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Using IntuiFace to Access External Data, Business Logic and Devices

Access External Data With IntuiFace
This is a Guest Blog Post by
Geoff Bessin

As we mention at the beginning of our “Introduction to IntuiFace” webinar, many folks first assume IntuiFace is just slide making software with multi-touch capability. And to some extent, it would be if it only dealt with static content and bullet points. Of course, it is much more than that thanks to things like collections, controls, triggers and actions and interface assets.

All of these capabilities enable users to create stories that are reactive to user input. IntuiFace-based stories adapt..

Real time external data: Interface Assets

Perhaps the most significant advance of IntuiFace in support of telling these dynamic stories are interface assets (or IAs). With them users can incorporate - in real time - external data, business logic and devices. Let’s talk about what that means.

  • Incorporating External Data

Consider a retail point-of-sale kiosk. (Yes, you can build those with IntuiFace.) An endless aisle catalog lists prices, colors, availability and many more bits of information about a product that can change from one minute to the next. Thanks to interface assets, IntuiFace users can “wire” their user interface to a back office system containing relevant product information. Every time the back office system updates a price, that new price is displayed onscreen. Guess what? This is the approach we take in our out-of-the-box social media interface assets like Twitter and Instagram.

  • Incorporating External Business Logic

One question we often get is, “I have a database. I want visitors to type search terms into an IntuiFace-based experience and have IntuiFace search my database for the results. Can it do that?” No, and it never will. Why? Because there are an infinite number of search algorithms and no matter what we create, it won’t be exactly what you need. However, you can build your own search query to do exactly what you need and then grant IntuiFace access to it through an interface asset. This approach can apply to any business logic of any kind. Guess what? This is the approach we take in our out-of-the-box value operators like random number generation and text manipulation.

  • Incorporating External Devices

One IntuiFace user has transformed IntuiFace into a remote control for the board room. Turn lights on and off, open and close window shades, turn on a video feed and more. All of this is possible thanks to interface assets, enabling IntuiFace to “talk” to these external devices. Other users connect their IntuiFace experiences to RFID/NFC and mag strip readers in order to access customer loyalty and/or product information on the fly. You even have the Internet of Things at your fingertips. Guess what? This is the approach we take in our out-of-the-box support for the Philips hue lightbulb.

Here is a rule of thumb: If the external data source, business logic or device has an API, IntuiFace can work with it. If you’re not familiar with the concept of an API, just think of it as the way for something outside a software application to speak with it. IntuiFace can use REST, JavaScript and .NET to communicate with an API.We ship many interface assets out of the box, as listed here. All of these IAs can be used by any edition of Composer. Want to create your own interface asset? Absolutely. The instructions for doing so are hereCreating custom interface assets does take a little software development know-how - you are basically teaching IntuiFace the API - and requires the use of Composer Enterprise. And just so you know, there is nothing magic about our out-of-the-box interface assets. You could have built all of them yourself. We just saved you some work :)

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Geoff Bessin
Geoff Bessin

I'm Intuiface's Chief Marketing Officer, which means it's my job to get you interested in Intuiface. Once you try it, I know you'll love it.

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