Planning a visit to Milan?

23 Jul

Technologies: Ruby on Rails, MySQL, JavaScript, XHTML/CSS, Cross Browser Compatibility, SEO

Industry: RealEstate

Web site:

I’ve been postponing further writings about my projects due to many obligations form professional and private sides, and I thought it would be an interesting place to start with this project since it’s being in the queue again.

My client is an entrepreneur based in Milan, who runs a business of renting apartments of various qualities in order to accommodate various clients. To elaborate on that, he offers a full span of apartments from more affordable ones in suburbs of Milan to a bit more pricey ones in the very hearth of Milan. Further more, even the pricey ones are in the affordable price range, especially in this period when tourism in Milan is definitely off season.  A powerful administrative panel allows him to set a span of dates over which he may choose how to manipulate the price. This works in such a way that he sets the base price for the apartment, while the rate-seasoning feature automatically updates the price by percentage and by date. For example, if he wants to set the price for Duomo for the month of August, all he needs to do is to choose in the calendar dates from the 1st of August to the 31st of August, and to select the  percentage by which the price will be manipulated. The calendar in the interface will then color the dates in the calendar by the color code of that percentage, so he can easily see which days are altered by which percent of increase/decrease of the base price. No further steps are needed for the price on the client side to be updated. If the case is that the price is decreased, a special label will show at the apartment view – a label which signifies that the apartment is under the Special Offer of selected percent.

What’s interesting about this project is that it’s scalability and modularity. I had structured its architecture in such a way that it can accommodate needs of either only one or many renters, and therefore it truly demonstrates a platform which can be reused for multiple customers with just a few tweaks.

There are only six apartments in the offer right now, and this will grow substantially in autumn. It is very simple now to review apartment by apartment to choose the most appropriate one. However, I’ve already built in a nice feature, nothing new but still a must for this kind of systems, which displays which days are available and which are not for each apartment when search is performed by the period of time. Apartments are then listed in order which displays the apartment with most free days on top.

Another thing that I wanted to mention is the calendar tool I used for this web app. I decided not to take any open source calendars since they do not provide me neither with the needed functionality nor with the targeted design. I went so far into details that even the calendar fits into the design of the entire site, which is not something very common. This calendar allows me to color code days in it by any given attribute, meaning – at the apartment view, busy days would be marked with red color, while in the admin season-rate section, days are color coded by the selected percentage. This is all done of course by the back-end code in regards to the set of user-entered parameters.

It’s worth mentioning the usage of Google Maps API, which allowed me to show detailed map, satelite, and street view for each apartment. The street view was very welcomed both by my client and his end-clients, since it allows his end-clients to review the area where the apartment is based.


One Response to “Planning a visit to Milan?”

  1. rent apartment in milan November 13, 2013 at 11:59 AM #

    Planning a visit and want to rent apartment in Milan?

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