CSE498, Collaborative Design, Fall 2014
Computer Science and Engineering
Michigan State University

General Motors is one of the world’s foremost designers and manufacturers of cars and trucks sold in more than 120 countries. Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, GM’s 212,000-plus employees work in 396 facilities spanning six continents.

GM employees depend heavily on desktop and web applications including hundreds developed by GM. With so many applications, finding and launching those most important to a particular person’s work is challenging.

Our Productivity Toolbar, also known as Fast App Launcher, enables GM employees to find and launch the computer applications most important to their work quickly and easily.

Using the Productivity Toolbar, employees create personalized pages displaying icons of their most used apps. The toolbar is used to launch both desktop apps and web apps.

In addition to launching apps, the Productivity Toolbar can be used to personalize the location and appearance of the apps.

Applications written by GM are added to the Productivity Toolbar from the General Motors Application Store. Employees use the toolbar to search for apps by name, category and tags, and then add them to their personalized launcher.

Our Productivity Toolbar runs both as a native desktop app on Windows 7, and as a web app in Internet Explorer.

Application information is maintained in a MySQL database. The desktop app is scripted in C#; the web app is written in JavaScript with AJAX.