In the past I’ve developed applications for Windows and released as shareware (LargeEdit). After release, I would see the download count on some distribution web sites, but I never knew the usage of the application. Also, there was no way to connect with the users of my application.
In 2012, I was approached to build an application to handle third-party billing of payroll. Typically used by Health Authorities in Canada, people requiring home care who want to manage their own care become employers and the Health Authority covers the payroll cost.
Since the application is taxation based and users are typically payroll companies, I wanted a way to connect with the companies that may be finding my application valuable to their business.
I recently switched from doing all my website’s by hand to using WordPress. WordPress offers the best of both worlds, the ability to provide a common content management interface with custom code to offer users an enhanced experience.
I needed a REST API for my distributed application to call, I had considered using Google App Engine because I’m familiar with the environment and I like the scalability factor. However, I really didn’t want to lose my WordPress interface I just feel in love with.
After a little research, I discovered that WordPress has a mechanism for resolving AJAX calls. So with a little plugin code, I had my custom MySQL tables and a REST API for my .Net application to call. Best of all, I can move my WordPress installation to Google App Engine later if I need to scale it.