Multiple business functions in one solution
Driven by advanced web technologies, the rebuilt system provides the benefits of a SaaS model, adapted to corporate use.
The client is a construction and franchising company with offices around the world. The company provides proprietary software for their authorized representatives. The software is a desktop solution, which was developed decades ago.
Now that the underlying technology is outdated, the client decided to rebuild the solution and port it to the cloud to make it accessible from anywhere in the world.
Softeq retained the full functional scope of the existing system, turned it into a web application that runs in the cloud, and expanded its functionality.
The software covers everything a new home builder and its clients and suppliers could need in their daily work. The solution consists of three web applications integrated with third party services: a Builder Portal for franchisees, a Supplier Portal (adapted for mobile), and a Customer portal (adapted for mobile).
Some of the client’s offices were already using a cloud-based accounting service — Xero. To provide integration with Xero for all offices, we implemented a connection that would synchronize data between Xero and the Builder Portal. When connecting the offices for the first time, the synchronized connection helped secure the correct data transfer and processing, which was especially critical for the offices that were still operating in the legacy system environment.
In addition, the solution had to provide the possibility to manage one part of the accounting process in the Builder Portal. For this, we implemented a mechanism for obtaining the necessary data from Xero. Initially, the Xero SDK did not allow us to implement the required functionality, which is why we developed a custom client part. Now the solution supports data synchronization between Xero and the Builder Portal, receives and processes notifications about new events (webhooks) from Xero, generates financial reports in the Builder Portal, and displays the invoice status for customers in the Customer Portal.
The system generates database-driven reports from the Builder Portal using the community version of JasperReports. The reports can be output in 80 different versions based on the implemented templates.
There is also a possibility to generate custom advanced BI reports using specified data fields, thanks to integration with the commercial version of JasperReports. The service charges by the minute, therefore we implemented the possibility to activate/deactivate it before and after use for maximum cost-efficiently.
The system is integrated with G Suite. This enables the user to organize the entire workflow within the solution — structure the data, access files remotely, generate and edit documents. Thanks to integration with the electronic signature service EverSign, it is also possible to sign the documents.
To help the builder estimate the required quantity of building materials necessary to order from suppliers, we implemented a graphical tool. The user needs to upload the room plans, set the scale, and specify three parameters: length, area, and doorway and window openings. After this, the system will automatically generate figures for calculating the right quantity of materials to order from suppliers directly in the system.
The system supports SMS messaging. Due to integration with Nexmo, a multi-channel messaging service, users can send clients SMS notifications with meeting reminders and key information about the construction process directly via the software.
The system is also integrated with the email marketing service MailChimp. It enables users to schedule marketing campaigns and view the results: the number of opened emails, link clicks, unsubscribed users, and bounced emails.
To help minimize the learning curve for new system users, we created around 40 tutorials and help manuals that cover all important system flows.
The application also has a sandbox mode that allows new employees to learn how to generate reports from a copy of the data before they start working with real data.
The resulting solution is a high-load system, which is easy to maintain, scale, and improve. It has retained the time-proven business functionality of the legacy system but now leverages advanced web technologies underlying the SaaS service model.