Alex Web Pro

  • Web Programming
  • //
  • Application Design & Development
  • //
  • Server & Database Management
  • //
  • Consultancy
Some of my clients...
Some of my clients...
Some of my clients...
Some of my clients...
Some of my clients...
Some of my clients...
Some of my clients...
Some of my clients...
Some of my clients...
Some of my clients...
Some of my clients...
Some of my clients...
Some of my clients...
Some of my clients...
Some of my clients...
Some of my clients...
Some of my clients...
Some of my clients...

Case Study: The Astra System

Application Development, Systems Design, Server Management, Consultancy

A long-time client, Abas Costa Blanca S.L., approached me with the task of creating an extensive, subscription-based airport transfer booking system, based on ideas and functionality in their own bespoke administrative system (which they had commissioned me to develop two years previously), but with the goal of converting these from their own domain-specific implementation to a more generic solution accessible to a wider userbase.

According to my client, transfer companies used their own custom systems to manage transfers (often just a series of spreadsheets) or relied on inconvenient and expensive reservation software intended for hotel management which coincidentally had some minor transfer booking features included - there existed no dedicated transfer booking software on the market (especially not web-based), so this system was potentially the first of its kind.

Adhering as always to my communication-driven approach, comprehensive consultancy and discussion were followed by the production of thorough project documentation which detailed every aspect of the new software's requirements. Thanks to this preparatory phase, itself made more efficient by an excellent working relationship grown over several years with Abas Costa Blanca S.L., subsequent development proceeded smoothly and rapidly, along with extensive testing of each component in both test and production environments. The produced documentation was referred to at every step of the way, ensuring that the resulting implementation was exactly to specification.

The finalised, fully-tested system, named ASTRA (Automated System for Transfers, Reservations and Accounting) was delivered to deadline in time for my client's desired launch date. The software encompassed a number of new features as well as improvements on previous functionality.

Tellingly, Abas Costa Blanca S.L. transferred all their operations to use the expanded software shortly after project completion, wanting to take full advantage of the new and upgraded functionality. This also highlighted the flexibility of the new system: the software was able to accept and convert several years' worth of booking data with no issue, allowing Abas Costa Blanca S.L. to seamlessly transition to using the new system in less than a day.

The completion of another project - especially for a long-time client - is the most rewarding aspect of the programmer's art, but it is even more gratifying when the work specification was ambitious, complex and innovative, as it certainly was in this case. The success of ASTRA's development again highlighted the need for adequate preparation when undertaking any project, but which is especially crucial in an undertaking of this scale.

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Consultancy

  • Extensive preparatory consulting on every aspect of the software, which continued throughout development of the application, covering:
    • Functional aspects of every part of the system especially as regards usability, flexibility and extensibility
    • Security and data integrity considerations
    • Short- and long-term maintenance
    • Server hardware and software configuration
  • Production of full documentation and reference material to support the development phase

Application Features

  • Full management of:
    • Reservation and Transfer Details
    • Travel Companies
    • Booking Agents
    • Flights and Airports
    • Resorts, Accommodation and Transfer Points
  • Bulk CSV upload option for above data items
  • Full reservation editor including features for automatic data population (airport codes from flight number, accommodation and pickup points from resort, transfer price calculations)
  • Automatic import of bookings sent by email in various formats from major booking companies (including Travel Republic, Resort Hoppa, A2B Transfers)
  • Import bookings using CSV, XML and Microsoft Excel source files in fixed, booking company-specific format (including Jet2, Holiday Taxi Transfers)
  • Import CSV bookings using a customised user-defined format
  • Integration with various booking supplier APIs to confirm bookings, cancellations and amendments
  • Real-time flight information retrieval with OAG FlightView API, automatic notification and/or correction of erroneous flight times
  • Extensive transfer list management with specific functionality for:
    • Transfer-to-vehicle allocation
    • Vehicle zoning/routing
    • Automatic transfer/pickup time calculation
    • Passenger boarding log
    • Drag-and-drop and real-time editing with background saving
    • Automatic, real-time list update/refresh
    • List filtering options
  • Transfer details API to integrate with Abas Costa Blanca S.L. public website
  • Hotel transfer list generation
  • Dashboard notifications/warnings of last-minute or unprocessed bookings
  • Accounting features including:
    • Transfer Pricing
    • Special Offer Management
    • Invoicing
  • Geolocation functionality using Google Maps
  • Integration with Google Forms (for data upload)

Administrative System

  • Subscription setup and activation
  • User and user group management
  • Account configuration settings

Server Setup & Management

  • Full dedicated server configuration and setup including software installation and updates
  • Independent mail, web and database servers
  • Custom real-time DNS failover and automated backup to auxiliary server
  • SPF and DKIM email authentication setup
  • All required data conversion and transfer to move Abas Costa Blanca S.L. operations to new system

Project: Elcomponent

eCommerce, Bespoke Content Management, Front-end Development, Server Management

Elcomponent Ltd, "Making Sense of Your Energy", specialise in providing innovative and cost-effective solutions for energy monitoring and measuring, offering a range of products ranging from extensive metering systems to clip-on mains leads. Their clients include Ford, Suzuki, the MoD and several leading universities.

I worked on their entire family of sites including elcomponent.co.uk, spcloggers.co.uk and meterweb.co.uk.

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Work done in collaboration with Elan Creative Marketing and MKX Design.

eCommerce

  • Full product, product category and order management
  • Bespoke shopping cart, integration with Sagepay (Protx)
  • Multiple currency support with real-time update of exchange rates
  • Management of supporting downloads (user manuals, instructional videos)

Content Management

  • Page content and meta tag management

Server Management

  • Full dedicated server configuration including software installation and updates

Front-end development

  • Production of HTML/CSS/Javascript front-end code from supplied Adobe Photoshop files
  • Multiple language support

Project: Hello Horsham

Bespoke Content Management, Front-end Development

Community website with a comprehensive catalogue of businesses, events and news for the area of Horsham, Sussex. Subscribers can purchase advertising space and banners for display within the listings.

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Work done in collaboration with Warren Creative (as Vivid Brighton).

Content Management

  • Business listings and categories
  • News articles and user comments
  • Page content and meta tags
  • Local events calendar
  • Slider images, advertising banners and links
  • Visitor testimonials

Front-end development

  • Production of user manual
  • Production of responsive HTML/CSS/Javascript front-end code from supplied Adobe Photoshop files

Project: Alicante Private Transfers

Bespoke Administrative System, eCommerce, Server Management

With over ten years of experience in providing airport transfers between Alicante airport and numerous popular resorts, Alicante Private Transfers are firmly established as one of Spain's leading transfer providers.

Their requirement was for a full back-office administrative system to manage all transfer-related aspects of their daily operations, and a public reservations interface with eCommerce integration, as well as full server setup with a custom backup solution.

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Work done in collaboration with Be Creativos (Spain).

Administrative System

  • Reservation management
  • Transfer to vehicle/driver allocation and management
  • Date availability management/calendar
  • Transfer pricing and special offers
  • Client testimonials
  • Supplier reports

eCommerce

  • Bespoke public booking system integrated with Paypal
  • Multiple currency support with real-time update of exchange rates

Server Setup & Management

  • Full VPS configuration and setup including software installation and updates
  • Custom DNS failover and automated backup to auxiliary server
  • SPF and DKIM email authentication setup

Project: Iron Fire Fitness

Application Development, eCommerce, Front-end Development

Gemma Athorn is a Fitness and Nutrition coach and Figure Competitor as well as a full-time mum; Iron Fire Fitness is her online space where anyone pursuing a healthier weight and lifestyle can subscribe to access a fully comprehensive nutrition database and meal planner/tracker, which also allows users to log their workouts.

The site also includes downloadable ebooks for training programs and healthy recipes, as well as a section to purchase personalised plans with Gemma herself.

Work done in collaboration with Creative At Heart.

Application Features

  • Comprehensive nutrition database including entries for hundreds of common and specialised food products
  • Daily meal planner/tracker allowing users to input meals/snacks consumed throughout the day
  • Automatic calculation of target daily and weekly calorie and macronutrient totals based on user objectives (e.g. weight loss)
  • Comparison between target and actual calorie/macronutrient totals to help users stay on track
  • Workout journal function for logging of exercise sessions

eCommerce

  • Bespoke shopping cart for ebook and personalised diet plan products, integration with Paypal

Front-end development

  • Production of responsive HTML/CSS/Javascript front-end code from supplied Adobe Photoshop files

Project: Strokeindex

Application Development, Front-end Development, Consultancy

The Strokeindex application provides a comprehensive directory listing and booking system for amateur and professional golfers to search for and enquire about the availability of tee-times at local golf clubs. Clubs can respond to these requests by sending a quote. When confirmed to have accepted the quote and played the course, golfers can rate, review and 'favourite' the golf club in question.

The application is free to golfers; golf clubs must subscribe to maintain a listings profile. Each month, or on request, golf clubs are emailed a series of statistical reports including rate of accept/decline quotes, reasons for golfer's decision, total bookings, most frequently-booked tee-time slots and courses.

Application Features

  • Full directory listing of golf clubs courses, searchable by A-Z and location
  • Enquiry feature for golfers to automatically send tee-time requests to all golf clubs within a configurable distance (e.g. 25 miles of a postcode) and other settings (e.g. number in party, time preferences)
  • Response feature for golf clubs to send a quote (plus special offers e.g. further discount for group bookings) in answer to request
  • Accept/decline quote feature including citing a reason for golfer's decision
  • Golfers can rate, review and 'favourite' golf clubs for future requests
  • Golf club/golfer messaging system
  • Golf clubs can manage their own profile in the listings, including course descriptions, tee-time rates and image galleries

Administrative System

  • Management of golf club subscriptions
  • Generate, review and email statistical reports for all or a particular golf club over a monthly or custom time period
  • User (golfer/golf club) management

Front-end development

  • Production of HTML/CSS/Javascript front-end code

Contact

If you would like to get in touch with me regarding a prospective project, hear more about my past work and experience, or would just like to say hello, please feel free to drop me a line at this email address or Skype me at: alexwebpro.

I look forward to hearing from you!

- Alex


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