Web Application Development Case Study Lakeland Boating

Background
Lakeland Boating works as a de facto online classified ad for boat owners or those interested in becoming a boat owner. Website users can either browse currently listed boats using the advanced search utility or register for the website and list a boat of their own for sale with an accompanying description.

The website represents the total business and is vital to their success. SYDCON was contacted in collaboration with Monroe Star, who took care of the design aspects of the website while we developed the visual design into a fully functional website.

Objectives
Lakeland Boating wanted a subscription-based online hub for boat sales in the Great Lakes area. They also wanted to offer charter maps of the Great Lakes as retail product on their site. SYDCON was engaged to formulate a plan for the following objectives:

  • Custom program complete E-commerce website with front end design elements and backend admin capabilities
  • Create dual purpose database to display products from current inventory as well as new membership ability to display individual products.
  • Program full-functioning admin capabilities including monitoring, editing, adding and deleting products into a user friendly Custom Content management System (CMS)
  • Develop customer-friendly E-commerce shopping cart
  • Program additional features such as:
    • User Registration
    • Advanced Search Functionality
    • Member area to add or edit ads and update boat information

Methodology
In situations such as these, SYDCON uses the existing scripting language so as to maintain consistency within the website and its programming. Our programmers have extensive experience not only with ColdFusion but other scripting languages as well, achieved through countless projects that utilized various scripting languages.

Our proposal to Lakeland Boating for a functional website with custom design and programming was accepted and the project start date was determined.

SYDCON's development team consisting of 2 programmers took the lead on the project and its aspects:

  • Prepared and discussed client expectations to confirm website initiative
  • Creation of the Content Management System (CMS) using ColdFusion programming language was deployed on a developmental test server
  • The MSSQL Database was imported with product images, descriptions and details. Functionality was created to enable end users to add their "Boats for Sale" to the Lakeland Boating inventory.
  • Configured website to display product database
  • Tied shopping cart to payment gateway system authorize.net via customized programming
  • Pre-launch product & payment processing along with user functionality was thoroughly tested.
  • The website went live on its predetermined launch date.

Technical Approach
This project consisted of ColdFusion, ASP, CSS, and HTML scripting languages to drive user interaction between the website and its database. A MSSQL backend was used to catalogue the boats available for purchase and their descriptions in addition to allowing ongoing members to upload their boat for sale and accompanying description. A limited amount of retail product was also added. The admin panel has full functionality to edit, add or delete data on the website.

Results
Lakeland Boating is satisfied by the success of their new website.

  • The fully functional Lakeland Boating website allows for boat owners to sell or trade their boat while providing an online shopping hub for those interested in buying a boat
  • Site navigation across the informational pages is streamlined and easy as is site registration
  • Non-technical site administrators are able to make changes to the website via the custom-developed Content Management System
  • The website has been effective at providing Chicago-area users an area to display, buy and sell boats
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Our successful work with Lakeland Boating was seen for these reasons:

  • The clear vision of the website's desired end product communicated by the client
  • The ability of Monroe Star to work collaboratively with SYDCON and visually design the website
  • The strength of the development methodology employed by SYDCON and the ability of its development team to perform the tasks necessary for completion

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