Today we’re excited to announce the next generation of Cloudflare Apps. Cloudflare Apps is an open platform of tools to build a high quality website. It’s a place where every website owner can select from a vast catalog of Apps which can improve their websites and internet properties in every way imaginable. Selected apps can be previewed and installed instantly with just a few clicks, giving every website owner the power of technical expertise, and every developer the platform only Cloudflare can provide.
Apps can modify content and layout on the page they’re installed on, communicate with external services and dramatically improve websites. Imagine Google Analytics, YouTube videos, in-page chat tools, widgets, themes and every other business which can be built by improving websites. All of these and more can be done with Cloudflare Apps.
Cloudflare Apps makes it possible for a developer in her basement to build the next great new tool and get it on a million websites overnight. With Cloudflare Apps, even the smallest teams can get massive distribution for their apps on the web so that the best products win. With your help we will make it possible for developers like you to build a new kind of business.
Apps makes it possible for the more than six million Internet properties on Cloudflare’s network to take advantage of what you can build. Even non-technical users can preview and install apps, opening up a whole new massive audience to SaaS software companies and independent developers. Unlike other solutions, Apps get served from the site’s original domain, allowing you to get all the performance benefits of HTTP/2, TCP Pipelining and the Cloudflare edge.
We’re working with Oracle, Spotify, Pinterest, Zendesk and more great companies for launch. We can’t wait to see what apps you will create.
Before an app is installed we present the user with a live preview of the app to allow them to see what it will look like on their site. Using this preview they can customize it and ensure that it works how they wish. During the preview, users can also customize colors, placement and other options defined by the developer. As users change options in an app the preview gets updated. Even better, supporting this preview often requires no additional work beyond what’s required to build your app.
Live Preview is not just limited to Cloudflare users; as a developer you can use it to show off your apps to any user on any website.
Logins and Registrations using OAuth
OAuth support makes it easy to allow users to log into or register with your service without leaving the installation page. That means users don’t have to copy-paste API keys or embed codes from your service anymore. We’ve found that allowing users to register accounts greatly increases the likelihood that a user who preview’s an app will install it.
Like webhooks you might be used to, Cloudflare Apps supports hooks which allow you to be notified when your users preview or install your app. Even better though, our hooks allow developers to modify installations as they happen. When we fire a hook, you can respond with the changes we should make to that user’s installation experience or their installation’s options. This allows you to tailor every user’s installation experience to their specific account and records. For example Google Analytics allows their users to select from their analytics accounts while installing and Cover Message allows users to chose which of their Mailchimp or Constant Contact lists they’d like new leads.
In the world of mobile apps it’s possible to make money as an independent developer, building apps and selling them. On the web, it’s much harder for a developer to build a business. Growing a sales and marketing team is time consuming and distracting, and ultimately results in the team with the biggest budget getting the most customers.
Cloudflare Apps allows anyone to not just build an app which gets installed onto websites, but also to sell it. You can charge any amount you’d like for your app, all recurring monthly. You can even offer multiple plans for users of different calibers or who need different features.
Providing recurring revenue to app developers makes it possible for them to make a living building their apps, and create sustainable business in the process.
Building an App
For Cloudflare Apps we’ve built a new Documentation site including example apps and screencasts.
We have also built an App Creator to allow developers to start developing their apps right away without having to set up a development environment. The Creator tool watches your app’s files on your computer and updates the app’s preview as you make changes live.