Parse no more…

Last week Parse (a Facebook company) announced they would be shutting down service January 2017. This was pretty lousy news since I have come to really like the service. It was packed with all kinds of cool features. Parse also provided the backend for the Finesse SMS Gadget I made and was recently posted on Cisco’s developer site.

Since the service wasn’t shutting down until 2017 I didn’t feel a huge rush to convert my projects to something new. That was until they stopped accepting new accounts! I spent some time evaluating other alternatives and finally landed on Firebaseio.com as the solution for my gadget. So I spent this afternoon converting the gadget over to Firebase. Firebase while similar to Parse doesn’t have all of the same features. I found myself doing more sorting/filtering in JavaScript/jQuery than I had to with Parse’s native query methods. Hopefully some of this is due to the fact that I am still learning how to use Firebase. I will clean up the code as I learn.

The updated gadget was posted to github. If you run into any issues, let me know.

I was glad to get everything working properly with Firebase. Now I need to decide if I want to use Firebase for the iOS app I am working on or run my own Parse server using the open source code Parse released. I am leaning toward the latter.

Finesse SMS Gadgets!

I finally built some gadgets for Cisco Finesse! This gadget enables call center agents to send customers SMS messages from the Finesse interface. Think of all the times you call into a call center and need to write something down, tracking numbers, appointment date/time, confirmation number, ticket number, etc. With this gadget the agent can simply send this info via SMS while you are on the phone.  Here are some screen shots of the gadget in action:

This is the default agent gadget. Notice the number and message history are all blank.

default state

When a call is delivered to the agent, the mobile number is populated and any previous message history is loaded. Message templates can also be used to send canned messages.

Active SMS

Supervisors always need to monitor their agents interaction. The supervisor gadget allows them to see all the messages sent by agents in their teams. They can be filtered by team, agent id, phone number,  and by search for words in the message body.

Supervisor SMS View

The gadget was built using the Finesse API, Cisco’s Tropo SMS service, and Parse for storing interaction history in the cloud!

Once I have the code cleaned up and documented, I will be posting it on github for anyone to download and use. 

The gadget and installation instructions are  now on github. Let me know what you think.

– Brad