Sumary

When it comes to acquiring and revitalizing commercial and industrial properties, the development of residential areas and the privatization of apartments, Reaq Immobilien GmbH hereinafter as Reaq, is undoubtedly one of the biggest competitors in the area of Aachen, Germany.

The success story we bring up today explains how Codegenio’s Team supported Milzer Solutions our technological partner, to achieve the implementation of a complex Web Application for Reaq.

The present article explains how this Web Application was carefully planned and implemented in a matter of 3 months alongside our contractor Milzer Solutions. The assignment basically consisted in creating an app so that Reaq could automate their most important business model, “Acquiring properties, storing information about house owners, reporting and much more”.

Who is Reaq?

REAQ Immobilien GmbH is a company that emerged from its predecessor, Hess und Partner Immobilien GmbH, and has been expanding successfully and steadily over the past 20 years. Initially it started as a pure service provider, but in the following years REAQ became an investor, co-investor and project developer. The main focus is the revitalization of commercial and industrial properties, the development of residential neighborhoods and the privatization of housing. REAQ currently manages more than 3,000 residential units and about 200,000 m² of commercial area. The focus is both on the proactive management of rental agreements and auxiliary costs and on the management of renovation and modernization. In the client’s interest, the objective is always to identify and optimally exploit the potential of the respective property.

The challenges

Even though the numbers speak by themselves, REAQ needed to move to a very powerful system that allowed them to filter all over the city of Aachen and the rest of Germany in order to store, verify, provide, data of owned properties and possible acquisitions. Therefore it was necessary to come up with a system that simplifies the process using the latest trends in technology in the market. For this, they needed a Software Application that at least registered the properties, classified them, and placed them on a map. The system needed also to allow the management of contacts, record the states of each property, upload images associated with the properties, user management and permissions, as well as keeping a rigorous control of what every worker in the company does by having a very detailed report and monitoring tool per user.

Codegenio’s Team in action

The development of the application was led by Milzer Solutions defining the technologies, and carefully controlling the Quality Assurance of the whole process. Codegenio’s participation allowed our partner to rely in our Team to implement most of the solution, adding a great level of trust throughout the process.

Our Team splits these tasks among the team members allowing a progressive advance in each of the development controlled by sprints and based in Atlassian tools like Jira and Confluence to document and control the complete Software Development process, estimate and document the solution properly. Every team member has more than 7 years of experience in software development, which simply allows us to be fast and productive.

The solution was approximately estimated for about 2 months, however, with changing requirements but a solid architecture, we ended up completing the whole work in about 3 months.

Reaquis, the solution

The application’s name was Reaquis which means “Reaquisition software”.

For the implementation we were told what technologies were required to work with, intentionally to gain speed, modularity and ease to change:

  • NodeJs: Development environment used for implementing the application’s backend.
  • Sails.js: Express based framework, which runs under NodeJS.
  • MongoDB: NoSQL database that allows high speed in data management.
  • ExtJS: Framework that allows to create dynamic web interfaces, with a high level of scalability in which our Team is expert.
  • Cloudinary: Cloud service for file storage.
  • Google Maps API: Google library to interact with maps.
  • Google Place Search API: Allows websites and applications to retrieve and display search results from Google Custom Search programmatically.
  • GitHub: The code ocean 🙂
  • Jira: For issue tracking and agile project development.
  • Heroku: Platform used for application hosting/deployment and much more.

The Reaquis code is divided in two parts Frontend and Backend responding to the client server architecture. In the Frontend our partner decided to use Extjs to speed up the implementation with design patterns like MVC and MVMM. Using these architectural patterns allowed the development team greater scalability using clean code and best practices.

The Cloudinary service was used to store the files associated with the properties.

The APIs provided by Google (Google Maps API and Google Place Search API) played also a crucial role allowing the final customer to to search, locate and filter properties on the map.

In the Backend the SailsJs framework was used to implement the server logic, define the models that interacted directly with the database, implement the services of the application, define the configurations and development environments. The use of SailsJs allowed the Codegenio team to develop the Backend effectively because it was easy to maintain, understand and scale.

Reaquis, the final solution, meets the needs of REAQ Company. The application PRD URL is intentionally not shared because this is only used internally by Reaq Company.
The official release of Reaquis is going to be around mid of January 2020 when Reaq workers start testing and using the platform at scale.

Main view of the Reaquis app
Maps module view
Main view to create/edit properties

Conclusion

We consider Reaquis as another success story because it has allowed our Team to again sit together and come up with another solution that meets the customer requirements, that is intuitive, easy to use and was delivered in time as originally estimated with.

The cooperation with our partner Milzer Solutions, allowed our Team to learn more throughout the process with extensive code reviews and productive meetings that helped us to improve, be forced to learn and prepare for future projects.

We also have enjoyed talking to Reaq employees and live their experience together with them. We also made mistakes that turned into a small delay in the project delivery, but bugs should exist so we can make it more fun 🙂 We again put in practice our professionalism, teamwork, and all what we have learned all this years in this product.

We are happy and excited to have been able to implement another Web Application that with the allowance of our Customer and our Partner this can be part of our Portfolio as another successful cooperation.

Thank you for reading!

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