This is part of our on going series of blog posts from guest authors highlighting success stories from applications and services built on or targeting App Engine developers. Today, we have a post from Bruno Morency of Context.IO. Bruno has been involved in startups since graduating from McGill Engineering in 2001. And since being introduced to Pine on UNIX terminals, he’s had a love-hate relationship with email.
Email mailboxes contain years of important conversations and business information yet there are no easy ways for App Engine developers to find and use that information. This is what Context.IO does. It’s the missing email API that turns mailboxes into a data source developers can leverage. This is particularly interesting for Google App Engine developers since it makes content of Gmail accounts (and any other IMAP accessible email account) available through a set of HTTP calls.
In this post, we’re going to walk you through using Context.IO to build an app that lets users search for contacts from their inbox then easily get the history of recent emails and attachments exchanged with these contacts. A working demo is available at http://contextio-demo.appspot.com. The code for this application is available on Context.IO’s GitHub account.
Querying the mailbox
Let’s see how we respond to the request to get message history for a given contact. This is done by calling /messages.json which accepts an email address as a GET parameter. Note, this functionality requires an authentication step not shown here. The code behind that call is as follows:
class MessagesHandler(webapp.RequestHandler): def get(self): current_user = users.get_current_user() current_email = current_user.email() emailAddr = self.request.get('email') contextIO = ContextIO(api_key=settings.CONTEXTIO_OAUTH_KEY, api_secret=settings.CONTEXTIO_OAUTH_SECRET, api_url=settings.CONTEXTIO_API_URL) response = contextIO.contactmessages(emailAddr,account=current_email) self.response.out.write(simplejson.dumps(response.get_data()))
The code simply uses the contactmessages.json API call of and returns all the messages including the subject, other recipients, thread ID, and even attachments in JSON format. Check the documentation for a complete breakdown of the response.
You can see how we handle the other cases similarly in handlers.py. To get a complete overview of other calls offered by Context.IO, please refer to the documentation available here http://context.io/docs/latest.
Building your own email based application
The complete code for this demo application has been made available by the Context.IO team on our GitHub account. Feel free to use it as the base for your own application. To get started, you’ll need to setup your application with your own Google API authorization and Context.IO API keys.
If you have questions about using Context.IO to embed your user’s email in your app, feel free to contact us through http://support.context.io.
Posted by Bruno Morency, Co-founder of Context.IO