First Line Software is a premier provider of software engineering, software enablement, and digital transformation services. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the global staff of 450 technical experts serve clients across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Doorman is a revolutionary cross-platform solution that bridges the gap between hotels and their customers. Tailored to the unique needs of each hotel, the Doorman application offers a seamless guest experience with convenient features such as contactless reservations and payment options, real-time event and activity updates, and more.
Scope of the Project
The mobile app development is driven by a set of ambitious strategic objectives targeting three principal stakeholders: customers, hotels, and our client.
Goals for Customers:
- Seamless Comfort: The Doorman app redefines the concept of a pleasant stay for travelers, consolidating essential services within a single, user-friendly interface.
- Informed Exploration: Users will receive timely updates on current events, local activities, and must-visit places in the city, ensuring they make the most of their stay.
- Effortless Reservations: Hotel bookings will be hassle-free, allowing users to confirm their reservations directly from the app.
- Flexible Payments: The app will offer flexible payment options, including both cash and the ability to redeem loyalty points.
- Contactless Services: The app offers contactless services within hotels as a core feature, prioritizing safety and convenience.
- Efficient Routing: Travelers can chart a course to their destination within the app, ensuring they reach their intended location promptly.
- Rich Communication: Private and public chat functionalities will be integrated to facilitate real-time, user-friendly interactions (not included in the MVP).
Goals for Hotels:
- Streamlined Booking: The app will enable real-time online booking for hotels, simplifying the reservation process.
- Customer Engagement: Hotels will have a direct channel to communicate with their guests, enhancing the guest experience.
- Guest Interaction: A chat feature will be integrated to foster interactions both among guests and between guests and hotel staff.
- Effortless Contactless Services: The app aims to provide hotels with tools to deliver contactless services, reinforcing their commitment to guest safety.
Goals for our Client:
- Enhanced Sales: The Doorman app will serve as a powerful tool to boost sales for hotels and improve customer service standards.
The project’s specific objectives include:
- MVP Development: Creation of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for the Doorman mobile app, which will serve as its foundational version.
- Middleware Development: Development of middleware that will function as a bridge between the app and various external systems, such as Mews.
- API Integration: Ensuring seamless integration with various external systems via APIs for data exchange and system connectivity.
- Design and Documentation: Providing comprehensive design and operational documentation to guide the development process.
- Pilot Operation: Conducting a pilot operation to test the app’s functionality and address any potential issues.
- Global Reach: The Doorman system will cater to diverse hotels across different countries, ensuring scalability.
- Flexibility is Key: The system will be highly adaptable, recognizing that different hotels may offer varied services to customers.
- Multilingual Support: Multilingual support is essential, with English support in the MVP and support for other languages planned.
- Individual Customer Focus: The Doorman app is designed for individual customers, tailoring services to their unique needs.
- Activity Recommendations: Activities (e.g., yoga, and coffee) are not integrated into the Doorman system. Instead, they will link to external websites and social networks.
- Temporary Public Chats: Public chats have a short lifespan and will only be available for one day.
- Employer Reservations: Employers can make reservations on behalf of their staff by sending reservation links, allowing guests to access their bookings.
- Location-Specific Recommendations: Activity recommendations will be specific to the client’s location, displaying only options available in their city.
- Layered UX Navigation: The app’s navigation will vary based on the user’s level within the system. Advanced features will become available as users progress.
- Loyalty Points Utilization: Users can redeem loyalty points or property-related purchases, such as upgrades and аood and beverage service.
- User Roles: There are a number of distinct user roles, ranging from app users to hotel administrators, including housekeeping and maintenance staff.
- Middleware Integration: The middleware will connect with various systems like Revenate and Oaky to support upselling and marketing efforts.
- Room Control Features: The fourth layer will offer advanced room control features, empowering guests to customize their experience.
- Primary PMS: Mews will serve as the primary Property Management System (PMS) for most operations.
The system is designed with a horizontal integration approach, using middleware with a microservice architecture. This middleware aggregates functionality from different systems and exposes it to other applications (services) as microservices. By developing a special adapter (microservice/s), newly developed systems can easily be added to the platform’s architecture.
The microservice architecture provides the following advantages:
- Enhanced stability — if one of the system’s services fails, the platform remains operational.
- Easily scalable.
- Permits the use of multiple technological stacks.
ASP.NET Core 3.x
ASP.NET Core is an open-source, cross-platform framework for building modern, cloud-based web apps on Windows, macOS, or Linux. Additionally, ASP.Net Core provides tools to simplify modern web development, including:
- A lightweight, high-performance, and modular HTTP request pipeline.
- Model-View-Controller (MVC).
- Built-in dependency injection.
- Entity Framework (EF) Core.
- Frameworks for working with message brokers, such as MassTransit (RabbitMQ), MQTT, and others.
PostgreSQL is a free and open-source relational database management system. It supports transactions with Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability (ACID) properties, automatically updatable views, materialized views, triggers, foreign keys, and stored procedures. It is designed to handle a range of workloads, from single machines to data warehouses or web services with numerous concurrent users. While it is the default database for macOS Server, it is also available for Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and Windows.
In-Memory Databases (Redis)
An in-memory database, such as Redis, optimizes and improves performance. Further details will be clarified during development.
A message broker that supports asynchronous processing, easy addition of handlers, flexible routing, scalability, and fault tolerance.
The choice of ReactJS is justified by the high flexibility of the frame. It offers a smallJS code size and efficient interaction with the virtual DOM, leading to optimal web application performance. ReactJS also enables the creation of dynamic and interactive user interfaces.
The Doorman mobile app development and its accompanying middleware represents a multifaceted project aimed at providing a highly integrated, user-centric solution for customers, hotels, and our client. Its success hinges on its ability to deliver a seamless, adaptable, and dynamic experience that meets the diverse needs of all stakeholders and integrates smoothly with existing systems.
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