What is Browser Extension?

A browser extension (BE) is firmware that extends or complements the functionality of a browser. It is also known as a plug-in or an add-on. BEs are now supported by almost all browsers, most notably Google Chrome and Firefox.

To create an extension, you need to know HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and think about its functional load. The ready-to-use extensions are provided to a user as an archive or they can be easily downloaded and activated through the official store of the browser (Chrome, Opera, Firefox, and others).

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Why do we need to install Browser Extensions for Chrome, Opera, Firefox, etc? Main types of BEs.

By using a plug-in, you can install your elements into any cloud service for integration, as an extra opportunity for SaaS, as a microservice, or just as an additional tool.

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Depending on the extension’s purpose, you can select the following BEs:

Iterative extensions

Cloud software for CRMs, warehouse management programs, and many other business systems are becoming more popular. But hardly any cloud provider will give you the ability to embed and adjust the service for yourself in particular. In this case, the extension is a neat opportunity to take a well-engineered cloud service and build one or more buttons into it.

The embedded button can be assigned the function of data export or establish the process of data exchange between different internal systems. Therefore, you get custom functionality of existing cloud software.

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Additional features of your SaaS in any tab of the browser

It can include background services such as to-do lists, tips, calendars, translators, assistants, and many others.

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Microservices

Microservices are micro-applications that are called "by button" and interact with the page. If you are going to run a service on another website or application, the microservice is highly recommended. It can read information from the site on which it was called and considerably simplify the user interaction. These services can be notes, screenshots, or video. Microservices can not only save, but also immediately upload data to the cloud or send information by email.

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Tools for web developers

To call the tools without closing the browser is a very convenient option for developers. The number of extensions is growing and growing, and we will touch upon this topic in our future articles.

Pros and cons of browser extension

Pros:

    • The speed of access, convenience and ease of use;
    • X-platform - the ability to work on any platform where there is a browser;
    • The ability to integrate the non-integrable; insert your functionality into third-party products directly without having an access to the core;
    • The ability to integrate your systems and cloud services into a complex corporate system’s landscape.

Cons:

    • The necessity to update the extension after the browser/service updates periodically;
    • For each browser, you need to write a separate version of the extension.

The applications of extensions are numerous abroad, and nowadays their popularity is rising here in Ukraine as well. Indeed, with BEs’ simplicity and functionality, they deserve particular attention. If you have an idea but don’t know how to implement it - feel free to contact us and we will create an extension of any complexity for you.



14.04.2018
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