Google Calendar and Google Drive for Atlassian HipChat
Guest post by Rich Manalang, Partner Engineering Lead at Atlassian. Posted
by Wesley Chun, Developer Advocate,
Atlassian has been building collaboration software for over 14 years. With
products that include JIRA, Confluence, Bitbucket, and HipChat, our organization
has learned a lot about how teams work effectively.
HipChat launched the Connect
API in November 2015, and since then we’ve continued to build upon our
ecosystem of integrations and collaborations. A few months ago, our team looked
at potential integrations that would be a perfect marriage with HipChat — and
today, we’re excited to share the Google
Calendar and Google
Drive integration for HipChat.
Millions of people use Google’s products everyday, so we instantly knew this was
the right opportunity. Many of HipChat’s customers are developers, and they
told us that managing time and better access to files were two of the most
important things in their day-to-day. Now with Google integrations available
inside of HipChat, there’s no need to launch another browser tab or app.
By building Google Calendar directly into HipChat, we’re improving the
signal-to-noise ratio on a daily basis. Before this integration, we all dealt
with context-switching between apps and browser tabs. Now, customers can use
HipChat to view and share various calendars, schedules and important dates in
the right sidebar. Our customers spend their entire working day inside our
HipChat app — unlike email, you don’t just fire it up and quit periodically. So
naturally, having your calendar up-front is compelling. And what’s more, you can
slice and dice which ones you see on a per-room basis. Say you’re a program
manager — if you go into the Engineering HipChat “room,” you can see the
Engineering and related calendars. Then, when you switch into the Marketing
room, you may see different calendars depending on whom you’re collaborating
Having dual calendars front and center within HipChat is critical for staying on
top of my work. I’m personally very excited about the Google Calendar
integration because it’s one of the most important apps I use day-in and
day-out. As a single parent with two kids busy at school, I need to know
everything that's going on. My calendar is stacked, and I want to see it all at
a glance. That urgency is similar when considering the most important documents
in someone's daily workflow.
When we started working on the Google Drive integration, we wanted to focus on
what was most important — accessibility, shareability, and ease of use.
There are many benefits to bringing third party integrations right into HipChat.
The Google Drive integration allows teams to collaborate and work together while
saving time and eliminating context switching. Being able to access documents,
presentations, and files is critical whether a user is at the office or remote.
It integrates nicely into the right side bar, enabling users to access, share to
the room, and collaborate around important documents, presentations, and
spreadsheets. We worked with third party developer Topdox, who was a tremendous partner in bringing
this new feature into HipChat. We’re getting great feedback around the speed and
simplicity of sharing files without ever having to leave the HipChat
Why would Google Developers be interested?
When we built these integrations, we wanted to give our users a nice balance
between out-of-the-box usefulness but also ultimate flexibility in which
calendars and accounts a user can view. To do that, we wanted one UI that can
display multiple calendars from multiple Google accounts — similar to what most
Calendar mobile apps do today, including Google’s own mobile Calendar app.
These new integrations were built entirely on top of Google’s API. Google’s Calendar API is a
full featured API that gave us everything we needed to create a calendar
experience fit for HipChat’s users. On top of that, the API was designed with
efficiency in mind with push
notifications for changes to resources and incremental
syncing to improve performance and bandwidth use.
Building on top of Google APIs has allowed us to think of new ways to bring even
tighter integrations with our products along with the myriad of add-ons built by
Atlassian’s ecosystem. One idea under consideration is to link JIRA Software and
Google Calendar so that all your JIRA issues are overlayed onto a Google
Calendar. Then this calendar can be shared with the relevant HipChat room
bringing it all together and enabling teams to get more done. We’d love to hear
your feedback on this idea.
We think there are many opportunities to improve how teams work together by
integrating with Google and Atlassian. You can find out more about Atlassian
Connect on our developer’s
site and the Google APIs on theirs.