The concept of Livewine emmerged with the need for a one-stop portal to allow wine lovers to discover new wines while helping their favorite wineries thrive, pair with food, ask sommeliers for the expert advice and buy their favorite wines. Livewine, founded in 2011, is a privately held company, of 5-6 wine lovers and some software engineers.
Livewine brought together experts and connoisseurs from the wine industry with web experts to give birth to a wine and winery listing that would power a very comprehensive search; that would not only include the wine name, but also wine type, vintage, varietal and appellation. The team quickly realized to reach out to wine lovers they need to harness the power and features of smartphone applications. The Livewine team enlisted Blisstering for their expertise for building multi-modal applications on top of the Drupal stack.
In addition to that they needed a very user friendly UI built for the search functionality on the web; using filtering results, ordering as per price or vintage should be matter of just a click for the end user. The search results would also display important facets about the wines showing up in the result like Wine Type, Vintage, Appellation, Label, Bottle Image and Price.
Blisstering provided a 2 pronged approach of; 1.) Making the current system ready to communicate with the mobile application by providing the necessary backend integration, APIs and data information and 2.) Building an Android and iOS application using the m2Serve application builder and Titanium.
Using the m2Serve mobile application platform helped us reduce the time to build the application in both Android and iOS platforms and to reuse many camera and UI features that are very frequently used in mobile applications.
As a part of the mobile application 2 key features
The first involved scanning the barcode on a wine bottle/case to search on the Livewine data collection. This was achieved by using a camera scanner and integrating it with Scandit API that would get us the wine name and Vintage, using which it was then looked up at the Livewine database and then presented to the user.
The second involved in matching a label on a wine bottle/case. The label was photographed and then matched at the wine and label database provided by Kooaba. This was then looked up on the Livewine Database and then presented to the user.
Managing a huge site with a bunch of features and millions of rows of data about wines, wineries, did slow down the entire solution, for which Blisstering’s performance auditing services were used,
- The Solution Architect and the Project Manager acted as consultants and platform experts in providing the Livewine team with best practices, architectural and system behavior decisions.
- We assisted the Livewine team with workflows as the product requirements, data architecture and system requirements were not clear. We helped them freeze the behavior and then helped the technical team at Livewine take architectural decisions.
- Recognizing the challenges to manage Development teams at both ends, we communicated a common Process Flow, to be adhered by both teams during Development.
- Using SCRUM Agile methodology, features were distributed into sprints as they evolved and were frozen. This helped in keep up with the fast paced development and plan web and backend development to be ahead and in sync with mobile development.
- Site built on Drupal 7, with Omega based HTML5 theme.
- M2serve framework and mobile application builder.
- Titanium framework for mobile applications.
- It was hosted on LAMP stack as architected by the technical team at Livewine.
- Kooaba integration for Label scanning.
- Scandit integration for barcode scanning.
- Drupal commerce based online store for direct sales of wines from Livewine website
- Apache-Solr powered search to power web and mobile search.
- Blisstering Audit services for performance optimization.