Building Your First App with the RingCentral Connect Platform

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Are you thinking about building your first app using RingCentral Connect Platform? Here is a quick guide on what you can expect through the journey.

An app is a self-contained program that leverages RingCentral Connect Platform to either integrate with another business application or to customize RingCentral to the specific needs of your organization.

For this post we will use an example app building scenario starring our developer, Alex.

Alex’s company wants to be able to see the call history of customers displayed in their CRM application. Alex will build an app that adds a tab in the CRM application and retrieves the RingCentral call logs for specific customer records to display the information on the screen in the CRM application.

Luckily for Alex, he’s already joined the RingCentral Developer Platform private beta program. He has access to the RingCentral Developer Portal, a personal Sandbox account, and an App Key for his app. You’ll want to do this too, when you’re ready to build your app.

So, what should Alex be familiar with before starting this project?

  • REST architecture: This is a standard for making API calls in the cloud. A good site to get started with is http://rest.elkstein.org, and there are many other REST resources on the web.
  • RingCentral communications system: Knowing how the system works makes it easier to test the integration.
  • Preferred programming language: The developer should be comfortable with the programming language that will be used to develop the app, such as: JavaScript, .NET, PHP, etc.
  • OAuth 2.0: This is the authentication method that RingPlatform uses to authenticate API calls over the web. This is an open standard adopted by most cloud API vendors including Facebook, Salesforce, Google and others. A good site to get started with is http://oauth.net/2, and there are many other OAuth resources on the web.
  • You can go through the tutorials to quickly get up to speed on the architecture, authentication process, and a few key APIs. If you are programming in JavaScript, you can download the JavaScript SDK and see if it meets most of your needs.

At this point, Alex is ready to get started. So how does someone go about building an app?

  • Make sure your business requirements and use cases are clear: Start small with ideally just one use case and make sure you fully understand the business requirements. While you are at it, you might as well write the test scenarios that you will use later to test the app. In our case, Alex needs to make sure he understands exactly what information will be displayed in the call history for a CRM contact and how to filter it.
  • Design and technical specs: It’s time to dive into the API documentation using the API Explorer and understand what the options are for implementing your business requirements using the best API for the job. Sometimes there is more than one way to implement a specific use case. If in doubt don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for advice.
  • RingCentral Sandbox: By now, you would be deep into coding the app and calling the RingCentral Connect Platform APIs. Your RingCentral Sandbox account allows you to fully test your app and usage scenarios to make sure the APIs respond in the way you expect.
  • Test scenarios: When the app is completed, use your Sandbox account to run through your test cases and verify that your app is working as designed.
  • Move to production: Once your app passes your test scenarios, it is time to “move it to production”. Request a production App Key and we will check the app behavior in your Sandbox account, asking you questions when necessary. Once we confirm that your app is ready to access your production RingCentral account, we will issue a new App Key to give your app access to production.
  • Production and new releases: Once the app is in production, you can continue to use your Sandbox account for bug fixes and to develop the next release of your app.

That’s it! Hope this guide helps you understand the process of building your own app. If you are ready to get started, don’t hesitate to request an invitation to our private beta program. If you are not quite ready but want to receive regular updates about the RingCentral Developer Platform, just leave your email address on our home page to stay in the loop.

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