Event management platform

Itransition helped Version Two release the extended functionality and improved usability for their event management platform in only 8 months, staying to provide continuous maintenance.

Context

Version Two Ltd. is a UK-based software development company that runs the web-based event management platform Evessio on a global scale. The platform helps clients set up and run awards, conferences, and exhibitions. However, by 2015 it was nothing more than a partially developed website builder that wasn’t ready for general use.

With all the priorities set to their event management platform development, the company was looking to expand the product functionally. Yet, with a good deal of legacy code (primarily Python-based), the platform came to the point where no refinements were possible, while the market posed new demands.

The customer selected Itransition as their technology vendor for our Python expertise, track record of successfully delivered web-based platform projects and offering full-cycle custom software development, spanning requirements analysis, design, implementation, QA, and support.

Solution

We started with the product competitiveness analysis, where we helped the customer to draw up the roadmap and prioritize features for further event management software development.

We performed the code review to find out that the majority of the platform bottlenecks were caused by the outdated version of Python used during the initial development. That is why we proposed rebuilding the platform to make it available on mobile devices as well, thus ensuring a smooth and consistent cross-platform user experience. We also took care of the project documentation by summarizing the software requirements and creating a detailed functional specification.

We performed the code review to find out that the majority of the platform bottlenecks were caused by the outdated version of Python used during the initial development. That is why we proposed rebuilding the platform to make it available on mobile devices as well, thus ensuring a smooth and consistent cross-platform user experience. We also took care of the project documentation by summarizing the software requirements and creating a detailed functional specification.

Evessio: A Functional Overview

Itransition was instrumental in redesigning and expanding the Evessio platform. Now, Evessio is known as a self-service custom event management software consisting of four modules:

  • Evessio Awards
  • Evessio Conferences
  • Evessio Exhibitions
  • Evessio DNA

All the modules can be combined to create the required functional blend.

Evessio modules

Evessio helps event organizers to create their event website from scratch in four quick steps:

  • Adding an event name
  • Choosing a theme
  • Cloning old content in case of recurrent events or adding content later
  • Marking the timeline and launching the website

    Event managers can invite speakers to complete their profiles, register delegates, manage schedules and agendas, arrange delegates’ networking, plan guest and table allocation, gather reports, manage revenue and transactions. We also added the feature for event managers to adjust colors and fonts to match their corporate branding guidelines.

    The platform offers the award management features for inviting judges and securing private judging spaces, setting up categories and questions quickly, managing nominations, collecting feedback, creating lists of winners, and more.

    Apart from migrating the original features to a newer Python version, Itransition extended the functional scope of this custom event management software through:

    • Integration with Worldpay, PayPal, Barclaycard ePDQ, Sage Pay, SmartPay, Stripe, First Data, and Flywire payment systems
    • Integration with Amazon services (S3 to store all types of objects, SES to send messages from Evessio, SNS to notify end users)
    • Transactional and financial data management modules
    • An on-demand reporting module for exporting files in CSV and XLSX formats and uploading them as FTP/SFTP files
    • An awards judgment module with scoring and voting features

    Itransition’s team implemented the platform’s frontend as a single page application on AngularJS, to ensure the platform works flawlessly across all devices.

    Architecture

    Itransition chose Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) for the network infrastructure, as it provides advanced security, scalability, multiple connectivity options, and easy launch and support.

    The solution was deployed with two types of VPC for different purposes:

    • VPC Live to run the application
    • VPC Stage to build and test it
      Evessio architecture

      Either VPC includes three subnets in different Availability Zones (AZ) with routes between each other. We also utilized the following development tools:

      • An HAProxy cluster that offloads SSL certificates to guarantee the solution’s high availability and fault tolerance as well as provide secure authentication for event organizers’ websites.
      • AWS Elastic Beanstalk to help the customer deploy Evessio and scale it up while automating deployment, including capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling, as well as application health monitoring.
      • AWS Elastic Load Balancer to distribute incoming application traffic across multiple instances in multiple AZs, thus increasing the platform’s fault tolerance.
      • Amazon Aurora managed by Relational Database Service (RDS), as it shows a greater performance than typical MySQL or PostgreSQL databases along with being more cost-effective and supporting automated administration.
      • The Redis in-memory data store to decrease data access latency, increase throughput, and take the load off the Amazon Aurora database. Redis supports more operations and shows faster response time than disk-based databases.
      • The AWS Elastic Beanstalk environment maintenance page to monitor the platform’s operation.

      QA & Testing

      We performed QA & testing iteratively throughout the entire development lifecycle to identify and fix issues promptly and contribute to the overall quality of this custom event management software.

      Our QA team completed the following tasks:

      • Requirements testing to assess if the outlined requirements were feasible and the expected development effort and costs realistic.
      • Functional testing to check if the developed features corresponded to the ones specified in the validated requirements.
      • Graphical user interface testing to make sure that the delivered GUI functioned as intended and its components were uniform across the entire solution.
      • Mobile testing to make sure that end users could access the solution from any mobile device and use it painlessly.
      • Cross-browser testing to evaluate the application performance in frequently used browsers.
      • Security testing to validate the cybersecurity protection of the integrations with the above-mentioned payment systems.
      • Performance testing to check if the implemented modules showed stable operation under stress conditions (heavy data flows, increased number of simultaneous users, network issues, etc.).

      Results

      Itransition helped Version Two to develop their online event management platform Evessio from the embryonic stage up to a fully functioning product. The solution enables event organizers to manage their events, tickets, awards, judging, exhibitions, and all the related communication and content in a single application while saving their time and effort on building event websites from scratch.

      While delivering event management software development, Itransition has decreased the turnaround time down to just 8 months from the project launch to the first release. The logic and architecture of the redesigned platform now allow the customer to further extend its functionality as needed without any engineering overhead.

      So far, the Evessio platform has supported various events organized across many industries and geographies, including South America, China, and the UK.