If you have ever visited Dreamforce, then you know, it’s quite a big deal to find the conference, you want to visit while living in San Francisco.
Being at Dreamforce several times, we downloaded apps, which were aimed to help navigate between venues and keynotes. In fact, the existing applications didn’t give an opportunity to stay connected to everything happening at Dreamforce.
The map worked inappropriately and didn’t allow to find the conference place easily. In case of limited Internet access, all the efforts to get information about the events turned out quite an undertaking.
In August of 2018, we decided to create our own “Dream Scheduler” app which aim was to simplify the navigation between locations and events during Dreamforce 2018.
1. Analytics — 25 days before the conference
Firstly, we analyzed the existing mobile applications for Salesforce events.
The main problems of the existing applications were the following:
- The application worked only with access to the Internet. In the venues, with no WiFi, if you don’t have a local SIM card, the usage of apps became impossible;
- There was no opportunity to see the place of the event, only address;
- No chance to see all the chosen places in your own calendar.
We made a research on the business and market needs and then identified the main problems of the applications.
The team, which developed our app consisted of a project manager, a designer and an iOS developer. All together we defined a list of necessary functionality.
2. Prototyping — 23 days before the conference
To develop an MVP (minimum viable product) we used Agile-approach with weekly sprints and kanban board in JIRA.
At the first scrum-meeting, we made visualization of screens on the board. It’s a start!
3. Design — 21 before the conference
After the prototypes had been prepared and agreed, the designer drew the final version of the screens and uploaded them to Zeplin.io. In parallel with the design, we started to work on the backend.
We decided to use Google Firebase as a backend, as it doesn’t require specific API settings, works “out of the box” and is free for numerous projects.
To upload information in a database, we made a script, which allows uploading data straight from Google sheet to Firebase.
By the start of the frontend development, we had prepared a developed architectural solution, backend and some part of the future screens.
The application was developed on Swift 4 using classic MVC-pattern.
We used CI (Continuous Integration) Jenkins system, which automatically published a new version in Apple Test Flight after commits in Bitbucket.
Smoke-test was required after the end of each sprint. Before the release, a full regression test was performed.
4. Release — 3 days before the conference
Our application Dream Scheduler was ready to use 3 days prior to the conference.
Our marketing specialists prepared screens and marketing description to publish the application in App Store.
The publication in the Apple Store took one day and a half and on September 24 the application became available on the market.
First of all, we developed the application for our internal needs and we didn’t expect to collect such good statistics during the first four days of the conference.
Nevertheless, the result we`ve seen were staggering! It means that we`ve found the "sore point" and offered a way to deal with it.
How much time we spend on the development
In order to create an app with all the necessary functionality, we spent time on:
- 16 hours - analytics;
- 40 hours - prototyping and design;
- 20 hours - backend;
- 100 hours - frontend;
- 20 hours - testing;
- 4 hours - publication.
It took us only 200 hours and 6000$ to develop Dream Scheduler.
Such an urgent project was a challenge which we successfully overcome. The team worked perfectly and placed the application in the Apple Store.
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