Official mobile app for
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Because the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world's busiest airport by passenger traffic since 1998, transited by over 260.000 passengers daily, iFly is user oriented and it facilitates tracking a flight.
The goal of the app was to help the user navigate through the main sections of the app as easily as possible, while navigating at the same the this immense airport and it’s busy Concourses.
The iFly Atlanta apps were designed for passengers of the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
It was a strong project that had to be developed over 3 platforms: ASP for the web app, iOS C# for iOS and Java for Android.
We decided with our Customer to create two native apps: a native iOS app, and a native Android app. iFly Atlanta is meant to facilitate finding and tracking flights as an important objective, but as secondary objectives to ease the navigation in the airport and parking area.
For communication purposes we have used an online tool called Basecamp and for audio and screen sharing GoToMeeting.
Our first step was to develop the product specification document. After the document was ready the first wireframes for the vendor management system (VMS) were created followed by the wireframes and flow for the mobile applications.
The first meeting was over GoToMeeting and involved the client, our project managers, the art director, the mobile technical lead, the web and backend technical lead and the QA manager.
It was important that all the teams involved in the project synchronized therefore the first meeting was followed by emails to all the team members.
3rd party tools integrations
Listen better. Plan better. Build better.
- Cocoa Touch
For versioning we used a SVN app and each programmer had an account for the repository.
The version control system helps us keeps track of all work and all changes to the project, on a daily basis, and also allows our developers to manage their work in a safe and organised fashion.
For each of the three components we have used different frameworks. .NET Framework was used for all the backend development and for the VMS (Vendor Management System).
For the iOS application we have used THE Cocoa Framework and, for the Android version, the latest SDK version, KitKat.
For the development environment we have used a local Windows 2003 server, an Oracle installation and custom-written scripts used for fetching flight information.
After finalizing the first stage we had moved the app to a staging server from which we serve the API calls. Mobile apps were developed under Xcode for iOS and Eclipse for Android.
*Design created by the Agency: Fuseideas.
The backend server was developed on Windows Server and the database is Oracle.
We have used the .NET Framework to develop the ASP server and API and an Oracle Database integration for storing flight and vendors data. Every minute a cron connects the Application server to the Atlanta flight server. This has to be done secure and fast. Every flight delay has to appear in the app so that the users are informed in time of the Arrival or Departure of their flight.
Our VMS (Vendor Management System) is custom-built using a .NET Framework & an Oracle database. The VMS helps the ATL team curate all the concessions informations: their data, their information, special offers, menus and everything the concessions wish to feed into the mobile Apps about their business. It also allows the maintenance of more static data, from other sections of the Apps, such as the Art Tour Locations.
The integration with Meridian allows the Apps users to locate and navigate the Airport to their favourite shop/restaurant and find exactly what they need to find, using the Search function.
The iOS Application will be downloadable after it's launch from the App Store by searching the store or by scanning a QR code in the airport. It works with iOS 6 or later and can be installed on mobile phones only.
It contains smooth transitions, the possibility to receive push notifications if a flight is delayed or when the user sets the timer.
Every operating system has it’s own best practices when developing new apps. Android is different from the iOS in the first place because all the devices that have a version of Android installed have some physical buttons or OS standard buttons such as the back button. This is a challenge when you want to deliver the same experience over the platforms.
With this in mind we have adapted the design to Android specific practices, maintaining the same functionalities and user experience.
Quality assurance is an important part before delivering the product to the client or before launching an application. It is important that in the first version (even if it is still in Beta) for the app to not crash. For that we use Crashlytics, an app that tracks crashes in the app during the testing period. It is available for both platforms that we develop for and the alerts are easily integrated in Jira, our bug tracking system.
We take this part very seriously! Besides equipping the team with the latest devices on the market, they are part of the project from the beginning, helping defining the use cases for the project. This way, they stay engaged throughout the project!
support & maintenance
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