The SoftLayer API started on the web. It was originally created to support the back end of our web portals. However, the API is an asset whose value extends beyond the web. The API is built on commonly used technologies like XML, JSON, and HTTP. As a result, it is possible to access the API from environments that are very different than that of the typical web browser. The SoftLayer Mobile Client is an excellent example. The application space found in Apple's iOS or Google's Android, technologically speaking, do not share much in common with the computing environment of a web page in a browser. However, we are able to offer the SoftLayer Mobile Client for those operating systems because of the flexibility inherit in the SoftLayer API.
Because of their familiarity, over the years the role of these technologies have grown. They have have broken away from the browser and are even found outside of the desktop computing environment. For example, the Macintosh Dashboard Widget environment, and the Windows Desktop Gadgets are both application environments where web technologies thrive outside of the web browser. The Adobe AIR initiative takes a similar tack adding Flash content as another technology, traditionally focused at the web browser, reaching beyond that focus to create something new. The WebOS system, employed by Palm in their Palm Pre cell phones, uses these same "web" technologies as the basis for all the applications running on that system. These are just a few examples in an ever-expanding set.
With the strong legacy the SoftLayer API has in the web, these new application environments are a natural fit for utilities that make server management even easier. At SLDN we've had several requests for to provide sample applications in these environments. To satisfy that demand we've created a few examples to not only offer technical detail, but to provide inspiration.
You can find the source code for this widget at the SoftLayer github site. If you prefer to just grab the widget and not bother with the source code you can download it directly from us.
The widget was developed using Apple's Dashcode IDE, though that tool is not required to develop widgets. Instructions for installing Dashcode and developing Dashboard widgets can be found at the Apple Developer web site.
The tools and technologies that have traditionally been the driving force of the web, can be found in a number of new, and exciting environments. Using the SoftLayer API from utilities crafted by those tools, in the new application spaces, yields focused tools that can keep your SoftLayer server environment at your fingertips. We encourage you to give it a try!