Web-widgets from the Waikato

The developer of a Hamilton city listings website has turned the scripting tools he created in building the site into a product for sale on the world market.

Waikato-developed software that makes website building easy has been launched on the world market.

Web-widgets was created by analyst/programmer Reuben Jackson of Hamilton, who developed the software for the hamiltoninfo.co.nz website.

Jackson, 26, who trades as boo.co.nz, says after his success of the local listings site, which receives 1000 unique users every week or 100,000 hits a month, he felt his technology was ready for the world. He says he created the Hamilton site as a labour of love.

The technology is called Disco Web Driver, a scripting language that uses Java, which has been extended and relaunched as Web-widgets.

It lets small and medium-sized businesses build their own websites, create content and manage databases online.

Users can log in and maintain their own content from any web browser, without any special software or technical HTML experience.

"Joe Public only needs to enter their details on boxes on a form rather than understand the details of HTML," he says.

At present, Jackson's web-widgets.net site uses a PostgreSQL database, but can easily migrate to any database from MS Access to Informix or Oracle and run on any operating system. Currently it uses Linux.

Jackson says he is talking to a major New Zealand ISP about it franchising Web-widgets, selling it as a service to its customers. Other worldwide organisations have also shown interest.

The basic Web-widgets package includes a homepage, information page, contact, links, downloads and a product or photo gallery. Other optional features include credit card processing, real estate listings, product search, order fulfilment, message boards, chat groups and virtual postcards.

Waikato real estate agent Grant Shackleton uses Web-widgets to maintain his home listings on www.soldby.co.nz.

"Web-widgets makes site maintenance simple. I just fill in the gaps, browse for three photos on my computer, then press submit. A complete virtual tour of the home is published instantaneously. Another really useful feature allows me to email my featured listings to clients, with photos embedded in the email," he says.

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