Fundamental features of a Zoho Projects extension | Community | Zoho Projects

Fundamental features of a Zoho Projects extension | Community | Zoho Projects

Hello everyone!

Thank you for visiting our Building Extensions series. As part of this series, we've already covered how to use the Sigma cloud editor and the ZET CLI to create, test, and publish extensions for Zoho Projects. You can refer to our earlier posts for more details. We will now explore the core functionalities available to customize Zoho Projects extensions using the Sigma cloud editor approach.

Extension development: Broad objective

The comprehensive goal of extension development is generally to build tight integrations that can provide additional capabilities and make end users' work simpler and more productive. By integrating functional and technical provisions at the development end, extensions can subsequently be installed as part of the end user's Zoho Projects portal, allowing them to carry out additional functionalities while ensuring a seamless user experience.
So far, we've learned how to develop, test, and publish an extension. Now, let's look at the fundamental features of a Zoho Projects extension developed using the Sigma cloud editor.

Core features for customizing a Zoho Projects extension

In general, apps require data to function properly and carry out organizational tasks. This data must be acquired from reliable sources, analyzed, modified using logic functionalities when needed, and finally saved in order to be retrieved for future operations or business reports.

Some of the fundamental elements for customizing Zoho Projects extensions to carry out the tasks outlined above are:
  1. Tightly coupled integration
  2. Customized user interface
  3. Logical functionalities
  4. Event-based executions
  5. Data storage management
  6. Handling dialog box/pop window
Tightly coupled integration: A tightly coupled integration allows applications to be dependent on each other while ensuring a seamless and optimal exchange of information.

How it can be achieved: Connections
  • The Connections feature is essential when looking to develop an integration between Zoho Projects and another application through an extension.
  • You can connect with third-party applications or other Zoho products to perform activities that use data from other applications.
  • You can also establish connections for many applications and utilize them as part of a single extension. This creates a safe connection between Zoho Projects and other applications, allowing for seamless data functionality.
Customized user interface: A customized user interface with personalized features and components allows for a more simplified and direct approach to the end user.

How it can be achieved: Widgets
  • Widgets are graphical user interface components that help users easily access a product and perform functionalities.
  • You can create custom widgets and have them embedded in different locations in your extension. View the multiple locations where you can embed a widget here.
  • Zoho Projects also offers JS SDK for your javascript widget code to communicate with your extension.

Logical functionalities: Implementing an ideal concept requires the execution of a few to several fundamental blocks of logical functions.

How it can be achieved: Functions

  • Functions are blocks of code that help you perform a functionality.
  • You could write functions, leverage connections as part of functions to perform third-party operations, or utilize Deluge integration tasks to fulfill your functionality.
  • Finally, the function must be associated with the extension in order to be used in the extension.
Event-based executions: Executing logical functionalities based on an event enables the execution of triggers, the automation of work, and the avoidance of manual supervision.

How it can be achieved: Triggers
  • Triggers help execute functions in the occurrence of an event.
  • You can create triggers, associate it with an event, and then associate a function to the trigger to have it executed on occurrence of that event.
  • Check out the list of available trigger events here.
Data storage management: Managing and storing data plays a vital role in carrying out any operation smoothly and efficiently.

How it can be achieved: Data storage
  • Data storage allows you to save data or properties of an extension or entity.
  • The extension property can be used to store app/extension-level data, and the entity property can be used to store entity-level data.
  • Data storage is accomplished through the use of key-value pairs. The keys must be unique, and the values must be in JSON format.
Handling dialog box/pop window: Modal boxes are useful in instances where you need to prompt a dialog box that communicates data from the main application while holding control until the user completes an operation.

How it can be achieved: Modal box
  • Using the modal box, you can create a new iframe instance of the extension.
  • You can use modal boxes to send and receive data from one widget to another, allowing for inter-widget communication.
  • To create a new instance for the widget, send data to a widget, and receive or listen to data from a widget, Zoho Projects provides many methods such as instance, emit, and so on.
In this post, we looked at the major features that may be achieved using a Zoho Projects extension. We hope you found this information useful. In our upcoming posts, we will explain each feature in detail with example use cases. Continue to monitor this space for updates!

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