Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Automating web tasks

What comes to your mind as you read the title? Many of the techies like me out there would start to imagine a tool that one can program to perform some actionable operations on a webpage. Oh my god, yet another tool for web automation, what browsers will it support, what programming language do I need to learn to use it? Is it worth looking into?

Totally, it is very interesting and fun to use. I am talking about "if this then that" or in short ifttt - pronounced lift without the l. Ifttt promises to be a simple solution to connect two web services, it's event driven programming (if this then that model) for the masses. For example, by using an easy user interface you can customize which photos from your Flickr stream appear on your Facebook wall. This could turn into a very useful and creative exercise, you can create interactions between the different web services that the original owners never even imagined.

Ifttt calls each end to end interaction a task. A task connects one channel (web services like Facebook, Twitter, Email, Phone call) trigger with another channel action. Currently more than 30 channels are available for use. Users can create a recipe to share task with other people. Currently there are more than 3800 recipes, the most popular one automatically saves Facebook photos where you are tagged in to your Dropbox folder. Task can be switched on or off and task polls for new trigger data every 15 minutes.

The service is free for now.

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