Table of Content

CLIENT OVERVIEW

Our client has created a web based loyalty management platform, with immediate presence in the restaurant industry, which allows restaurants to easily promote deals and for consumers to find them in and round their geographic location using either their mobile devices or web. Our client’s mission was to improve the online and mobile experience of both consumers and restaurants. Our client realized that the restaurateurs’ reach & their opportunity to engage with repeat customers would increase significantly by using mobile and social networking channels in addition to traditional web and print media.

As the first stage, our client was looking for a solution which would enable participating restaurants to put in their coupons using a Merchant Interface via web. These coupons in real time are required to be made available to consumers on web, and on mobile (WAP).

ENGAGEMENT SITUATION & CHALLENGES

Engagement challenges

  • Achieve Time to Market – Beta launch was expected in 3 months from kick-off of project

  • Achieve User acceptance benchmarks – Acceptance from 100 friendly users and acceptance from 5000 external users in first month of beta launch

  • Achieve performance benchmark for at least 5000 concurrent users

  • Operationally efficient multi-source data collation solution - Large amount of data collation was required as restaurant information came in from all the sources in various different formats. The client was looking for a solution to add a new data source almost every week without the data being replicated

  • Real time “Deal” information to customers - Our client wanted to facilitate restaurateurs to announce coupons on the ‘Go’, attract consumers during their leaner periods and supply and update real time information to the customers.

Technology challenges

  • Architect a solution for multiple platforms – Social media, Web and Mobile (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android)

  • Design for Scalability – Client is expecting to reach 0.5 million users within 6 months of commercial launch

  • Building Applications on Mobile Handsets - All mobiles have different technologies on which applications can be built. To add to this complexity, each handset had different screen resolutions that have to be coded separately most of the times

  • Building application as per App Store standards - It required a quick learning by design team to come up with a design for iPhone that will be “eye candy” and also as per iPhone Human interface guidelines. Building an application on iPhone required the application to be certified by Apple so that it can be made available for general public

  • Personalization of website- Client expectations were to design the application in such a way that a user can personalize the website as per his/her taste enabling users to save deals and schedule alerts. This design needed to be scalable so that website can accommodate million users and still retain each ones’ personal likings

  • Integrating with emerging technologies- Client wanted to integrate with the latest technology updates coming in from technology vendors like Google, Apple and RIM

  • Client wanted Xoriant to make a selection on the open source technology that would work best for its implementation and will provide short releases & faster Time to Market

  • Connecting via text: US is having many mobile vendors like AT&T, Verizon etc. All vendors have different T&C and the client wanted to display specific T & C as per end user mobile number

XORIANT’S CONTRIBUTIONS IN THE ENGAGEMENT

Xoriant’s team worked closely with our client to understand the requirements & created an engagement roadmap. The engagement roadmap was planned with due consideration to engagement objectives & some key decisions were taken early in the engagement cycle.

  • Xoriant was involved in complete SDLC process in building the application, following SCRUM as Agile execution methodology to meet demands of evolving requirements without much compromise on Time to Market goals

  • Utilized TracWiki & Google docs for requirement gathering. This ensured that Client team in US and Xoriant team from offshore always have a common understanding on the requirements. This proved to be effective to avoid “Gaps” and “Quick to changes”

  • Utilized LAMP open source stack was selected as the primary technology stack

  • Adapted “Framework development” approach for Multi-platform support. Expectations were set to develop framework components on need basis

  • Decided to form a team with right blend of skills in the areas of Architecture, Web2.0 RIA development, Mobile development, User Interface experts, QA engineers

  • Formed a team with right blend of skills in the areas of Architecture, Web2.0 RIA development, Mobile development, User Interface experts, QA engineers

  • Provided support for the beta website after its launch

  • Handled configuration management for the various code branches of the website

Over and above the technology capabilities, our client was looking for a company which will “own” the end to end deliverables with little or no hand-holding. Xoriant had worked with many clients in similar engagement which was a perfect foundation for a successful engagement.

Xoriant team initiated the work to come up with Solution blueprint. We leveraged our multi-technology and multi-platform expertise to deliver an innovative solution to our client that offered seamless user experience for customers coming through the state-of-the-art web portal, native phone applications (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android) and popular social networking sites. Xoriant worked with the client to find a solution that would enable it to integrate with third-party service providers, reliably and inexpensively. The client’s main focus was to experiment with Location Based (LB) coupon distribution using emerging ideas of social media (face book, twitter), mobile (iPhone, Black Berry, Android) and plain old SMS (text).

Once the Solution blueprint was approved by the client, Xoriant team initiated SCRUM cycles with two weeks release cycles. The salient points of the execution phase were:

  • Xoriant made a product that makes a unique & smart use of Facebook Connect. If a user logs in using Facebook Connect then his profile information (keywords) are pulled & fed into a coupon engine and relevant coupons are posted in the form of wall tweets. Product also exploits the Geo location feature launched by Twitter. Tweets in the form of call back URLs are tagged with location and are tweeted using the client user account. The product is a location based service and senses user location on web, WAP and smart phones.

  • Our client was looking in solution for multiple mobile platforms for so that usage could be wide spread. We recommended Secure API based REST architecture to achieve this. This architecture allowed Mobile Applications (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android) to access the information, thus making the server side platform independent. Other than mobile platforms the client was able to achieve seamless integration with other websites, partner sites (using widgets) and social media tools

  • Xoriant used an indigenously developed framework for rapid prototyping of mobile applications. We created different frameworks for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android for native application development. This enabled the Xoriant team to add the basic navigation and UI, HTTP connections, Authentication, XML based parsing, Local Databases and host of other common tasks by just adding a few lines of code by using framework components. Developers could integrate code for using hardware features like GPS, Accelerometer, camera etc. Framework also included components for using local media (audio/video) players. The framework components allowed the team to add the basic functionalities of the mobile phones faster and have more time to focus on innovation.

  • Since there was a large amount of data & attributes of the restaurants to be put in, manually keying in so much information was beyond comprehension. This called for integrating multiple data sources to pre-fill the restaurant information. As of now the client is having more than 100,000 restaurants which are indexed properly and are searchable by name/cuisine/location. Xoriant recommended Apache SOLR to index the restaurant information due to its ease of look-up. Xoriant came up with a solution where in the new data source will require an implementation of simple adapter that will parse and feed the information into SOLR. The advantage of Apache SOLR from classical database (where the search logic needs to be programmed in the business logic controllers) is that it is configurable and search logic can be changed at anytime by changing xml configurations. SOLR is capable of keeping large index and yet deliver faster search results as compared to database servers

  • Schema was normalized and memcache was used to store frequently queried data like deals and social media stats about a user, thus yielding faster page loading and better user experience

  • Cloud computing solution from Amazon was used to minimize the infrastructure cost. Besides the reduced cost, it gave the client more flexibility, ease of operations & automation. Our system administrators contributed in making optimal utilization of cloud

  • To do a timely and quick release, framework choice was critical. Considering the project scope, LAMP with Zend framework along with jQuery was selected as the platform.

TOOLS & TECHNOLOGIES

LAMP

Zend framework

jQuery, YUI

Social media APIs(Facebook Connect, Twitter)

Native application SDKS

TracWiki

                                                       Architecture Diagram

ENGAGEMENT RESULTS

  • Our client was able to launch the beta version of the product in 3 months and it was widely accepted by user community. Xoriant’s proprietary Mobile framework was a key to achieve this timeline for mobile applications.

  • The solution designed was platform independent leveraging the power of Mobile and Web. Our client was able to achieve seamless integration with other websites, partner sites (using widgets), mobile applications and social media tools.

  • User interface was implemented of using human interface guidelines from Apple. User experience was well received after the beta launch. Xoriant provided simple and highly cost effective solution to our client by incorporating open-source and free technologies.

Download Case Study

Mobile Restaurant Deals Case Study

Mobile Restaurant Deals Case Study

Cloud based scalable, optimized and secured health insurance exchange enabled end-customers to evaluate healthcare plans based on their financial, demographics and other several criterions.

Key Requirement

  • Architect a solution for multiple platforms – Social media, Web and Mobile (iPhone, Blackberry, Android)
  • Design for Scalability – Client is expecting to reach 0.5 million users within 6 months of commercial launch
  • Building Applications on Mobile Handsets - All mobiles have different technologies on which applications can be built. To add to this complexity, each handset had different screen resolutions that have to be coded separately most of the times. Know More >>

Key Contribution

  • Xoriant was involved in complete SDLC process in building the application, following SCRUM as Agile execution methodology to meet demands of evolving requirements without much compromise on Time to Market goals.
  • Utilized TracWiki & Google docs for requirement gathering. This ensured that Client team in US and Xoriant team from offshore always have a common understanding on the requirements. This proved to be effective to avoid “Gaps” and “Quick to changes”.
  • Utilized LAMP open source stack was selected as the primary technology stack. Know More >>

Benefits

  • Our client was able to launch the beta version of the product in 3 months and it was widely accepted by user community. Xoriant’s proprietary Mobile framework was a key to achieve this timeline for mobile applications.
  • The solution designed was platform independent leveraging the power of Mobile and Web. Our client was able to achieve seamless integration with other websites, partner sites (using widgets), mobile applications and social media tools. Know More >>
Register here to download the entire case study

Please fill in the below details to access the entire case study

Verification Code * :
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.