A web-based system for managing a home search company.
In 2004, Eclipse helped start up a new company, Home Hunt UK. They provided a service whereby they search for suitable homes to meet the requirements of busy executive clients lacking the proximity or availability to search properly themselves. I built a web-based application allowing the HHUK to work via the web, avoiding costly hardware and software fees.
After a year, the client made the decision to re-launch the business as Hanlys, and I took the project on personally, outside of Eclipse. The system was rebuilt from scratch in PHP 4 and MySQL, building on lessons learned from the experience of the previous year. Hanlys expanded to become a national operation, licensing regions to licensees. All licensees worked through the central web server, using the online system, managed centrally by the head of the company.
The application was made up of two sections:
- The Control System allowed the company head to define all options available to the licensee in the Licensee System. It also controlled all licensee accounts within the system, including setting up new regional licensees and their employees.
- The Licensee System allowed the licensee to add/remove/edit properties, clients, estate agents, and local facilities. They could also define local areas by postcode and then populate these with the above data types. The system matched clients with properties meeting their requirements, which the licensee then sorted manually, for the personal touch, before sending an automated email to the client. They could also send the client information on the area based upon the database.
Apache was configured on a new web server with SSL. Several databases were designed and then constructed in MySQL. Secure administration areas were then defined, and all the above systems were created in PHP.
After a few years, the owner of Hanlys, Alison, left the UK and sold the company to a licensee.
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