Sigma Infosolutions leveraged its expertise on web-based technologies and iPhone SDK 3.0 to develop an iPhone application along with its web engine for a company in North America.
The iPhone application now connects its users to a comprehensive database of utility service providers across North America, based on the type of service requested and the nearest location of the user. Built on GRAILS, the application extends numerous customization capabilities to both users and service providers.
The client is a funded technology product start-up with a vision to develop iPhone applications that are meant to ease people’s lives. The client is based in North America.
The client wanted to build an iPhone application, that will enable its business users to connect with a comprehensive network of utility service providers ranging from plumbers, carpenters, electricians, to many more across North America. The iPhone application connects to a back-end web engine to search for service providers by type of service, time, and location nearest or preferred by the user. It will then notify the short-listed service providers through e-mails and SMS. The service providers can then choose to get in touch with the user either through e-mails or SMS.
The application will also allow users to bookmark favorite service providers for future reference and also rate them on multiple parameters.
With this vision, the client approached Sigma Infosolutions to build this from concept to an end product.
The client achieved the following business advantages:
- A strong new business opportunity
- A competent and a trusted offshore technology partner to execute all development tasks for future product enhancements
Funded Technology Product headquartered in North America.
A robust end product was critical towards building a strong revenue channel. Indian telecom service providers support limited features of an iPhone. This, was becoming a major road block when testing the application on an iPhone. Adding to this, many iPhone features that are critical for accurate
functioning of the application were not getting executed on iPhone simulators.
Another major challenge Sigma Infosolutions faced was to normalize all US time zones to ensure user request notifications reach the service providers only during the time duration selected by them.
The application supports non-iPhone service providers, and they have an option to send a reply back to the requesting party through e-mails. Since, third party e-mail service providers attach their own headers to an e-mail, this threw up another challenge at the team. The application had to be designed to extract only the relevant information from e-mail replies, and then pass it on the user’s iPhone through Apple’s push notification server. In addition, the team had to ensure timely delivery of notifications from service providers to users and vice versa.
Sigma Infosolutions had an existing skill set and processes for this development project. It took five months for Sigma Infosolutions’ dedicated team of five to design, architect, develop, and test the 1st phase of the application. A few of the salient features of this application are:
- Providing users and service providers to manage their profiles right from their iPhone and also the web interface.
- Inbuilt e-maiand SMS capability to allow users to send messages to other application users.
- Built 100% accuracy in identifying the locations based on the geocodes received from iPhone.
- Allows users to change the location by entering city, state, and a zip code to get location-wise listing of the service providers.
- Successful implementation of push notifications using APNS – for both iPhone users and service providers.
- Multithreaded data fetch from the web component to iPhone application to speed up loading.
The team used the following tools and platforms to develop the application:
- iPhone SDK 3.0
- Grails Captcha plug-in
- Grails Maiplug-in
- Grails JMesa (with filtering) plugins
- Message Media SMS service provider
- Java APNS library
- Application Development