Building MVP for auction software and events marketplace | Case Study

From business idea to ready-for-release product

Auction software and marketplace of events


How the Wise team offered a roadmap for the MVP development and repurposed old legacy code to match new business requirements.

Developed MVP for auction software
Industry

Media & Entertainment
Location

United States
Time frame

6 months

Project Scope

The client had an idea of how to turn the acquired legacy code into a new business and delegated the Wise team its MVP development. After six months, Granted has become a live marketplace where you can buy tickets for concerts or sports events at a fixed price, bid for items owned by celebrities taking part in the auctions, and more.
The project continues to grow and its tech support is now fully entrusted to the WE team.

Technology stack

Web Development: Python/Django, React/Next.js, GraphQL, PHP, MySQL
DevOps: AWS, Kubernetes, Jenkins
AWS: AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service, AWS RDS Aurora cluster, S3 bucket, Lambda, API Gateway, Auto Scaling, ElastiCache, CloudWatch, IAM, Certificate Manager, ALB, Route53

Dedicated development team
Technology consulting
Website wireframing
End-to-end solution development
DevOps support
Quality Assurance

Background

Auction software and event marketplace
People get bored fast and always look for exclusive entertainment opportunities. Visiting concerts of your favorite group is fun but rarely turns into a lifetime memory. Having lunch with a person you admire, on the contrary, is something you’d never forget.
This is the key idea behind Granted — a marketplace of exclusive entertainment experiences and auction software for fans that at this step existed only as a stakeholder’s idea.
Auction software and event marketplace

Business & Tech Challenges

The stakeholders planned to base the development of the new product on the existing old legacy code and had a feature set for the MVP development.

01 An idea with no tech team to implement

The team needed a tech partner capable of building the auction system and marketplace software simultaneously and open for long-term cooperation.
02 Outdated technologies and deprecated libraries

Libraries used in the initial code were not updated and the application had low performance. This also might have led to security issues.
03 Lack of tech documentation

Multiple contributors to the legacy code left no documentation and didn’t use a single standard to build product functionality. This made onboarding for new members time-consuming.
04 Tech debt on front-end

The front-end was created using different development approaches that reduced the code readability. The lack of a single style standard made redesign an unreasonably long process.

Research & Project Assessment

To ensure the scope of the project was aligned with business strategy and to approach the defined feature set, we created a product roadmap, estimated all resources needed for its implementation, and allocated a dedicated development team.

Roadmap for auction software development
Defined project vision and scope

First, we explained what parts of the legacy code should be utilized and documented improving proposals. Each of our suggestions or realization approaches included several variants with both pros and cons described in detail.

Set estimates

Then, we discussed the options and opted for the most efficient variants. We agreed upon the deadlines and our client knew what functionality to expect and when.

Allocated dedicated team

The initial team for the project included four software engineers and a project manager. To ensure communication was efficient, we agreed upon weekly sync meetings with the Granted product owner and investors. Plus, our client could contact anyone from the Wise team directly to discuss ideas or inquire about the progress of any feature.

Development in Progress

Back-end & front-end development


Auction platform back-end development

Because reworking the given front-end code to meet new requirements and design was time-consuming, we offered to start a new Next.js project. It allowed us to implement new design concepts and add features faster.


We also transferred the auth and auction components from the old application to the new project.

Auction platform back-end development
Reshaping auction flow

With the new product concept, the legacy code developed for the auction platform selling artworks was adjusted with the focus on events and experiences.
Buy it now feature

A new inventory management system allowed users to buy tickets without the auction at a fixed price.
Reshaping ordering functionality

The payment processor client was adjusted to ordering tickets and services. It was applicable for both the auctions and the new Buy it now  feature.
Stars/Venues entity

All the events became linked to the specific star (celebrity or artist), venue, or specific location the event was held.

Front-end migration to NextJS


MVP development for marketplace software

After migration to the modern React framework, the front-end performance, development experience, and state of the codebase were significantly improved.


Key benefits of the used Next.js technology:

MVP development for marketplace software
Code splitting

Decreased the size of the front-end application that had a good impact on SEO, performance, and user experience.
SSR & Static Generation

Server-side Rendering (SSR) and Static Generation increased indexing by search engines and improved user experience.
Structure standardization

Project structure standardization made the code more consistent. It increased development team productivity and reduced onboarding time for the new engineers.

Code refactoring & documentation


Outsourcing software development

As the codebase increased and new functionality was added, Confluence was used to properly organize project documentation. The documentation process was established and the Wise team kept the documentation up-to-date to speed up the development process for everyone involved. All the new features added were documented accordingly.


All log processes were set up and we configured the incident management system for troubleshooting. Important events were captured instantly and it helped to ensure high application performance and monitor its stability.
Besides, switching to the SendGrid dynamic templates allowed our client to make changes to the email templates faster.
Outsourcing software development
All log processes were set up and we configured the incident management system for troubleshooting. Important events were captured instantly and it helped to ensure high application performance and monitor its stability.
Besides, switching to the SendGrid dynamic templates allowed our client to make changes to the email templates faster.

Website activity tracking


Analytics for auction platform

To help our client accumulate important data on users' interaction with the new product and base future business decisions on real-time data, we configured the following tools:

  • Google Analytics
  • Hotjar
  • Google Tag Manager
  • Facebook Pixel
Analytics for auction platform
python
django
graphql
next
react
kubernetes
aws
php
mysql
jenkins

DevOps Consultancy & Services

Infrastructure as Code


Development of auction platform infrastructure

Infrastructure as Code was applied as the best practice for automating the provisioning of infrastructure services. Terraform, an open-source provisioning tool from HashiCorp, was used to build, change, and version infrastructure and ensure its safety, efficiency, and easy reproducibility. Terraform managed the state of our environment on AWS. In other words, if something was not in conformity, it would be fixed and kept as close as possible to the desired state.

Development of auction platform infrastructure

Infrastructure setup at AWS


Online auction software infrastructure

To ensure high availability, high scalability, security, and fault tolerance production environment, the core project infrastructure components were designed and built on the Amazon Web Services (AWS).
For the setup, the following services were used:

  • AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service
  • AWS RDS Aurora cluster
  • S3 bucket, Lambda
  • API Gateway
  • Auto Scaling
  • ElastiCache
  • CloudWatch
  • IAM
  • Certificate Manager
  • ALB
  • Route53
Online auction software infrastructure

Migration to Kubernetes


Migrating auction platform to Kubernetes

Kubernetes was chosen as an orchestration system for automating application deployment, scaling, and management. It helped to make deployment stable and the production environment part scalable.

Migrating auction platform to Kubernetes

App Performance monitoring and alerting


Performance monitoring for online auction software

From the beginning, our team defined key metrics that allowed us to monitor app performance and set up tools to collect this data. We configured:


  • NewRelic to collect metrics and logs, manage alert rules
  • Sentry as an error tracking system
  • PagerDuty as an incident management system

As a result, we received notifications about errors and could respond promptly.
Performance monitoring for online auction software

Continuous integration & delivery setup


Tech documentation for auction platform

To automate the CI/CD and run MySQL migration, the Jenkins pipeline was utilized. This provided a simple interface for deploying the application to the development Kubernetes cluster from any GitHub branch. It also could be deployed to the production Kubernetes cluster from the master branch with a rollback function if needed.


With the configured Slack integration, our team and anyone from the client-side were able to track the deployment process and commit history. So that everyone could be on the same page about what's happening with the development process in the environment.
Tech documentation for auction platform
With the configured Slack integration, our team and anyone from the client-side were able to track the deployment process and commit history. So that everyone could be on the same page about what's happening with the development process in the environment.

App Testing & Delivery

The quality assurance was applied during the auction system and marketplace development process, still, after the main development phase was over, the Wise team prepared a detailed plan for the software testing, created test cases, and extensive automated tests to ensure that the developed solution is stable, bug-free, and ready for the launch.

results

  • Outsourcing software development to the tech partner allowed our client to accelerate MVP development.
  • User experience was reorganized and adapted to the new product vision and functionality.
  • Project management was done on the WE side and the predefined scope of work was delivered in time.
  • All the necessary analytics tools were connected right away to help track product performance in real-time.
  • MVP product was launched for early adopters in February 2021 and the product successfully passed the evaluation step.

Latest News on the Project

Today, Granted is a live marketplace and online auction software available for a global audience and has already a new roadmap for its development.
The tech part is fully delegated to our team and WE are happy to contribute to this success story.

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