The latest addition to the Who is Using Vaadin success stories is FLOWFACT – a German company catering the real-estate sector. The work they had put into their Vaadin-based application supporting mobile-first got us interested so we sat down with Andreas Runschke, Product Manager from FLOWFACT AG, to go through what they had done.
What is your application and what does it do?
FLOWFACT mobile is a public webapp. FLOWFACT mobile gives the user access to their systems from every location, with nearly every device - therefore making the big CRM data mobile and much easier to access and use.
Whom is this application for?
The application is mainly used by real estate agents or other companies in the real estate market. The range starts from small one person companies selling or renting estates to big companies using FLOWFACT mobile as a fast access to their full CRM System. It’s also not only limited to the sales department, but also construction managers, janitors or real estate caretakers can manage their estates and Todos with FLOWFACT mobile.
What problems does it solve?
FLOWFACT AG believes in a major change in the device market and the using behaviour of the end user. Big Desktop PCs and office workspaces are used less and mobile devices like tablets and smartphones are widely spread throughout our customer group. Our customers need and use devices and software they can use on the road.
How did you hear about Vaadin and why did you chose it?
FLOWFACT AG decided first what technology base we wanted to create the new APP on and we wanted to create a webapp. With this given, we researched the market for a webapp framework to provide the necessary Tools for our Development. Vaadin came up as a possibility and was chosen because of the following reasons: Vaadin is commonly used and there is a company behind it, which provides support if needed. Also there is a good and active Vaadin community for Vaadin Framework, which already was used by our developers, with good outcome. Of course the possibility of creating a product which is platform independent was also a very important point for our decision to choose Vaadin.
First of all, we searched for a platform independent product to develop one code for every device. Further, it was important to get an active development behind the framework, with a working community. We found both in Vaadin and got very positive experiences exactly with these points. If we need support, the community provides good first solutions and if it can’t fix the problem, the Vaadin Team is very cooperative to improve our solution and fix issues.
We already had a native iPhone APP but with the fast moving market of mobile devices, providing an APP for every OS out there was a major issue. Vaadin provides us with the technology to develop this platform independent mobile APP without spreading the resources too far. The last point would be the possibility to split the work into development and design. FLOWFACT AG occupies a standalone design team inside the development team, to provide design and usability to all of our products. With Vaadin Framework, they can participate very easily in the development of FLOWFACT mobile.
How did you use Vaadin TouchKit?
Vaadin TouchKit is integrated very deeply in our FLOWFACT mobile. We use it for every device, even the pc, so that there is no difference in behaviour regardless which device is used.
What technology stack is Flowfact built on?
Our Backend System starts with a Microsoft SQL database where nearly all program data is stored. This gets accessed via Spring Java Services over Hibernate and is processed in the Business Logic. FLOWFACT API is a REST API working as an interface for external access on this Business Logic and therefore also database entries. FLOWFACT mobile uses the Jersey HTTP Client for the communication with the REST Resources for collecting and processing data. Further, a Vaadin Backend Logic exists which is organized in controllers to give easier access to the REST Resources and to call the presentation layer to display the result for the end user.
Thanks Andreas for the interview, and more about the FLOWFACT success story is available at the Who is using Vaadin page.
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