Monday, 7 September 2015

Software for creation of mobile applications for automotive dealers

We now live in the mobile first era. It does not really matter what you sell, the first thing you must think of – how deep you can go mobile. Let us imagine a business person who bought a good car from a respected dealer and expects a decent level of post sale service for his money. The worst thing the dealer can think of is hoping their customer will be surprisingly eager to write down a dozen of phone numbers and make indiscriminate calls in case he or she needs something. This is not how things are done in this day and age.


You can’t expect a customer of an automotive dealer to have no smartphone, can you? IPhone it may be or one of so many Android devices, this is an essential instrument for people of basically any walk of life. This is where any dealer must have a place; you can’t get any closer to a customer even if you arrange your office next door to him.

Automotive dealerships are no theme parks, so there’s little surprise that services they provide are pretty much the same. They may vary in price, customer experience, working hours and sometimes quality, but the scope is very similar, after all. There is a number of pretty basic services which everyone can offer to a customer: buy a new car or maybe ask for a test drive first, take out insurance or have the car inspected. Give or take, there’s about a dozen of options that a dealer may want to include into a dedicated mobile application for their customers.


This is where Innowise Group steps in. Our customer, a leading provider of enterprise software solutions and services for the global automotive retail and wholesale market, had a great idea to create a software product for creation of such applications. This meant that Innowise had to make a user-friendly environment which would give a possibility to build applications quickly and at a low cost.
First, we needed some kind of working environment so that the user could see the whole picture. This is why implementation of the configuration manager was our first step towards the goal.
The configuration manager is an ASP.NET MVC 5 based system used for creation and management of the application templates. It is used for:
  • - monitoring and control of a particular application status,
  • - customization of modules available in the application constructor,
  • - configuration of application using the application constructor.
The configuration manager employs the MS SQL dealership database to create a very own MongoDB configuration database. Common parameters are synchronized between these two databases.
The system administrator can monitor the current status of any given application including version, upload date and responsible manager. He can also add users eligible to work within the environment with the possibility to reduce their permissions to customize modules.

After the manager had been built, the work went on to the application constructor itself.

Application constuctor

First, core elements of a basic application template were determined: News, Services, Dealers, Assistance and Profile. These are the elements that can be customized at a later stage according to the particular customer needs, stretching from basic appearance options to services provided or any other relevant information. Inclusion of most elements is regulated by a number of checkboxes organized in an intuitive menu. Any change is immediately shown in a WYSIWIG preview window so that the content could be checked before saving it.

Every such template is stored in the configuration manager. Once the template is configured and saved, the application builders can use a resulting JSON file featuring all the parameters used in the application to finish the application and upload the product to the appropriate online store – iOS and Android versions available.


Innowise Group created a great tool which helped the customer to drastically decrease the time for creation of applications for automotive dealers. Innowise Group is still supporting the project fixing minor drawbacks and implementing some changes to improve the user experience.

The customers on Google Play and iTunes are rather happy to rate the applications with four or five stars, so here at Innowise Group we know we’ve done our job well, and the end customer appreciates it even without being aware of what’s behind the application he or she likes.


ASP MVC 5, MS SQL, MongoDB, AngularJS, jQuery.

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