betaworks Launches Dexter, An Open Platform For Building Integration-Driven Web Apps



betaworks has today launched the latest product out of its Hacker-In-Residence program, meant to help developers and laymen alike develop third-party API integrations into an app that can be distributed and used via a single link.

Dexter, as it were, is an open web platform, and offers developers the opportunity to build and share modules or “blocks”. Those can range from an alert that monitors a price drop on a particular item to sending weather or transit alerts via SMS messages to integrating Venmo charges with a Slack account.

Some of these integrations, such as email, SMS and Slack slash commands, are already available as soon as you set up your Dexter account. But for developers who want to get creative, Dexter allows those users to write their own code in NodeJS and subsequently publish them to the platform for others to use, as well.

“Oftentimes, these types of tools make a trade-off between efficiency and flexibility,” said Josh Auerbach, betaworks CFO. “Dexter, on the other hand, is powerful enough to offer a real productivity benefit to developers without being so inflexible that developers can’t build out exactly what they want.”

Dexter was created by Daniel Ilkovich after he experienced his own frustration with how much extra code/infrastructure needs to be built before getting to the heart of a solution.

“Dexter removes all that friction by embedding the scaffolding code required to build integration-driven apps right into the platform,” said Ilkovich.

Given that Dexter is an open platform, the more developers submit their own modules to the site, the more options there are for less experienced developers to play around and build their own apps.

In the future, Ilkovich sees the opportunity to launch a module library, with blocks built by the community and the Dexter team alike, as well as the chance to build in oAuth support for Dexter app users to authorize third-party services for use by a Dexter app.

In terms of revenue, this is just the beginning for Dexter and the team wants to watch reception before committing to anything. That said, Ilkovich envisions charging for certain services like push notifications or marking up the price for users who simply want to connect blocks without building any themselves. Beyond that, Dexter could also offer developers submitting real code to the platform to charge for their modules, with Dexter taking a slice.

If you want to check out Dexter for yourself, head over to the website here.