Common Areas is a robust platform that increases teams’ productivity by uniting people, properties, and processes with software tailored to unique multi-location operations. Combining different solutions into one platform, they help their customers manage work across multiple locations, track all equipment and inventory, gather historical data about these assets, manage repairs, and create reliable reports.
When we were approached by the client, they were looking for a development team that specializes in Rappid (later JointJS+) – a JS-based toolkit for building visual tools that could team up with their internal development team. Our first task was to verify if the desired goal, building an interactive space planner, was possible to be achieved with Rappid. After the hypothesis was validated positively with a Proof of Concept, we proceeded with building the actual module for the platform and supporting the client’s team with some other development challenges.
The platform was initially built with Vue.js. In the first phase of the project, our job was to configure Rappid (JointJS+) and then use it to build an additional feature for the platform: a space planner.
In the second phase of the project, we proceeded with the space planner and integrated it with Zapier to let the platform’s users set Zaps to search the databases, get notifications, or create new elements.
Even though the client was looking for a tech partner who specializes in Rappid (JointJS+), they were also considering other tools/technologies (e.g. Draw.io). Our first task was to build a Proof of Concept that would verify whether Rappid was the right technology for this job.
The module of the platform that we were working on was supposed to help users manage their office spaces with all their equipment and inventories. In order to streamline communication between people responsible for different jobs regarding the same properties, we needed to cover different scenarios and let multiple people work on the same project but with different levels of access and different permissions.
Rappid (JointJS+) turned out to be the best choice for the task but it wasn’t able to serve its purpose as requested by the client. In order to make it align with the requirements, we needed to add custom functionality to the library that would display and handle dynamic data between different elements, create new elements based on the data from the database, and track relations between these elements. These features would allow users to configure space plans using different – custom or imported as pictures – elements representing different assets, group them, and work on them simultaneously.
The idea was to use Zapier to let users get notifications and updates about the properties of their interest, search databases, and create new elements by uploading CSV files.
In order to validate the hypothesis of using Rappid (JointJS) to create the space planner module, we ran a quick Proof of Concept. This small project let us confirm that we can achieve the goal with the chosen tech stack before engaging in a long-term commitment. It also let the client see if there was a cultural fit between their in-house team and Neoteric, to get to know our dev team, and test them in combat.
The requested feature was designed to let users plan the location of office furniture and equipment, catalog all the properties, assign them to people responsible for these assets, and set the schedule for all the inspections and maintenance works.
In order to make the planner easy and convenient to use, we added features that allowed users to upload pictures of items (furniture, equipment), draw different elements, or add annotations.
After building a space planner feature utilizing Rappid (JointJS+), we were able to support the client’s team with different challenges that arose during the next phases of the development of the platform. After they implemented Rappid on the Vue.js platform, we helped them develop it further.
Our integration plugin lets users create various Zaps (automated workflows between their apps, consisting of a trigger and an action) to create new elements by uploading CSV files, get notifications and updates about properties of their interest, combine data from different databases, and even send it to external contractors to streamline the fixes and other works related to maintenance of the properties.
With the new space planner, it is easy for its users to manage work across multiple locations, plan the location of all equipment and inventory, track them, and manage the repairs. All these simple adjustments to their work let the teams be more productive and manage their properties more efficiently – regardless of their roles and locations.
Managing the office space is not a job for a one-man army. Thanks to its features, the space planner lets many people from different departments (and sometimes different companies) manage different tasks related to maintenance of the office space – just like the whole Common Areas platform.