Why Meteor Js Platform Should Scare Any Technology Company!

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How much money do you think has been spent building Tinder?

How much time do you think it has taken Tinder to built their app?

How many lines of code do you think were in version 1, let alone in the version that’s live today?

I am sure by now the bill is into the millions however what is scary is that a clone can be created with 150 lines of code when you use the Meteor framework.

Yes you are reading that right 150 line not 15,000 or 150,000 just 150!

A clone of Tinder can be created in 150 lines of code

What is even more interesting for those that want a Tinder style interface there are FREE lessons on how to create your own Tinder style inference with Meteor here https://medium.com/@SamCorcos/meteor-react-ionic-mobile-app-part-6-tinder-transitions-72814b5b419a. So if this is something that excites you check out the detailed step by step guide. (This lesson is not but but well worth reading if you want to know how)

But if you are saying great but what does this mean for me? 

This means that due to the advancements in Javascript software platforms like Meteor you can do more with less with app development and software dev than ever before.

We are finding that on most projects One MeteorNerd can handle the tasks of 3 developers in comparison to when we used other platforms. We are not losing time on projects and actually gaining time. Meteor is allowing us to create truly intelligent and interactive apps like never before.

Let me put this into context for you:

  1. We have created MVP’s in 21 days. That means from IDEA to finished MVP code in 3 weeks!
  2. We have launched saleable products in 30 days! Correct started with idea and built it to be selling within 30 days including the front end site, server and great functionality.
  3. We have launched advanced CRM’s in 90 days! Talk about a massive project any type of Customer Relationship Management is like eating an elephant with chopsticks. 

So if you are looking to launch your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) you should really assess Meteor as the platform to allow you to do this. It will allow you to create and test your MVP while also giving you the base foundation of your platform to continue development when you are ready.

There is nothing worse than having to throw away your MVP code base because you are moving to a better or the real platform. What a waste of time, energy and momentum. What is most important in your startup is momentum.

What does this say about Meteor Platform?

This Tinder Clone example showcases several factors about meteor and why you would want to use it as the platform of choice for your startup, but let me expand on some of these items in more detail.

  1. 150 lines of code to create more than an MVP. Not just the MVP but the working foundation of your swipe controls is impressive. So this means the speed at which you can develop is scary fast. It does require you to think outside the box, but this results in amazing solutions. I know from our own experience how have been able to create MVP’s and even complete sale-able products in less than 30 days always amazes our team of MeteorNerds.
  2. You need developers skilled in Javascript and from this foundation they can adapt Meteor platform quickly. This means that it is easy to find developers along with onboard new developers when you need to expand your talent pool. Plus there are many resources available for developers. Yes some resources are free and others are paid but the resources available and the community available to help you fast track your knowledge is nothing short of amazing.
  3. Mobile Compatibility and ability to publish “Native Like” apps for IOS, Android and Windows devices. Regardless of your tech venture at some point you will need to assess how you are going to leverage Mobile Apps. This alone can cause you many sleepless nights do you the tech burden and support burden this will place on your team. However now with Meteor + Cordova and the other Meteor + integrations this does not need to be the case anymore. So this will allow you to sleep peacefully again which is every entrepreneur’s dream.

Lets Talk Mobile Apps for a Minute…

I will try not to make this a rant about the challenge of mobile app development  but hit some of the key points you should assess before you write a line of code. Hindsight is 20/20 and these are some of the things I wish someone told me before we started building mobile apps.

Platforms like Meteor are close to 100% mobile compatible. This allows for easy integration of packages for full mobile apps with 1 developer who can publish quality apps to IOS and Android in hours and not days or weeks. Anyone who has published apps to IOS and Android understands that this is a minefield of issues. From compatibility to different code variations for the different devices. What Meteor allows is you to use ONE code base to control everything. This is the “holy grail” of software development, one code base for to control all your software.

Don’t get me wrong I am not saying using Meteor + Cordova is a perfect solution right now for mobile app publishing but you know what, it is certainly better than a lot of the other alternatives out there. There is even the benefits of the hot pushes to Apple Itunes without having to submit another update approval to Apple. When you are developing software be it desktop or mobile speed matters. And I would rather have speed at times than 100% perfect.

There is nothing like scaring your competitors by pushing a new feature before they do, and yes sometimes you need to push updates and fixes but that has now become ok and part of life. But what Meteor allows you to do with mobile apps is to publish these updates without approval via the Javascript updates. So check this out, I know in the past we have lost a great deal of revenue and opportunity from apps due to having to wait for Apple to approve and update, or they had questions about an update which caused even further delay. If we were using Meteor + Cordova we would have been able to push the updates without the Apple approvals. This means we can push core updated to Apple to improve and continue to push and update the dates using the Javascript push instead.

Some people complain about “Non Native apps”. Well I now think that this statement is CRAP! That’s right I am taking a position on this one and consumers can no longer tell the difference between a Cordova apps and native app functionality. The speed issue is no longer an issue with the advancements platforms. But also the fact that functionality of these Cordova or other cross platform apps rival the full functionality of native apps without the headache of maintenance is a big deal. But I will save this debate for another post. 

Why “Faux Web Apps” are Stupid and Are not helping your business!

One last point about these Crappy Web Apps Builders or what they call “Faux App” these apps are stupid. This is what many consultants sell to business owners who promise that their customers are searching the App stores for their business. mmm I call B.S on that one.  These apps have limited to no functionality at all. They provide users with a feed from your website and are providing no more than a mobile website to users. At best they may have a loyalty program but that is it. Usually this program is not integrated to the ecommerce or website version, nor is it connected to the stores Point of Sale (POS) so it really becomes limited.

These are the types of apps that consumers install once and NEVER LOAD AGAIN! So what is the point. If your users are not going to load your app again what are you been building your app for. You need to ask what would really help my users and make them want to use my app rather than the 50 other apps. This is the line of questions that result in you creating someone powerful for you business and to engage your customers which results in increased sales. These “Faux App” are never intended to create engagement let alone any peer to peer social interaction.

Time or Embrace the Change!

I have been sharing Meteor with hundreds of developers from around the world and with enterprise level CTO’s and the response is hesitant at first and then they start to play with it and really assess it. Then it happens… they have other developers on their team start to breathe a deep breathe and you start to hear these words “WOW” or “Damn”.  This results in a big glass of koolaid being consumed and their eyes opening to the possibility of those projects that they want to complete but aren’t priority getting knocked out this calendar year.

You might see a T-shirt created soon that says “I Converted” because this is what happens. Regardless of the developer from Ruby, Python, PHP and those beyond the grave it is happening.

What excites me most about what platforms like Meteor make possible for companies is momentum. This means forward momentum for these companies and that is honestly what technology platforms are meant to provide. Rather than this circle or sideways dances that seem to happen when you start dealing with technology projects.

So if you are ready to truly start seeing the what’s possible and clearing your plate of those projects or app ideas piled up on your desk. Check out Meteor.com or speak to one of our MeteorNerds.com and we will be happy to assess your project and show you whats possible.

Top Tools for Meteor Developers

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Every developer needs to their tool chest and Meteor JS is no different.

One of the nice things about meteor is that the developer community is coming together to create an amazing set of tools that helps developers of any skill level. From beginner to pro there are some tools here that will help you get the job done.

Make sure you post your comments below if you have any other tools or recommendations. 

IDE Tools

Sublime Text 3

This is a repository with a package for the Sublime Text 3 editor. By running a customized version of Tern.js, this package provides an autocompletion option for developing Meteor applications in JavaScript.

Slava_tern-meteor-sublime

 

JetBrains by Webstorm

WebStorm integrates with Meteor to provide automatic recognition of Meteor projects, automatic library attachment, syntax highlighting, code completion, resolving references and other coding assistance, running and debugging of server/client apps.

WebStorm__The_Smartest_JavaScript_IDE

Atom

Atom ecosystem has several packages to assist Meteor development. The Meteor API provides grammar/syntax highlighting, code snippets, and autocomplete. Launching/killing of Meteor within Atom can be done through Meteor Helper.

Atom

Cloud 9

Cloud 9 is a popular cloud based IDE. It has a Meteor workspace where a Meteor project can be set up without having to configure anything i.e. just two clicks to build the next awesome app.

Meteor_·_Cloud9

 

Testing Tools

Kadira

Kadira_-_Performance_Monitoring_Platform_for_Meteor

Velocity 

The reactive test-runner for Meteor. Velocity is a community as well as a testing framework that allows for common testing components to be shared across different testing frameworks. The packages include: Mocha, Jasmine, Cucumber, Casper, and Robot.

imgres

Resources

MeteorKitchen

“Meteor Kitchen” is a code generator for Meteor.js. Just describe your application in a simple JSON file (or use kitchen-GUI) and let meteor-kitchen build a complete Meteor application for you with all of the following:

  • Directory structure
  • Router and route controllers
  • Collections (pubs & subs)
  • Layout
  • Pages (with content)
  • Menus
  • Forms (with validations)
  • DataViews (components you can use to show data from collections with search & sort functions)

And more: in addition to built-in components you can write your own plugins in javascript and expand the generator to infinity!

Meteor_Kitchen

 

Meteor.Toys

Meteor Toys were designed to respect your development environment.

1) debugOnly
Meteor Toys are a ‘debugOnly’ package. ‘debugOnly’ packages do not compile into production code.

2) Quiet
With the exception of a few Session variables that are set on start-up, no process runs until you activate it.

3) Namespaced
Every CSS class, method, and exported JavaScript variable begins with either Mongol, JetSetter, or MeteorToys.

meteor.toys_

 

Learn Meteor – The JavaScript app platform offers almost everything for a pure JavaScript development, and create apps that are delighting and faster than ever. There are more and more plugins aka packages showing up everyday on Atmospherejs.com along with Github and some of the other repos online. So it is always worth doing a google search to see what tools or code examples you can find first.

Are you also A Meteor geek? Or just a newbie developer and yet have anything to add to this list? Feel free to post your thoughts in comments section below. The list of tools for any Meteor developer is always changes and we will be updating this list from time to time.

 

What framework should I choose to build a web app?

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There are many platform options when building an application now days that this decision alone can determine success or failure. How does this decision alone determine success or failure well here are some answer..

  1. Getting access to quality developers who can product clean, useable, scaleable code at times can be a challenge. Yes there is always the cheap developers from various countries but I am a big believer in you get what you pay for. And I have witnessed first hand what cheaper is not always better when it takes months longer to create what you want, along with the issue of it just not being clean code another developer can pick up and continue to work with.
  2. Be careful of the work “Refactor” if you are continually having to refactor your code this means you have bigger issues that need to be resolved like code architecture.
  3. What does it take for the code to work on mobile? Yes that’s right your code will be accessed from mobile devices and different screen sizes so how are you going to cater for this? What do you have to do to allow and facilitate this user experience? Just saying we will deal with mobile later is NOT a viable solution. This can mean bigger more costly challenges are headed your way.
  4. What is your access to developer talent? What are the skills you have available and how current and open are they to the trends in the industry. This alone will INFLUENCE your decisions and as a result may not be for the better. If your only tool is a hammer you treat the world like nails and this is not what you want in todays technology world.
  5. How are you learning about your app’s needs? Do you know the needs of the users? How will your users be using the app or software you are creating? Is it standalone what about offline mode. Yes, offline mode does happen and don’t take it for granted that  you have a reliable internet connection, or unlimited data plan because end users may not.
  6. How big will your app be? How many users online accessing data in real-time? Do you even have a real-time data need?

These are just some of the questions you need to answer as you choose a platform but I can tell you that choosing Meteor has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. But the question remains…

What technology stack should you use to build a new web application?

Python + JavaScript?
Ruby on Rails + JavaScript?
PHP + …
Node.Js
C+
Swift
Html5
And so on – the choice was never easy. But for those that are paying attention the choice is getting easier for many of the reasons I will highlight in this post.

Why it should be at least Javascript based:

JavaScript is the universal scripting language in browsers. This means that any modern web application will need JavaScript on the client. Why not use JavaScript on the backend as well then? This would save time and build expertise – a front-end developer can work on the backend comfortably, and they don’t have to switch context between Ruby/Python/Java/PHP/whatnot and JavaScript. “One language – everywhere.”

As of 2015, “JavaScript everywhere” is (too slowly, some might say), becoming the de-facto standard for building web apps. The “MEAN” stack (MongoDB, Express, AngularJS, Node.js) is highly popular, and knowledge of AngularJS is listed as a requirement in many job descriptions.

JS_stack_solutions

What are we left with for the server-side then? Actually, why not look at an integrated, client-server, full-stack solution?

There is an ever growing list of such full-stack JavaScript frameworks Derby, Wakanda, Meteor. The one with the largest momentum is, indubitably, Meteor.

Largest momentum? What do you mean… well check this out:

The business case for Meteor

For a more indepth discussion about why Meteor check out the post by Dan Dascalescu here.

Meteor is an open-source, production-ready, real-time, and cross-platform web application framework built on top of proven technology, that allows for very rapid prototyping and produces cross-platform (web, Android, iOS) code. Rather than being minimalistic, it offers a lot out of the box, while working with other technologies in the ecosystem. A Tinder-like application has been built from scratch with Meteor in 6 weeks, several startups built with Meteor have already been acquired, and the number of companies using Meteor is growing.

Meteor Development Group has received $11.2M in funding from the prestigious venture capital firm Andressen Horowitz, who has also invested in Twitter, Airbnb, and Foursquare. Founded in 2011, Meteor was a startup incubated by YCombinator, the most successful startup incubator. Meteor founders and early employees include former Googlers, early employees at Asana, and the creator of Etherpad.

Investing in Meteor is indisputably worth it, given the framework’s developer base and momentum. Around November 2014, version v1.0 was launched on Oct 28, Meteor surpassed 21,000 stars on Nov 1st, becoming the 11th most starred project on GitHub, and over 4000 developers from 130+ cities in 40 countries gathered in person on November 6, 2014 to celebrate Meteor Day.

mNm6UOV

By contrast, the next most popular full-stack JavaScript framework, Derby.js, has 1/10th the footprint on StackOverflow, GitHub and Quora. Another worthwhile contender, AngularJS (albeit for the front-end only), is being radically revamped in the upcoming 2.0 version, and “users will need to get to grips with a new kind of architecture. It’s also been confirmed that there will be no migration path from Angular 1.X to 2.0“. Moreover, the consensus seems to be that Angular 2 won’t really be ready for use until a year or two from now.

“Meteor is what we should have built in 1994 at Netscape”
— Marc Andreessen, co-founder Netscape, Ning, Andreessen Horowitz

What makes Meteor easy to learn

  • Meteor was designed to be easy to learn, including by beginners. One of the seven principles of Meteor is “Simplicity equals productivity.”
  • Meteor has been called “embarrassingly easy to learn” when compared to AngularJS, which was characterized as being a set of “band-aids over self-inflicted wounds“.
  • JavaScript everywhere – on the server (Node.js, Underscore) and on the client (jQuery). You only need to know one language.
  • Same MongoDB interface on the client as well as the server (no need to learn some new model code), via an in-memory MiniMongo instance
  • No esoteric concepts (unlike Angular), clear documentation, well-established coding conventions, and a shallow learning curve. A simple chat app can be built by someone familiar with JavaScript in about an hour.
  • Meteor gets you to your first live deployed web app right away. For beginners, having your own tangible project to hack on is hugely motivating, and that makes you much more likely to succeed in your goal of becoming a developer.
  • There is one book unanimously acknowledged as the best for learning Meteor: Discover Meteor, by the authors of many Meteor packages, including the package repository itself, Atmosphere.

Mobile support

Mobile apps can be generated from the same codebase, usging PhoneGap/Cordova. An app built with Meteor + Cordova + Famo.us has real-time data capabilities, while being cross-platform and native-feeling. Deploying a simple chat app to iOS takes about an hour.

Ecosystem

Atmosphere, Meteor’s package repository, holds about 4,000 packages. Meteor canalso use any of the more than 115,000 packaged modules in the Node.js ecosystem.

This makes Meteor a much richer framework than Backbone, which expressly states that, “You can read and understand the source of in an afternoon.”

Case in point – while a login system with support for OAuth via Facebook, Twitter or GitHub requires several hundreds of lines of code with Angular, in Meteor all you have to do is add one core package and specify where to place the login button. Password reset is included. Even with the most popular token login package, OAuth is far from simple with Angular.

Does Meteor Scale?

This seems to be one of the hottest questions that people are asking right now about Meteor and the answer is yes it scales and we have not had any issues with our deployments to date.

For a great post about “Does Meteor scale” visit MeteorHacks for a more indepth discussion.

But here is some of the initial logic that answers this question that Meteor certainly does scale.

  1. Meteor is built on top of Node.js and MongoDB. Node is notoriously scalable – 1 million concurrent connections laughs at C10K and in raw terms, Node is faster than PHP. PayPal rewrote with Node.js their account overview page, one of the most trafficked apps on the website and formerly written in Java. The result: double the requests per second, 35% decrease in the average response time, and built almost twice as fast thanks to engineers being able to work full-stack in JavaScript. IBM wrote a white paper on highly scalable Node.js apps. Node is used at Yahoo!, eBay, Dow Jones, Microsoft, Uber, LinkedIn and other large companies.MongoDB is also highly scalable – used to store petabytes of data and perform billions of operations daily at eBay, FIFA, Adobe, Craigslist, McAffee, Foursquare and others.
  2. Meteor is most often used for new (“greenfield”) projects. These typically have users in the hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands. By the time your new web app will reach a million users, you’ll have resources to scale, and Meteor will have been optimized even further. For example, in December 2013, Meteor 0.7.0 introduced oplog tailing, a MongoDB driver which watches queries much more efficiently, without requerying the database on each update. Subscriptions that before took seconds to return data, now take under 30ms. Then in February 2015, MongoDB launched version 3.0, which brings 7-10x better write performance and an 80% reduction in storage by using compression. Meteor support landed in March 2015, along with a 10x Meteor speedup for write operations applicable to any version of Mongo.

DisputeCRM CaseStudy – Creating a Meteor CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Application in 90 days!

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This is a client case study of a project that MeteorNerds delivered solutions for in creating a Custom Customer Relationship Management System built from scratch with Meteor. The timeline to deliver the MVP was 90 days. The MVP resulted in being delivered within 60 days and a production version was delivered in 90 days that allowed the client to transition from their old systems to DisputeCRM.

The FIRST Fully Functional Meteor JS CRM that is available to be customized to business. From Lead to client management to digital document signing, email marketing, ecommerce, document management and tracking completed with a Learning Management system and unlimited affiliate/reseller program this projected resulted in more than just a Meteor CRM. We have created a platform that can run any business from any device anywhere in the world.

Our future plans are to expand the functionality of the CRM by adding a Point of Sale (POS) solution and along with expanding the already API integrations to over 400+ software applications.

Client Background:

The client is in the USA financial services industry and is using seven (7) different software solutions to operate their business. Even though this client is a $3 Million dollar a year business they are experiencing growth challenges due to their systems. One of the challenges is that none of their systems communicate with each other creating workflow and reporting issues making it difficult to know the real time business position. The result of this is that the business is very reactive rather than proactive in the day to day operations.

Some of the clients software solutions are also starting to fail. They are experiencing increased downtime, lost data and general system performance issues due to the size of their business but also due to the reliance on systems that are outside the companies control. This has left the client in the position of having to do something or continue to suffer data lose which costs them $100,000’s each time the data lose occurs.

One big concern this client had going into this project is that custom software scares them. They have developers on staff who are already overwhelmed with the backlog of tasks and have started many custom software projects only to not complete them or result in having to shelve the project. They are not waiting this to occur again.

MeteorNerds was able to structure and agreement that put the deliverables of this product based on performance and meeting the predefined milestones. Due to the nature of the project and the experience of the MeteorNerd team we were able to exceed the clients expectations. The client actually doubted that we would deliver the MVP within 90 days and yet when we delivered the finished MVP in 60 it took them a week to accept we achieved the milestone.

The MeteorNerd team presented a demonstration of features every week to the client and outlined the intended goals for the following week every Friday. This allowed the client to have real-time input into the progress of the development schedule.

The Client also has the ability to sell this software once the a production version is ready to other parties who would rather pay for a SAS solution rather than experience the burden of custom software development. Part of this project architecture required building the multi-tenant solution to allow for an SAS offering.

The MVP and version 1.0 have successfully on-boarded paying clients for the DisputeCRM SAS version.

Project Scope:

(This may seem like a lot but we have a good team of Nerds that were able to attack this project and since we had the momentum we continued to build this out to make the best possible solution for our clients industry for which we have already started receiving industry wide recognition for the solution created)

The scope of this project included building out the following elements within the Meteor JS Framework:

  • Digital Document Signing – To work on any device from desktop to tablet to smart phone
  • Webforms – To allow for the submission of leads via websites
  • API- To allow of the integration of other vendors or solutions. Providing growth and expansion of the system. Our team took this one step further by integrating with Zapier to allow for over 400+ API integrations out of the box.
  • Lead Management – The ability to track leads, lead source and move them to a paying client
    • Ability to Send Email.
    • Ability to Track Phone Calls, Messages, Notes.
    • Provide leads with access to training portal for Marketing Materials.
    • Lead Document Management
    • Allow for Affiliates or referral partners to submit leads.
    • Track what lead become paying clients and track the associated commissions payable.
  • Client Management
    • Client Hangout (Portal) – Ability for Client to update and track the progress of their file in real-time along with submit and track communication with their file managers.
      • Clients can submit documents via taking photos via their phone.
    • Client Record Management – Make sure all information is up to date on file.
    • Using letter Templates to create letters to based on clients matters.
    • Track letter responses.
    • Track email communication between client.
    • Rewards system allowing client to refer friends.
  • Ecommerce – Ability to process sales via the merchant API’s
  • Affiliate Tracking – This allows for the tracking of who referred the client and payout of the associated commissions for these sales.
  • Affilate / Reseller Hangout (Portal)
    • Secure area for the different resellers to become educated via the Learning Management System along with access their marketing and promotional resources.
    • In this area the clients and submit leads, track clients progress in real-time from within the hangout.
  • Email Marketing – We make use of 3 transactional email systems to provide redundancy for email sending but to allow leads to be communicated via one service and clients via another. This is to increase the deliverability rates and allows for our team to leverage the best transactional email solutions in the world rather than trying to build our own SMTP servers to deliver email.
  • Access Controls based on user roles.

Why did we select meteor?

MeteorNerds recommended the meteor framework based on the reactivity of the system along with the speed in which development could occur. The solution needed to be 100% multi-platform and mobile compatible from the beginning and needed to handle large data very well. Based on these needs and the requirements to be able to build this system quickly due to the competitors in this industry Meteor was presented as one of the most viable solutions.

As a result the MeteorNerds Code Library for Meteor JS Framework is not extensive with many of the elements of this project becoming packages that can be used in any type of project in the future.

How We Did It:

The first thing we did with defining this Minimum Viable Product (MVP) was to define what were the must have features that allowed the client to still operate their business in the new system. Once this was completed we understand that it was mainly about Client Data collection, letter tracking and template letter creation. Based on this our team was able to prioritize the functionality that was needed to be built. The concept was that if the clients other software crashed tomorrow what would they need in the new system to allow them to at least do their job and still bill clients to continue their business.

This was time well spent because when we spoke with sales people they listed 20 features of the system that they thought people would want and need however when it came down to the daily must have operational requirements the feature list was vastly different.

One of the main parts of the system was the letter creation logic and determining that there was over 90 templates for letters with the various logic for the variables used within these letters that are created. This resulted in creating AI like letter creation based on the input options selected during setup. This resulted in the client being able to transition 2 staff to other fulfillment positions within the company, since the DisputeCRM automates the transition of Leads to clients within one system.

One of the things we wanted to focus on with this project was to spend more time on functionality rather than design. So we made the decision to use the UI elements from a design template and make use of all the available UX and UI elements of the provided template. This made us keep things simple and focus on functionality first within the parameters of the template.

This was also a $18 design decision and allowed is to move rapidly forward with building out the functionality. We did not waste time on complicated UI design due to the template. We used this template https://wrapbootstrap.com/theme/neuboard-responsive-admin-angularjs-WB0M35410

NeuBoard_-_Responsive_Admin___AngularJS___Admin___Dashboards___WrapBootstrap_-_Bootstrap_Themes___Templates

One of the cool things about this template was that there was a Meteor version which made it even easier for us to install and create a good looking User Interface. The user interface is certainly something that the customers of the SAS solution are looking for along with users of the system itself. Even though we will be doing a lot more work on the UI over the next few months it has certainly been good enough to make people want to buy access to the system.

Here is what the system looks like due to this template:

screenshots2

screenshots_client_management

devices_reject_accept

As you will notice we have been able to improve the system user experience by color coding the progress of leads and clients based on their current file status. These and other simple visual cues are helping processors understand what need to happen on the file much faster when clients are on the phone.

Our team has started to implement some of the gamification elements like points, badges, leaderboards, virtual currency, rewards system and several other game mechanics. It helps that one of the nerds of MeteorNerds is “Mr Gamification” a gamification and engagement strategist. This has helped in many ways during development to create a system that people want to use and enjoy using.

Where the MeteorNerds spent their time was focused on building out user work flows and wireframes for the project along with the relevant logic associated with such daily tasks. One of the benefits of our client already using 7 systems was that there was a lot of options available for workflow logic. But the realization was made that this was not also a good thing. Why?

Because the client had created work processes around what the software required rather than the ideal workflow. With this in mind there was a lot of strategy sessions with the clients different staff members asking them what would be the ideal way to complete this tasks. And if you could have a dream system what would it do and how would it do it?

“…massive productivity gains for the company…”

This resulted in some massive productivity gains for the company and it is estimated that currently that DisputeCRM is providing our clients staff with an additional one (1) hour of productivity due to how the system work flow was implemented. Rather than asking the client to do things multiple times or require data to be entered in various systems we were able to create complete workflows from lead to sale to fulfillment and file closing.

How the Meteor Platform has shined in this project..

Two of the workflows that the client had a difficult time with in the other systems was;

1. Allow clients to see the progress/ status of their file.

2. Assigning tasks to the clients to complete and speed up the process of collecting documents from clients.

This is how we solved both of these challenges with meteor which has resulted in one of the main selling benefits of DisputeCRM.

We needed to be able to allow for clients to access a secure area which we called a hangout but you could call it a members area or portal page where the client would have the REALTIME status of their file along with the ability to upload files instantly to their account. It is always a challenge to get end users to log into their portal so we made this easier with the Social Login packages.

But one of the impressive elements is how the data updates within the CRM and the hangout in real time without being refreshing the browser. This has impressed the clients and users when they are on the phone with clients and they ask end users to upload a document and it instantly shows on the screen of the Phone Operator to validate. This alone has saved much back and forth between processing staff and the clients. It is a simple thing but not having to wait for the databases to populate along with the real time reactivity of meteor is making Meteor a powerful advancement in CRM platforms.

When clients log into their Hangout they are able to see in real time the status of their files and submit support tickets and emails directly to their file managers. We will soon be adding the live chat functionality to make it even easier to communicate between client and file handler.

A similar challenge was experienced by the resellers and affiliates who wanted to be able to see the real-time status of their clients files, along with their pending commissions. One of the challenges with paying sales commissions is dealing with refunds, charge backs or bounced payments and with the speed in which DisputeCRM recognizes these transactions is impressive. This alone is helping the business owners provide their resellers with more accurate reporting of their sales ledgers.

One of the Challenges of using Meteor…

One of the challenges that the Nerds had to deal with was that not all packages were viable to use in this project. So our team had to spend time to create packages for this project that would be viable short and long term. There was many times we were chasing buts within packages and getting them to be fully viable. This is a challenge because we needed to factor in additional time for this.

However with this challenge it also creates extensive opportunity since we have been able to now create our own impressive code library complete with advanced affiliate commission programs and email marketing solutions. So rather than being able to just pull a log of package from Atmospherejs we had to assess what we could and could not use. And if there was any conflict in other parts of the system. As the code based started to get larger this testing and continued testing has taken on a life of it’s own. But this complaint is not a bad thing it is just something you need to factor into your development but the reality is it may not take that much longer anyway and Meteor is certainly faster to build in than other platforms.

How does the system handle as we are scaling?

We are using the AWS EC2 server network (Amazon) and we have not had any issues with that at this point in time. The speed and reliability has been extremely good to date.

Some of the clients in DisputeCRM have over 9,000 client records with hundreds of data fields per client with attachments of various file types. We are using the EC2 instance along with the Amazon S3 for File storage and the responsiveness of DisputeCRM has amazed all users to date. We have been trying to push the system to it’s max and at this point have not been able to cause the system to crash or fail even though it is on a medium size instance.

We are running backups every 15 mins to protect the data and even though we have users and clients of the system who are accessing across the USA we have not had any complaints to date. We have plans to increase the instance size along with expanding the Scaleability options leveraging some of the other Amazon options.

With any project we have learnt a lot about the platform and we are more in love with developing for Meteor than ever before so this is a good thing. The output of even one developer has been impressive and comparable to using 3 developers for some of the other systems we have created in the paste.

As we start to push DisputeCRM to the mobile devices using Cordova we are optimistic about the future opportunities that are going to be created because of what we achieved with DisputeCRM and creating an impressive Meteor Package Code Library with several developers just grinding out for 90 days.

Discover Meteor Basics

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Here is a great video by the Meteor Team that explains the basics of meteor and why you should be seriously assessing the meteor platform for your projects.

Since making the switch to Meteor our team has been able to product code faster than ever before. One of the best examples that we have is the DisputeCRM solution www.DisputeCRM.com our team was able to create and launch a complete Customer Relationship Management plus billing and workflow management system for a multi-million dollar company to transition from their existing 7 software applications to the one system DisputeCRM within 90 days. From start to Transitioning a company to replace their existing systems in 4 months.

Yes our team continues to build out the features of DisputeCRM however the speed in which these features are rolling out is impressive. For more information make sure you check out DisputeCRM CaseStudy – Creating a Meteor CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Application in 90 days!

There is pro’s and con’s of developing with Meteor but one thing is clear. The Meteor Framework is certainly a game changer for how software is designs and coded, and worth paying attention too.