Social Network for Construction Professionals

  • Collaborative environment for construction industry professionals
  • Web-enabled capacity to view, annotate and collaborate on multi-format technical documentation
  • Solution supported by the investment of leading AEC industry companies
Expertise
Social Networking
Verticals
Construction

For a tech startup launching a collaborative web-based solution for design professionals, Iflexion developed a feature-rich Ruby-based web application to successfully complete initial funding stages.

Calendar
11
Duration
Months
Gears
45
Efforts
Person-months

Context

Our Customer – a US-based technology startup company with roots in construction industry – came to Iflexion for help in developing and MVP of their future application. Focused on the needs of architects, engineers, manufacturers and their clients, the solution combined the functionality of a file storage and a collaboration workspace.

Solution

The developed system handles large amounts of files types, including but not limited to CAD (computer-aided design) drawings, helping players in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry to collaborate efficiently.  

 

The solution allows for secure sharing and discussing project-related documents while building connections between individuals and companies (design agencies, engineering bureaus, etc.) within their projects.

 

Each project consists of a set of building blocks – the documents/images that can be uploaded to the system, or searched for and borrowed from the extensive library of templates and other publicly-shared assets.

The application has the following functionality:

  • Asset sharing within private and public projects
  • Asser versioning where previous version can easily be restored
  • Networking and communication capabilities
  • Conversation boards with easy-to-use annotation tools

The solutions also supports geotagging (adding location metadata), and is accompanied by desktop clients for Windows and Mac OS to automatically sync files across computers, keeping them backed up online.

Development Process

Iflexion’s engineers recommended Ruby on Rails web framework as the platform for the solutions because of its agility, flexibility that result in rapid deployment and shorten time-to-market.

Iflexion’s skilled Ruby developers and QA engineers remotely joined the Customer’s on-site team. Special effort was paid to settle seamless communication with the US-based Customer’s team. Strong Scrum practices adhered to at Iflexion helped us a lot. Backlog grooming meetings were held weekly to ensure requirements clarification and adoption of any slightest requirement modification.

Our specialists were responsible for requirements analysis, development and testing of a web application and desktop clients integrated with it. Considering the tough functionality implementation timeline, particularly during the initial project phases, Iflexion’s engineers were delivering new features within an extremely tight time-frames, but without compromising the quality of the solution.

Technologies

The Ruby on Rails based solution utilizes a model-view-controller (MVC) architecture pattern and leverages pjax technology to progressively enhance page loading. MySQL open source database located in cloud forms the database layer. Desktop clients integrated with the solution are built with the help of Iflexion’s .NET and Objective-C developers.

Integration with Oracle AutoVue enables viewing, annotating and collaborating on multi-format technical documentation right in the application without installing specialized CAD tools. Integration with Google Maps enables to assign geotags landing automatically on designated projects.

Results

The MVP project was successfully completed and literally skyrocketed investment. Apart from the development and testing part, Iflexion’s specialists contributed a lot to patent documentation preparation. With frequent iterations and functionality augmentation still on track, the solution has already started showing promising results in the construction industry

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