ParkCommander

ParkCommander

ParkCommander is a campground booking system with great potential to turn into SaaS web app.

There are not so many good booking systems for campgrounds on Canada market. So our client decided to built his own platform from scratch.

In about 6 month after a lot of iterations SoftFormance team successfully created first version of reservation system and pushed to campground customers.

***

Biggest challenge with Campground booking system was much more complex reservation and fees calculation logic than you’d usually meet in regular hotels.

Second biggest challenge was to develop smart, easy and quick to use UI that would allow Agent to work his way to reservation in as little clicks as possible. After multiple iterations and after more than 6 month of hard work we finally achieved good balance between complex business logic and ease of use.

Our team successfully developed:

  • Smart Agent Booking Grid
  • Interactive Campground map reservation
  • Customer reservation dashboard
  • Point of Sale system (POS)
  • Customers Membership support
  • Multiple payment methods with refunds, and smart cancellation scenarios
  • Card, Driving License, Cashier Printer integrations, Parking Permit Printing
  • Events, Holidays, Discounts
  • Pets, Vehicles, Extra Guests calculations
  • Email Notifications system
  • Agent audit log

Key Technologies used:

  • Python and Django web framework
  • PostgreSQL database:s
  • Celery for background tasks
  • jQuery for front-end app
  • GlobalPayments for payment gateway

Client: Michael Noel (Canada)

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Rehab Directory

Rehab Directory

Our existing client came to us with re-design existing online catalog of rehabs in US. Old one was contributed only by staff members and new one had to allow contributing rehabs by external users. So online catalog had to be turned into online marketplace where any rehab owner can submit own listings for some fee.

The main challenge of this project was in the fact that main website was built on top of Plone CMS. Plone CMS was good for content rich online media resource with multiple in-house writers and journalists. But it was not that good for online marketplace were multiple platform users would contribute own content.

So our team came up with new approach for this specific project:

  • we developed Rehabs Catalog site section using completely different technology stack (Python based web-framework – Django)
  • storing data in separate database
  • connecting users via OAuth login and LDAP directory
  • integrated Django section pages into main Plone CMS website using so called Server Side Includes (SSI)

Solution turned out to be really effective. We ended up with fast performing pages, and saved a lot of hours on re-using same design over new technology stack.

 

Key Technologies used:

  • Python and Django web framework
  • PostgreSQL databases
  • LDAP users directory
  • SSI (Server Side Includes)

Client: Martin Schoel (Germany)

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Client Feedback:

SoftFormance is a team of outstanding python developers with great Python/Zope/Plone CMS skills… what really adds to their potential is their ability to work well with top-level assignments and come up with their own detailed solutions.

Martin Schoel
Founder and Managing Director, ChooseHelp

Fotografen365.com

Fotografen365.com

Fotografen365.com is the first portal for customers of photographers where they can look for a suitable photographer for their purpose based on a selection of image styles. Normally, only a list of websites of nearby photographers is being provided which isn’t very helpful. Fotografen365.com sets out to vastly improve on this.

It was built around the 16 most often used photo categories, like weddings portrait, architecture and corporate.

And all this could be done in 3 easy steps:

  • Select category and location (including auto-locate).
  • Like a suitable image style within a photo category.
  • Get a list of well-rated photographers within your area, by selected category and with recommended photos specifically for your taste!

Carefully thought out UI provides visitor with smooth experience and easy to use procedure to find photographers. For photographers there are also great tools to keep their profile and portfolio up to date and with just few clicks.

***

SoftFormance team together with client built Beta version in just 6 months of active development. To make UI really easy and intuitive to use we applied a lot of experiments and some features were re-written for up to 5 times.

Technology stack includes:

  • Python, Django and PostgreSQL on server side;
  • Django Channels for background tasks like sending emails and PDF generation;
  • Javascript and tons of libraries for great UI, portfolio albums and dynamic backend for photographers (jQuery, Masonry, 3d Coverflow, etc…);
  • Nginx as front-end server.

The most significant technical achievements:

  • using Django Channels (newly released asynchronous Django framework solution) for background tasks and communication;
  • using external API to send emails in asynchronous mode and with templates stored in sendgrid.net;
  • advanced work with PDF generation tools;
  • GEO location based searches;
  • nicely put together UI that works on all major browsers and devices (including tablets and mobiles);
  • continuous integration and instant “every-task-to-demo-deployment” mode;
  • front-end and back-end tests coverage.

Client: Photography Marketing 365 UG, Wolfgang Männel (Germany)

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Client Feedback:

“I have worked with a number of software developers before but none of them quite reached the level of professionalism, diligence and enthusiasm that I experienced with Vitaliy and his team. They are incredibly easy to work with and almost always find great programming solutions to our requirements.

What I especially liked about the SoftFormance team is their passion and understanding for our project. It’s like working with friends. Friends that deliver on their promises.

Another great advantage is the seamless communication between Vitaliy’s team members in the background that gave me the impression when talking to one person on the team that everyone was also updated at the same time. This for me avoided redundancy in communication and greatly improved interface and overlap management for functional requirements.

I have nothing but praise for the work of SoftFormance team and look forward to working with this agency in the future.”

Wolfgang Männel
Founder and Managing Director, Fotografen365

iHoppers.com Redesign

iHoppers.com Redesign

iHoppers.com is a place where you can buy vacation activity tickets around the world. Initially started as Spain Islands-only marketplace, in a new version it expanded and is now slowly covering other world countries.

We developed new iHoppers version from scratch, using same technology – Plone CMS, but this time with brand new 5 version. We decided to stick to Plone CMS as it allowed us to do all the content management out-of-the-box, thus focusing our time, efforts and resources on building dedicated marketplace functionality:

  • tickets catalog,
  • buyer cabinets,
  • blog and destination guides,
  • payment integration.

***

SoftFormance team together with client built new marketplace version in about 5 months. The most significant technical achievements:

  • internal SEO: whole website URL structure been updated to fit new business model – selling vacation activity tickets around the world; so we put a lot of efforts to make new website rank in searches at least on the same level as the old one; this included proper content migration strategy, URL redirections map and detailed review for content meta tags;
  • complex Tickets catalog in a form of world countries and destinations hierarchy, integrated with Blog section and Destination Guides; GEO location based searches;
  • nicely put together design/UI/UX that works on all major browsers and devices (including tablets and mobiles);
  • multi-language content and UI;
  • documented most important procedures for developers, content managers and website admins;
  • project been finalised with page speed optimisation milestone where we made big images load fast; also integrated cloudflare.net proxy to improve overall website speed and performance.

 

Technology stack includes:

  • Python, PloneCMS and ZODB on server side;
  • Javascript, jQuery and Google Maps API on client side;
  • Nginx as a front-end server.

 

Client: Nicholle Tan (Spain)

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ChooseHelp.com

ChooseHelp.com

ChooseHelp is one of the leading Drug Rehab and Addiction Treatment online resources in US. The website effectively connects those that need help with experts, consultants and therapists.

We started to work with Martin Schoel, ChooseHelp founder, back in 2009 when site was running on top of Plone 2.5. So the first task was to migrate it all to Plone 3 (latest version at that time) and apply new design and functionality.

Working together with Client on new portal redesign, after more than 1 year of hard work, we were able to move all codebase and content from Plone 2.5 to Plone 3, significantly improve side speed and make code of better quality with automated tests and documentation.

Together with Client we developed brand new Experts section, completely redesigned treatment centers, updated Rehab ProgramsNews, Directory and Topics parts of the portal.

We’re still effectively working on the project helping make it better from technical point of view.

Talking about technical side of the project, there won’t be enough place to describe it all here. During 5 years we literally put tens of thousand lines of quality code into it with proper planning, road-mapping, agile sprint approaches, test-driven development, documentation and deployment procedures.

The most significant technical achievements to mention would be:

  • integrating LDAP database with tons of custom user fields and profile data;
  • sophisticated Users Dashboards – Cabinets, where users can ask questions, Experts can answer it; Administrators can approve Experts contributed articles and answers; also full workflow of Expert Application is integrated within Manager Dashboard;
  • Amazon AWS storage integrated into Plone CMS Files and Images, custom solution;
  • Dashboard panel with all site content updates to keep track of recent changes;
  • Most Read portlet that integrates Google Analytics in number of ways;
  • Disqus commenting engine – single sign on integration;
  • and many-many more…

 

Client: Martin Schoel (Germany)

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iHoppers.com

iHoppers.com

Spain islands travel guide and activities ticket seller.

iHoppers we migrated from Plone 3 to Plone 4. Adopted to mobile and tablet screens. Updated homepage and internal pages design to make it more user-friendly and lower visitors bounce rate. SoftFormance team optimized site search and navigation which made better focus on the main site goal: find and buy activity tickets.

Also we cleaned up Google Webmaster Tools from hundreds of crawling errors. Also we made site a bit faster to load. Finally we integrated existing activities booking service rezdy.com which made it possible to start selling the tickets.

At this moment we’re working on complete re-design that would introduce iHoppers as world-wide activities and adventure tickets provider. More on this soon on our portfolio page…

Client: Nicholle Tan (Spain)

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Prescient Digital Media

Prescient Digital Media

We built company website for Canadian digital agency. Prescient Digital Media is expert in creating word-class company intranets.

We used Plone 4 and plone.app.theming (diazo) approach to apply custom theme. Also we used Panels addon in conjunction with Carousel to build header slideshow.

The main challenge of this project was to migrate old Plone 2.5 website to Plone 4 version. We built theme from scratch but we had to take care of all content. Set of custom addons made it even more complicated so some of them we had to adopt to Plone 4 version.

Our team provided full support from idea, design and finishing with final documentation and training sessions.

Client: Prescient Digital Media (Canada)

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ChooseHelp Mobile

ChooseHelp Mobile

Mobile version for ChooseHelp.com website. It took us 3 months to adopt every page on big ChooseHelp.com community website.

We developed completely custom website version that was responsive and looked good on major mobile phones. Also we adopted existing ChooseHelp.com layout to look good on tablets.

The most challenging part of this project was to make rich and heavy page design load fast on slow mobile devices. Finally we were able to optimize page speed to stay within 3 seconds limit and all in green.

Client: Martin Schoel (Germany)

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VNC Portal

VNC Portal

For Virtual Network Consult (VNC), Germany located Business Cloud Integrator company, we developed prototype for their VNCPortal – Cloud distributed solution for businesses. VNCportal aggregates knowledge in one central place. With streams, casts and wikis it provides the perfect tools to create, share and discuss ideas and knowledge.

We built it on top of Plone CMS (version 4). The portal turned out to be a central place for all other services VNC provides to their clients as cloud distributed system. We integrated the other OpenSource services within VNCPortal:

 

  • Zimbra Email
  • OpenERP CRM
  • Redmine Project Management System
  • Etherpad tool
  • and a few others…

But the most sophisticated and great tools for our users we implemented within Plone CMS portal were the tools that turned it to be not only content management and documents sharing tool but also a social platform with easy to communicate tools for portal users:

 

  • News Stream: shows all changes happening within portal as well as on external systems;
  • Casts: micro blogging tool to quickly communicate on business topics within dedicated groups; kind of facebook-wall dynamic tool;
  • Chats: integrated ejabberd chats with single sign on from Plone users database;
  • Widgets Dashboard: where user can keep up with recent requests and updates configured for his specific needs;
  • LDAP users integration/Single Sign on;
  • Create/Search content wizard to make searching over the content and creating a new documents in the portal lightning fast;
  • and many more features…

By the end of our cooperation with VNC they sold VNCPortal to a few of their existing clients.

ClientVirtual Network Consult (Germany)

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