Sprout is a Flex sensation. The web-based drag and drop application lets you add many of your favorite web services into your own, fully customize-able widget. It’s sleek, flashy and full of intuitive controls.
I’ve been testing out Sprout, easily building widgets of all different sizes, including a full array of design effects, and, most enjoyably, bringing in various pre-canned web APIs like Twitter, Yahoo Maps, ChipIn, Google Charts, Google Forms, Poll Daddy and Seesmic Video. And there’s even one more VERY SPECIAL service available called Ribbit!
Yes, you can actually add Ribbit to your Sprout with a single click (or drag and drop, if you want more control). The initial Ribbit implementation features a call button. Once inside your widget, SproutBuilder lets you define a the phone number you want the button to call, as well as what account username and password to use when calling. It has to be the simplest way of including Ribbit into anything on the web – to date.
Sprout recently released an SDK which will no doubt become a gateway for so many more beloved web services to find a home in the SproutBuilder interface. I see great virtues in the platform from both sides. For the user, it will enable a shopping spree for adding favorite web content in single display that can live in your most personal web presences like a facebook/myspace page, a netvibes page or a blog. For web service providers like Ribbit, it will give us a chance to reach well beyond our developers and let anyone add Ribbit services (phone calling and hopefully soon, messaging and contacts) to their web page – all with a single click.
You can see a Sprout widget at the top of my page, featuring my latest Twitter entries. It took less that 2 minutes to build and ‘publish’ the widget. Visit Sprout and have fun building your own widget and congrats to the Sprout team for delivering such an amazing application.