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What exactly is an app in Spiceworks?

Apps are made up of a collection of web pages called cards. A card is a blank canvas that appears in a specific location inside of the Spiceworks application, where your app can display content. Every app created for Spiceworks must have a full-page card, but can also have smaller cards that display in certain parts of the app, or live in the footer. Spiceworks’ primary navigation contains links to the full-page card of each installed app.

What kinds of apps can you make?

There are two types of apps in Spiceworks: plugins & platform apps.

  • Plugins have been part of Spiceworks for a long time now. SpiceHeads (what Spiceworks users have come to call themselves) have been using plugins to modify the look and feel of Spiceworks to meet their needs. Plugins are external snippets of JavaScript code that plug in to Spiceworks and can utilize jQuery to help make things even easier for you. A plugin pretty much lives within the context of the user’s browser and there is very little code that executes on the backend servers, outside of a few of the provided Spiceworks APIs. Spiceworks has events that will load the plugins on top of the page, after the page loads.
  • Platform Apps are externally hosted web pages that are embedded into the Spiceworks Application using an iframe.

With Platform Apps you can create almost any type of app you can dream up. You can build:

  • On our inventory services, which provide access to the network devices and asset inventory managed within Spiceworks. Inventory includes devices and software.
  • On our help desk services, which allow you to list existing help desk tickets, show a specific ticket, and create new tickets.
  • On our environmental services, which provide information about the host environment and the current user.
  • Something new that adds value to an IT pro’s day.

How will I integrate my platform app with Spiceworks?

Your platform application (app) will be an externally-hosted web page that’s embedded into the desktop of the Spiceworks application using an iframe. Apps can exist as a full page, but can also appear in multiple other positions throughout the Spiceworks desktop, such as in the body of a ticket. If your app needs to share data with the Spiceworks Desktop or respond to Spiceworks Desktop events, you can communicate with it using our new set of APIs. The apps you create will be available for user download from the Spiceworks App Center. Download the SDE.

Meet the Spiceworks Developer Edition (SDE).

The SDE is a version of the Spiceworks desktop application that includes a sample database and other features to help you build and test applications inside of an almost real, working version of Spiceworks. It’s meant as a way for you to be able to test your app against real-world data without having to create a network full of devices on your own. It’s also customized to make it easier for you to be able to list your app in the Spiceworks App Center.

More on the Spiceworks App Center

How did the App Center come about? Even before SDE became available, developers were creating plugins, language packs, scripts, and reports to help IT pros get the most out of Spiceworks. These resources got vetted and voted on by SpiceHeads (what Spiceworks users have come to call themselves) and then became available for other SpiceHeads to download from the App Center. Any apps you create using the SDE will also find their home in the App Center, which currently contains:

  • Over 3,000 reports
  • Over 300 plugins (including vendor integrations that bring third-party functionality directly into the Spiceworks dashboard)
  • Nearly 500 language packs created by native speakers around the world

Tap directly into your audience’s app wish lists

Much like developers in the past tapped into the Spiceworks Community to find out what IT pros need, you can also use the Spiceworks Community to give you an idea of what sort of applications SpiceHeads love and use, as well as to gauge their reaction to your app and get feedback on specific feature requests or your app ideas. Just join the community, set up your profile, and start checking out everything from feature requests to popular discussions. You can even meet face-to-face to get feedback from your app audience: SpiceCorps are Spiceworks user groups that meet in person around the world and give you a chance to mingle in person with the IT pros who use Spiceworks every day.

All pumped up and ready to get to developing? Great!

  1. Install the Spiceworks Developer Edition. (The developer edition must be installed in a Windows environment.)
  2. Check out the Documentation.

Why develop apps for Spiceworks?

What makes Spiceworks different than other platforms?

  • REACH: Building an app on the Spiceworks platform gives you a chance to integrate into the daily workflow of the world’s largest community of IT pros.
  • TRUST: You’re not unknown to the IT pro when build an app for Spiceworks – you’re part of a community that they already know and trust to deliver value in their IT day.
  • INSTANT DATA: By incorporating our inventory data, you can reduce one of the biggest hurdles to trying new apps – the configuration step. The Spiceworks application already knows about the IT pro’s environment.
  • AUTOMATIC UPDATES: Updates to your app get to all users instantaneously. Since your app is in the cloud, when you make changes or add functionality, all the users of your app get the new functionality right away.
  • $$$ POTENTIAL: Unlike other app marketplaces where you’re competing with a marketplace jam-packed full of apps, the Spiceworks App Center is new and filled with IT pros looking for solutions to make their day easier. This makes the possibility to make real money, well, real. Let’s just say, for example, your app costs $5 a month or $500 for a year, you would only need to sell 200 to have an app that generates $100,000 per year. When your app is in front of an audience eagerly looking for apps that help them manage IT, 200 downloads seems pretty doable.

How to market your app?

Looking for some general marketing tips for your app?

  • Choose a clear and descriptive informative name – Naming an app in a way that clearly defines the problem it solves for an IT pro will make them more likely to install it. Helps users that are quickly scanning for apps to solve their problems.
  • Use high quality images for your icon and screenshots.
  • Use the description to spell out the problem you’re solving for the IT pro. This is your chance to elaborate on why they need your app. Don’t just list features, make sure to tell them the benefits.
  • Include a free trial. IT pros want to try out apps before they buy. They are more likely to consider your app if they can try it out for free beforehand.
  • Encourage feedback and reviews on your app. SpiceHeads trust each other. Gathering feedback from SpiceHeads will help you to not only improve your app but also build your and your app’s credibility in Spiceworks (which means more downloads).

Interested in advertising your app in Spiceworks? Contact sales@spiceworks.com