I have been interested for a few years now in the concept of making web apps available for smaller companies and organizations. There has been a lot said over the years about the advantages of web apps over web sites and there are some interesting stats showing a recent and rapid increase in web applications emerging on the market. Having worked for companies that specialize in building custom applications that meet specific business needs, I understand how much time and money goes into developing these kinds of niche solutions.

Enter WordPress. It has been very interesting to watch WordPress evolve from a blogging platform, to a full fledged content management system with a little bit of everything in between. Most interesting of all to me are the more creative uses of WordPress as web applications such as P2, BuddyPress, and bbPress.

The next natural step in this WordPress evolution is that it will become a widely adopted web application development platform. With the vast improvements in WordPress 3.0 and 3.1, the introduction of custom post types, custom taxonomies, and custom fields, the sky is the limit as to the kinds of web apps you can build with WordPress.

But there still seem to be some gaps with using WordPress as a web application development platform, the primary missing element being the lack of a public facing API. There are also some other “nice to have” features that would help developers embrace WordPress for app development, I know I have a list of my own. With this in mind I have been developing on a WordPress plugin for the last several months and have incorporated several iterations of it into different projects.

Enter KickPress. A full fledged public facing RESTful API with built-in authentication. I have also wrapped into the solution several other useful features, including ideas like multiple content views, custom post types management, shortcodes, and a built-in url shortner.

There is a beta release available for download at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/kickpress/ and I am currently working feverishly on documentation and should have most of that up over the next couple of weeks. Feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions on how to implement the KickPress API into your next web project.

What are your thoughts on the subject of using WordPress and a web development platform?

Comments

  1. Joy

    Sounds great! I have been thinking of doing something like this but didn’t want to spend the time on the framework.
    Have you seen WP RESTful?
    How about Extended API or Remote API or JSON API?

    1. David Scott Tufts

      Joy, thanks for the links. I had seen a couple of these, I think that they are a great start, all three come at the same problem from a slight different angle. I hope that more people will take on this challenge as well and keep the ideas flowing. You can see KickPress in action to get a sense of my vision at rbc.org and christiancourses.org with some additional features like rich AJAX interactions and advanced term filtering.

  2. Build an App

    As WordPress, there are plug-ins you can use to add functionality. In my experience to customize WordPress is a pain unless you use one of their models.

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