Augment started with a dream of making software talk to each other. The first step was to release an integration tool with a strong email compatibility to help people access multiple types of data in a single place.
How it works
We have built a generic API engine that can handle any REST APIs. Under the hood, all the integrated applications are the same. You can add any new app just by mentioning few JSON objects.
Augment Chrome extension, can be perceived as IFTTT with an interface - which happens to be your inbox. Additionally, Augment detects important things that you should be doing right now, based on data in the connected applications, and helps you stay on top the entire day.
Challenges we ran into
API engine, Its hard to generalize the way people develop APIs, to understand their structure and try to mimic the behavior of the data structure is difficult.
For about 1500 users we are making nearly a 500,000 requests every day to various services to keep the data in sync. For a startup to handle this infrastructure is pretty hard, as you do not have resources to manage them
Integrating new apps - Initially when the system was not ready, it took us 3 - 4 weeks to integrate one app, because of the complex generic structure, we were figuring things out, we needed to change the structure of all apps, if one app was unable to fit in the structure.
ENML and HTML - To export notes from email to Evernote we built our own system following Evernote documentation, which took long to make it stable.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
We have managed to serve a product to about 1500 happy users. It is greatly satisfying to see such good responses about your product on social media. https://storify.com/getaugment/hall-of-love
At its peak we have seen conversion of about 29% on our website which in itself is great achievement.
What we learned
Though using multiple tech stacks seems appealing, stick to using minimum number of tech stacks, unless it is absolutely necessary. This helps in sharing your knowledge to your team mates and solving problems quickly.
What's next for Augment
The parent company 'Autocus' is set to launch its next product which is an iOS app which is a "Smart Universal Inbox". It is the only application that gives you complete access to all your apps in a single place, and keeps you updated of the important information.