Rental Boat Reservation System

Built-for the largest boat club in South Florida, USA.

MVI Solutions has a long history of building custom applications for various types of business needs. One of our long-standing customers is South Florida Boat Club, which is the largest boat club in South Florida and the best alternative to enjoy recreational boating without owning a private boat.

South Florida Boat Club came to MVI Solutions to build a custom boat reservation application that must suit their unique custom requirements and business model. One of the key requirements was to build a better and easy to use application without deviating much from their existing decade old application workflow. There were also time constraints for the development of the application. MVI Solutions took the challenge and built the software by completing following steps.

Core software requirement

Based on memberships levels rules and availability; customer will be able to browse for available boats and send reservation request.

Requirement Gathering and Analysis

As one of the key concerns was to keep the similar workflow of existing application in new software; requiring reverse engineering the existing solution. After this research, we prepared a list of features that are being used by South Florida Boat Club for their boat reservation business operation. The project manager of MVI Solutions and owner of South Florida Boat Club worked closely to prepare the list of core functionalities that must be available in new application.

Technology specification

South Florida Boat Club wanted to have a web application which should be able to work for a long time without any significant upgrade. So MVI Solutions recommended a technology that possessed a record of long time usability, vibrant community and support in the software development industry. MVI staff chose the following languages and frameworks:

  • Front-end
    • Core languages: HTML, CSS, JavaScript
    • CSS, JS libraries: Bootstrap 4, Sass, jQuery
  • Back-end
    • Core languages: Python 3
    • Frameworks: Django
  • External services integration:
    • Google calendar integration

Design

South Florida Boat Club wanted to continue a similar design of the existing application. So that both customers and reservation staffs do not have to go through a long learning curve. MVI Solutions followed the similar layout of current system in new application but made the new design fully mobile responsive. So that both admin panel and customer panel can be used on desktop, tablets and mobile devices.

Coding

The application is divided into two parts. One is admin panel. The second is a customer panel. As the SFBC owner would be an active participant in the development process; we constantly shared the project status and improved on top of achieved milestones, utilizing CRM Basecamp.

The customer panel is crucial. Because existing customers need to accept the change willingly. So, we first built the responsive HTML pages for the customer panel.

After completing the customer panel testing with owner’s approval we moved to the groundwork – which is building the admin panel. In admin panel, at first, we built the fundamental modules to create the structure of the reservation application.

As soon as the admin structure was done; we implemented the reservation process from the customer panel. Doing this in sequence so we can demonstrate the most important process is functioning well.

When we completed the core of the application, we programmed the attributes that support the application, like reporting, Google calendar integration, sending notification emails, etc.

Project Management

Good project management is vital in making any software project successful. We cannot have errors in the process, since this application controls the customers business.

From MVI’s experience in building custom applications with tight deadlines, we knew that active engagement in the product development by the owner enables the development team to verify programming decisions before they are implemented.

We used Basecamp as project management software for this project. We added product owner, project managers, developers and QA engineers in Basecamp project. So, whenever someone initiated a discussion, shared a file or asked a question; all members of the project received email notifications. As a result, the team members were always in the loop and everyone knew the current status of the development.

Data Import

South Florida Boat Club has been doing boat rental business for 8 years. As a result, there were lots of data in their current application, that had to be integrated into the new application.

The exported excel document from existing software was easy to use. But this data was required to transition from the old app to the new app. MVI verified all data was imported into a clean CSV. Then we wrote custom Python scripts for each field of data. Using this approach, we were able to import all data from their old system to new application.
Hosting

The application is hosted in a dedicated server which is managed by MVI Solutions.

Maintenance

MVI Solutions will support this new boat reservation software for an extended period of time. We’ll work closely with South Florida Boat Club to continuously improve the application in future.