Create custom widgets for a simplified end-user experience | Community | Zoho Projects

Create custom widgets for a simplified end-user experience | Community | Zoho Projects

Discover the benefits of using widgets!

We explored the significance of widgets, prerequisites, and the availability of JS SDK methods as part of our previous post. In this post, let's go over a detailed example of using widgets along with certain Zoho Projects JS SDK methods.

Use case: A developer is working on a Zoho Projects task and wants to know if there are any existing references that could be used to get a head start on their work.

Goal: Our goal here is to simplify the developer's job by presenting them with articles that are relevant to the task at hand.

Solution: Widgets! To achieve this goal, it would be ideal for the developer to have access to relevant Zoho Desk articles from a tab on the Task Details page. This can be accomplished by developing a custom widget.

Required components:
  1. A connection between Zoho Projects and Zoho Desk.
  2. An extension configuration process that includes:
A. Creating an extension
B. Configuring the plugin manifest
C. Setting up the widget code to display the Zoho Desk articles on the Zoho Projects Task Details tab
We have already explored the steps to establish a connection, create an extension, and configure the plugin-manifest.json file as part of our earlier posts. You can refer to those resources for detailed guidance. In this case, we have already completed most of these steps (screenshots below).

1. Connection

We have created a connection to establish a secure integration between Zoho Projects and Zoho Desk.



2. Extension Configuration
A. Extension creation: We have created a new extension for Zoho Projects.



B. Plugin-manifest.json configuration: Once the extension is created, we next configure the plugin-manifest.json file to include the created connection and a widget.
For our extension use case, the plugin-manifest.json file is configured as shown in the below screenshot.



C. Setting up the widget code:
Now that we have the connection established, the extension created, and the plugin-manifest.json configured, let's go ahead and set up the custom widget code to achieve our goal.

Index.html - Widget code

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<title>App Default Screen</title>
<style>
div.a {
line-height: 200%;
}
</style>
</head>
<body>
<div class="a">
<ul id="demo" style="font-size:20px"> <b>Article Details</b></ul>
</div>
</body>
<script>
var subject = "";
Util = {};
zohoprojects.init().then(function() {
//Fetching the task subject using the Zoho Projects JS SDK method
zohoprojects.get("task.name").then(function(response) {
subject = response.data;
var articledetails = {
type: "GET",
headers: {
"orgId": "xxxxxxx",
"Content-Type": "application/json"
}
};
//Using the request JS SDK method to invoke and get the Desk articles matching the task subject 
using the connection
zohoprojects.request(url, articledetails, "zohodeskforlistingarticles").then(function(response) {
var list = document.getElementById('demo');
var a = document.createElement("a");
var result = response.result;
var data = result.data;
//Looping through the articles
for (i = 0; i < data.length; i++) {
var title = data[i].title;
var author = data[i].author;
var authorname = author.name;
var weburl = data[i].webUrl;
var entry = document.createElement('li');
entry.innerHTML = title.link(weburl) + " by " + authorname;
list.appendChild(entry);
}
});
});
});
</script>
</html>
  • Here, we utilized the Zoho Projects JS SDK method to extract the task name, which is the task subject.
  • We then used the Zoho Projects Request method to invoke the Zoho Desk API to search for articles.
  • The Request method is used to make requests to third-party applications. It must be invoked with the belowparameters:
  • Third-party API URL: This is the URL of the third-party application's API that needs to be invoked. In our case, we need to fetch articles from Zoho Desk based on a search value, so we used the Zoho Desk Articles Search API. We've included a search query parameter in the API as the title of the help article (wildcard search), and we've set the value of the search query parameter (title) as the task's subject. As a result, the API will look for any Zoho Desk help articles that satisfy a wildcard match with the task subject.
  • Data object: Depending on the type of action being performed, each API requires a method type, body, header, and/or parameters to be invoked. To invoke the third-party application API, a data object with the necessary API details must be created. In our scenario, a header providing the Zoho Desk org ID is required to call the Zoho Desk article search API, which we have hardcoded.
  • Connection: To work on the data of a third-party application safely, we would need to connect to that application. The link name of the connection created for the third-party application is the value of the connection parameter. This value will be available in the JSON code generated when the third-party application connection is established. This connection allows you to invoke the Zoho Desk API securely.
  • Once the API is invoked by providing the necessary parameters for the Request method, the response for the invoked Zoho Desk search articles API is returned. We extract the information we require from the response, like the title, author name, and web URL. We then list and display this data in the Zoho Projects task details widget, Related Articles.
Sample output
  • Access your Zoho Projects portal and enter into a task.

  • Choose the Related Articles task tab, which is the widget we created.

  • The widget displays the available Zoho Desk articles that are related to the task at hand.

  • Finally, click on an article to view its detailed information in Zoho Desk.


Using this method, developers working on Zoho Projects tasks can discover relevant articles and get helpful information to troubleshoot problems.

You can further enhance this use case by including a text box in the widget that allows the developer to enter a keyword and search for related articles using the Zoho Desk search articles API.

You can also accomplish use cases such as creating a task tab widget to associate data with a task. Every time the task loads, task-specific data can be displayed on the Task tab. To accomplish these kind of use cases, the data storage feature is available in Zoho Projects. We look forward to exploring the data storage feature,, and other use cases for custom widgets, in future posts.

We hope you found this information useful. Follow this space for further updates!

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