What is ExportReports.com, you ask?
ExportsReports.com is a site that enables users of the 37signals product Basecamp to export copies of their projects to a PDF file. Before ExportReports, a Basecamp user could request a backup of their site, and receive an XML dump of their project. Now, through our site, a user can ask for PDF exports at will. It’s perfect for either ongoing status reports, or an end of project knowledge dump to a client.
We do charge a small fee, but for the first month, we are running at reduced rates.
- We needed to consume webservices, and ColdFusion makes this really easy.
- We needed to work with PDF’s and ColdFusion pretty much rocks the PDF.
- Let’s face it, I think ColdFusion rocks.
First of all thanks to all of the people who have either promoted or contacted me about BasecampCFC. I am really excited about all of the interest. As of now it’s been mentioned at:
I have to admit, getting it on 37Signals’ radar was pretty cool.
Now on to the meat of this post, the latest update…
I’ve fixed a number of issues with both the basecamp.cfc and the demo app that goes along with it.
- I added a debug setting to the init method. It adds extra information to the ColdFusion debugging output.
I added an authentication method. It allows you to tell the difference between
- Authentication failure
- API not being enabled
- Basecamp project not existing
- I made steps to ensure that all get methods would return consistent column lists for queries.
- Now tells you if you haven’t enabled the API
- Now gives directions on enabling API.
- It’s a bit more robust in handling blank records
Finally, if anyone is interested I added the unit tests to the SVN repository, if anyone wants to see how I’m testing the whole thing.
I’ve been using Basecamp for freelance consulting and I absolutely love it. I have one problem with it, once you shut down a project the client can’t get any of their materials. It would be nice if you could export the entire contents of a project, compile it into a .pdf, and ship it off to a client as part of a project closeout.
They have a pretty thorough API, and I happen to know a language that can make pdf’s pretty easy. So I figured I could make my own solution, and I did. In doing so, I had to create a service CFC for the Basecamp API. Since there wasn’t one when I looked around for it, but there were a few questions about one, I figured I would share it on RIAForge, and I have. You can download Basecamp CFC from there now.
A few things to note:
- I implemented all of the data retrieval methods
- I implemented create, update, and delete methods for comments and messages
- I have not implemented create, update, and delete methods for categories, todos, or milestones
- There are not API methods for create, update, and delete of companies and people.
I haven’t implemented everything, because, frankly I didn’t need it all. But, if anyone uses the thing and really wants them, I will be happy to implement more.
If anybody uses it, let me know.