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Issue 35

Fizbo, Simply rent – Real Estate rental mobile application

Lucian Pop
Co-founder @ Fizbo
OTHERS

The application is the result of the ambition of a former student of Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, who one day was looking for a rent in the Zorilor neighborhood. Visiting an apartment that he had found in an online newspaper and which was below his expectation, he decided not to waste any more time and visit other apartments nearby. Since he had just a smartphone at his disposal he looked on the Play Store for a real estate rental application, but no results. Then the idea came to him: "I will build an app that will help anyone who has a smartphone to look for rents near them or in any desired location".

Utility / functionality

Are you looking for a rent or accommodation? Do you want to rent your place by getting rapidly discovered and have direct contact with your potential customers? Fizbo comes to help you with the Android and IOS application that innovates, simplifies and gives you total control of all the aspects of the renting process.

What makes this app simple and innovative?

Application architecture

The client side is represented by the Android and IOS native applications.

On the server side, a Tomcat web server serves client requests through Java RESTfull web services, a MySQL database stores rents metadata and a File Server is used for storing rents pictures.

The communication between the client and the server is done over https and the messages are sent as JSONs.

Android application

The Android application is available for all the smartphones and tablets running Android version 2.2 and later.

Its architecture perfectly fits the operation system and doesn't interfere with the main process responsible for handling user input and system management.

In building the app, the following technologies have been used:

iOS application

Fizbo is built to run on all the Apple mobile devices running iOS version 7.0 or later: iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Regarding the application architecture, the MVC pattern is used together with other Objective C specific programming techniques. This way, the modular architecture allows easily modifying existing components or adding new ones.

AutoLayout is used for scaling the user interface for all kinds of device sizes.

Image Caching is done using SDWebImageView component and data persistence is facilitated by CoreData data system management. The interactive map was built using theMapKitframework and for server data requests and parsing, native Objective C frameworks have been used. Facebook authentication was implemented using the FacebookiOS SDK.

Server

Fizbo server has a light architecture and exposes its functionalities through a Façade of Java RESTfull web services.

Under this Façade we have Java classes responsible for the application business logic.

Going down further, we find Data Access Objects that manage metadata from the MySQL database.

Because of the light architecture, the data packages that are sent between the client and the server have very small sizes and are served in less than half of a second. This way, the system has a high scalability and availability.

Development challenges

Our first challenge was to build a mobile application that is user friendly and simple to use. We have managed to accomplish this by designing and developing an intuitive user interface that facilitates immediate access to any information or operation related to the renting process.

The second challenge was minimizing the effort and time needed for an owner to post its offer. Using the device location sensors, the camera and the Google geolocation APIs, we managed to allow the user to add a rent in less than two minutes. After adding, the rent becomes immediately visible on the map for those who look for a rent nearby.

The third challenge was to create an application that can be easily extended. The data model and services design allows adding of new types of offers and services with small changes.

Another big challenge was to create a light architecture that will benefit the system with a high scalability. We managed to build it using stateless components organized in low coupled layers and by exposing the functionality through a Façade of Java RESTfull web services that serve over the https protocol very small data packages in JSON format.

Invitation

We welcome you to find your temporary home or to rent your place using the free mobile application. Fizbo is available for download in Google Play for Android users and in App Store for iOS users.

A short presentation video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMG9krOf-BY

Sponsors

  • comply advantage
  • ntt data
  • 3PillarGlobal
  • Betfair
  • Telenav
  • Accenture
  • Siemens
  • Bosch
  • FlowTraders
  • MHP
  • Connatix
  • UIPatj
  • MetroSystems
  • Globant
  • Colors in projects