“So, how are things going ?”

October 9, 2008

So, how are things going ?

Fine. Started working on a simple, single-entity application over Google App Engine; single entity = “PlaceToStay”.

For this app, Create, Retrieve and Update operations have been completed. Delete is pending and for now is possible from admin console of App Engine.

In parallel, did some hostel-to-hostel data collection in Velachery, so as to seed the application with some data. Almost all hostels I had visited provided the requested details on the facilities they provide and the rates they charge, with just a couple of them not wanting to share details – one for seemingly genuine reason (“no vacancy”) and the other, because they felt it was a “business secret” (really funny to hear that reason; their classified ads give nothing more than telephone numbers). But, I am sure I will win them over too at a later date.

Latest work was integrating with Google Maps for hostel location – worked out well.

Check it out : http://www.placetostay.in/

Wait, are you not getting distracted from your main goal – association software ?

When I started work, I realized that were too many unknowns to conquer in Google App Engine, if I were to start coding for the association software. It will involve multiple related entities and views and with customized user management (instead of the default one provided by Google) and I will need more utilities to develop it.

So this app was to just train myself in developing and deploying on App Engine and I am just giving it a life of its own, instead of throwing it away.

I plan to enable rating and review comments, in a couple of days and also do some marketing within Chennai and later outside Chennai.

Later, I also plan to add some management functions, so that owners/admins can then maintain a database of the tenants (along with history) and employees, track rental receipts and expenses, send out notifications (email initially, SMS later) and more such stuff for a small monthly subscription fee. OK, maybe I am getting distracted from association software – but I enjoy the process – and I am still within Yardi domain !!.

Glad that I am free to choose my own path. And I believe that a little revenue (advertising and subscription) from this project, would surely help.

Other updates :

On Oct 2, in the Annual General Body Meeting of our apartment block’s association, the long standing secretary of our apartment block, who did an excellent job for 6 years, wanted to get relieved and suggested me to take over.

Under normal circumstances, I might have resisted such a responsibility (citing reasons like work pressure – they did not know I had quit my job until the end of the meeting). But, may be, this is chance coming into my hands at the right time – to have better domain expertise for the association software. So I agreed. Will be assuming responsibilities from today (Oct 9) evening. A new president and treasurer were also elected on Oct 2.

This block contains 17 apartments and collects a monthly maintenance fee of Rs.500. There are totally 10 such blocks in our complex (each having a secretary to manage that block) and these blocks are governed by a registered federated association. And I am sure I will make things easy for such secretaries of associations, because I get benefited doubly – as a secretary and as a software vendor.

So that is news for now. Will keep you updated.

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