measure of success is that users continue to experience the Pika tickler functionality as they always have, but with the magic that their Pika tickler events automatically appear in their personal Google Calendars.
The integration requires the activation of a “Pika Gadget” via a new option in the individual user’s Pika account preferences. Clicking on the option triggers a standard Google dialog for confirming its activation:
Once activated, the Google Calendar synchronizes with Pika tickler activities. The tickler entries display and function exactly like any other item in one’s Google Calendar.
Here are a few screenshots illustrating how this all looks. In order, they are: A Pika tickler event page (which includes a new field for “Where,” corresponding to the same data in the Google Calendar); the tickled event displayed in the Google Calendar “day” view; the same event displayed in the Google Calendar “month” view; and the same event again, with the standard Google Calendar pop-up triggered when one clicks on the event in the Google Calendar:
As you can see from the last image, clicking on the tickler event from within Google Calendar triggers a display on the right with basic information about the related case record, including the case number, the client’s name, address and phone number. Clicking on the case number will open the corresponding case record within Pika. Users can also edit the tickler or add a new one to the particular case by clicking on the corresponding buttons displayed below the case information. That’s how that works.
Fellow Pika users: Don’t thank me. Thank Michael Cizmar at MC+A, the Gandalf of Google APIs!