Friday, September 30, 2011

Box's PHP Library and CloudSpokes

Guest Blogger: Sean Rose

Hot on the heels of Box's announcement of the Mobile Dev Challenge winners, Sean Rose - Associate Platform Manager at Box, has put together a great recap of their recent PHP Library for the Box API challenge.  Check it out!

Box recently hosted a challenge on CloudSpokes to build out a new fully extensible PHP library for the Box API. The results rolled in recently, and we’re happy to announce the winner.

We had two key criteria in evaluating the entries:

  • Clarity: The structure of the code needed to match the modularity of the Box API, in addition to having thorough commenting throughout. The ideal library would have the average developer up and running with API in minutes.
  • Quality: We wanted the library to take full advantage of the power of the Box API, as well as be designed in such a manner as to allow for future API methods to be incorporated in a relatively straightforward manner.

The winning entry and one that blew us away was submitted by Angelo R. Angelo’s entry had outstanding documentation that clearly explained how his library tied in to the API.

Angelo also supplied a very simple and straightforward test file to demonstrate how the functions tied together in a live app.

Angelo kept with the good programming principles we recommended and made his library easily extensible. He was actually even able to use the REST component of his Box library to build another library for a separate API.

In keeping with our usual standards, the library is now open-sourced and available on GitHub for you to play around with. Congratulations to Angelo and stay tuned for our next CloudSpokes challenge.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Box Mobile Dev Challenge Winners and Highlights

Guest Blogger: Alex Willen

Alex Willen, Developer Advocate at Box, posted the results for the CloudSpokes-powered Box Mobile Dev Challenge on the Box Blog this week and we wanted to share here to highlight some of the slick apps that have come out of this virtual hackathon:

The Box Mobile Dev Challenge has come to a close, and we’d like to thank everyone who participated. It was a huge success, with entries coming in from developers all over the world. The entries tackled a wide range of problems, from improving project management to simplifying interviews and making meetings run more smoothly.

Of course, we know what you’re waiting to hear – who won? Without further ado, here are our winners:

Grand Prize – Bizmo

Bizmo is the first accounting, time, and billing suite for the iPad and iPhone.

The Box integration in Bizmo allows users to associate any item in Bizmo with a folder on Box. For example, Bizmo allows you to maintain a catalog of the products and services your company provides, and you can keep an info sheet for each item associated with its record in Bizmo. Box’s sharing capabilities are built into Bizmo, so those info sheets can be sent straight to customers from the app.

Bizmo wowed us with a deep integration that takes advantage of most of the features of Box in extremely useful ways. Commenting, tagging, and collaboration are all integrated into the app to make sure your content is not only accessible, but also easy to share with colleagues, partners, and clients. Great job, Bizmo team!

Second Prize – TouchDraw

TouchDraw is a vector drawing application for the iPad. Its features make it extremely powerful, and its integration with Box gives it exceptional collaborative functionality. Many features that are accessible from the Box interface are available directly from TouchDraw, like sharing files, editing permissions, and adding tags and comments.

If you use Box and need a professional quality drawing app, you simply can’t do better than TouchDraw.

We’d also like to congratulate the rest of the top 10, each of whom will be receiving a Motorola Atrix and Lapdoc courtesy of the fine folks at AT&T. They are:

Project Catalyst by Pieman Studios

Project Catalyst: Enterprise is a universal iOS team project management app, designed to allow tasks and projects to be organized, shared, and collaborated on from wherever users are, through mobile devices.

Helix Conference by Crucial Divide

Helix Conference is an Android app designed to help businesses use voice and video conference services effectively. In addition to streamlining the process of setting up conference calls, it also allows collaborative drawing and sharing of files, and it distills the information being presented into useful outlines.


Giggo’s Research on the Go provides real-time research while on the go throughout your day. It is an always-on research platform that works in the background and provides users the ability to initialize and consume research while on the go.

Gamooga by Kishore Annapureddy

Gamooga is an e-meeting app that allows users to collaborate in real time during their meetings. It allows users to connect to meetings from an Android device and easily share files with others in the meeting.

Call Trunk by Call Trunk

This application records phone calls using the Call Trunk cloud-based recording service, and its integration with Box allows users to copy their call recordings into their Box accounts.

WhatABox by Vikram Pant

WhatABox helps to make meetings run more smoothly by allowing users to easily provide all the information needed in an efficient, easy-to-consume way.

TheInterviewr by Roger Stringer

This is the iPhone app for, a service that allows users to easily schedule and conduct interviews online, then store the recordings to Box. The mobile application allows access to most of TheInterviewr’s features while on the go.

SiloLinks by SiloLinks

SiloLinks allows users to curate links from the web, as well as secure, authenticated enterprise systems, and organize them into shareable topics.

Thanks again to everyone who participated, as well as our sponsors and judges, and congratulations to our winners!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Video - Judging CloudSpokes Challenges in

A common question from CloudSpokes members is how the scoring process actually works. Members put a significant amount of effort into their work and it's only fair that the scoring process be transparent.

Since it is an integral part of CloudSpokes I thought we'd show how the process works in Just to note, the scoring process typically will not be done directly from but in the CloudSpokes site itself. We will be launching a number of challenges to build out this functionality in Ruby on Rails in the near future.

You might want to watch the video in full screen for a better view.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

CloudSpokes B2B Video, another Tongal production

As part of our project with Tongal, we made an agreement that we'd fund a second video with whomever won our crowdsourced video contest. As a refresher, Tongal's creative social platform delivers a fresh solution to sourcing video content - think about Tongal as the CloudSpokes of the video content industry. The first video was designed to be an introduction to CloudSpokes that we could host directly on

This second video is more for companies interested in learning more about how they can host challenges and have their enterprise public cloud development challenges tackled by this 20,000+ strong community. It's a beautiful cycle - the more companies we have sponsoring creative new challenges, the more work we can provide out the community, the more prizes available for the taking, and the more we'll pique the interest of the world's great cloud developers.

Check it out!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Node.js, Python and Java Winners for MailChimp Service with Amazon SES

We just wrapped up our CloudSpokes MailChimp Service with Amazon SES challenge with some really cool results and we thought we'd share. The challenge was to create an email service using the MailChimp STS API with Amazon SES for sending transactional email from CloudSpokes.

We chose three winners from our submissions and it was really interesting to see the technologies that were used to meet the requirements. The top three submissions were in Node.js, Java and Python.

Our favorite was our third place winner wcheung with "OctoChimpy". His Node.js on Heroku submission wasn't exactly what we were looking for but it was super cool in that it had an integration with GitHub to determine email recipients. His video is definitely worth watching. We passed it around the company to a number of people; it was a big hit.

The second place winner was akkishore with his Python on Google App Engine submission. We love Python code as it's really clean and compact. His submission included an ingenious "inner key" method as well as post payload for CSVs. He also submitted a really nice test interface which made our life easy. The video that accompanied his submission is available here.

The winner was sgurumurthy's Java submission. It was very well constructed, had great documentation and jUnit test cases. We are rolling the submission onto Heroku today.

Congrats to all of the winners for some very interesting and high quality submissions. We look forward to more!

Our Dreamforce Hackathon Video

We had a videographer on-site for the Dreamforce 2011 Hackathon to capture a couple of the key moments, a few interviews, and the insane amount of energy and buzz at the event.  With many thanks to @crzychrisfilms, here's the clip!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Azure vs. Lessons Learned from Replatforming

We've generated quite a bit of buzz from our Dreamforce 2011 presentation on why we are moving CloudSpokes to The video from our session was recently posted on YouTube so we thought we'd share it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Google Analytics CloudSpokes Challenge Winners

Matthew Botos
Guest Blogger: Matthew Botos

Matthew (or BotosCloud, his twitter handle and our nickname for him) is the Mobile Development Manager at Maven's Consulting, one of our most recent CloudSpokes challenge sponsors.  He put up a great post on the Maven's blog detailing the winners for their  Google Analytics CloudSpokes Challenge - and we wanted to share.  Congrats to sgurumurthy on the win!

Mavens recently sponsored a CloudSpokes challenge to build an admin-friendly app for our open source Toolkit for Google Analytics, and we're excited to announce the winners!

Our judges had a tough time choosing between the entries and the final scores were very close, showing just how strong the community has become.

In second place, Jatin Jain (jazzyrocksr) delivered a nice interface that included a multi-select list for choosing which metrics to import, which offered lots of possibilities for expansion.

In first place, Shashidhar Gurumurthy (sgurumurthy) set his entry apart with great documentation and a bonus feature of being able to search for site settings by name.

The judges really appreciated the detailed documentation, which is key for a successful open source project. Here's a screenshot of the final result of the challenge; a Google Analytics Dashboard populated entirely with clicks, not code:

Congratulations to our winners and thank you to everyone who participated! 

You can install the winning package or download the source code from Toolkit for Google Analytics on GitHub.

CloudSpokes Site Rebuild Progress Update

Last week was a busy one for us here at CloudSpokes and we thought this might be a good time to give everyone a progress update. For the past couple of months now we've been rebuilding the CloudSpokes site on Heroku and The work is being split into two major phases. Phase one consists of the APIs and services running on The CloudSpokes community has done a great job building the REST services on that we need to run the site. Community members have written code for scoring, authentication, challenge management, member provisioning and much, much more. We are extremely pleased and impressed with the quality of code that a large variety of members have submitted.
Our next phase and series of challenges will be around building the front end of the site in Ruby on Rails for Heroku. Again we need your help. To prepare for these challenges the CloudSpokes team spent a good majority of last week not only merging all of the community developed code into our sandbox org but we also ported our scoring engine from .NET to Apex. We're happy to say that we've successfully unit tested all code and deployed it to our production instance.
Now the fun begins. We'll be spinning up one or more Developer orgs with our new code base so that community members can start participating in these front end challenges. If you have Ruby skilz or just want to learn, we encourage you to participate in these new challenges.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

You really like us! - 20,000 strong and growing

We’re shocked, thrilled and humbled that CloudSpokes has grown to 20,000+ community members. It’s a great feeling to have a massive number of developer friends, but we’re even more impressed with what this community has produced - these developers are absolutely fantastic.

In just over six months, this group of coding competitors have built entire mobile apps, fulfilled development requests using API platforms and frameworks, rebuilt our website and much, much more. This community has even been successful at making some attractive new friends for us. Partnering with hackathon hosts, Box and DocuSign to help run their events was a blast and we’re looking forward to hosting similar events in the future.

But to be fair, we aren’t the only ones learning and growing. CloudSpokes had some awesome developer success stories in just a few short months - people are tackling technologies out of their comfort zones. Romin learned and others are picking up Ruby, Heroku, PostgreSQL and many more.

So, thank you. Thanks for being rock stars and making us look good. Keep it up. And most importantly, bring the feedback! We are here to make the best cross-cloud developer community possible. We need you to challenge us as much as we challenge you in order for us to improve.

It was very flattering to hear kudos at Dreamforce, but we’re really interested to hear about what we can do better. Reach us on email or twitter or always feel free to ping Jeff Douglas directly.

See you soon at CloudSpokes, where the rubber meets the code!

Friday, September 9, 2011

CloudSpokes Room on

Today's Friday so it's time to chill and wind down for the week. Come "whistle while you work" in the CloudSpokes room with us on We are here quite often so look for us on whenever you are online.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A CloudSpokes Recap of DF11, and DFHack

It's been quite a week for CloudSpokes, so after a brief Labor Day rest we wanted to recap our highlights from last week.

First and foremost - it was great to see old friends, and make some new ones.

Second, we owe many thanks and have to give props to the Salesforce #DFHack crew that put on an excellent show and let us power the hackathon at the biggest tech conference in the world - so thank you Jose, Nick, Dave, Quinton, Reid, Ron, and the rest of the Salesforce developer team.

Last, but definitely not least, we have to tip our hats to all the developers involved in the hackathon.  Here's our list of winners as we captured it:

1st place - Kyle Roche, with the "RingDNA" app, using the new Twilio client and Salesforce
2nd place - Yosun Chang, with the dizzying "Social Voxel" App
3rd place - Shamil Arsunukayev (& team), with the "Mood Detector" App built using GNIP

Category winners:

Twilio - Justin McNally, "Twilio Call Center" App (call in and call out from SFDC, attach the logs to the right person)
Appirio - Sasikiran Myadam, "ChatNearMe" social App
DocuSign - Michael Leach, "SF Giants, Group Tickets" purchasing App with Facebook and
GNIP - Shamil Arsunukayev (& team), with the "Mood Detector" App using GNIP's social API

We have a video coming soon with all the highlights, but for now here's a collage of all the great people that made this event awesome - bonus points if you can find Marc Benioff: