Updated Dec 15, 2016 (Originally Published Nov 2, 2016)
There are a few reasons why I do not blog about my consulting engagements.
My clients enjoy privacy. My clients enjoy that I do not link from their site to my site. My clients enjoy that I never create meta tags that refer to me.
There's also the fact that I do a lot of work for other consultants, who do not want to see their clients on my blog.
Of course, I've had bad experiences. The worst was a client held their testimonial hostage in return for extra unpaid work. All the clients testimonials and case studies on my website were unpublished within hours.
My first paid LaSalle Software web application is an exception. In fact, my first three paid web apps may be exceptions simply because someone at a meet-up said that new software has "traction" when there are three paid web apps. When he said that, "3" became my "magic number".
Certainly, this first one is special. Being the first it is the recipient of so much love that I sometimes think that this is my web app. It doesn't help me that for this first web app, and only for this first web app, I am using my own entire deployment suite. So, this web app feels like it's part of my own personal web app family -- SouthLaSalle.com, SouthLaSalleMeda.com, and LaSalleSoftware.ca.
The reason I am hoisting this web app onto my own deployment accounts is that I really do not know what to expect doing a web app for a client. So, I'd really take this one under my wing, and later we can move deployment to the client owned SaaS accounts. This turned out well for me, because I did a pretty good job focusing on the web app itself.
The web app is Lely Tank Customer Care dot com (https://lelytankcustomerservice.com/).
The purpose of the site is to provide text & image updates of custom truck construction's work-in-progress. Employees send text and images to the web app, and the web app displays this stuff to clients. The goal is to from smartphone to smartphone. An employee initials the update on their smartphone, and the customer sees their updates on their smartphone.
A fundamental proposition of LaSalle Software is it saves clients time and money, by giving them a software head start. Did this happen? Without a doubt, this is exactly what happened. What a thrill! I set up the initial web app and that was it. Had a one page home page. Had the admin. Had the logins management. How sweet it is!
When I did not have a feature, oh boy, what a difference. Like day and night. The token-based login exists because we needed it. It's now a LaSalle Software FOSS installable package. I charged my client $0. Note for the future: will charge client, but probably not full rate, for packages that are released as LaSalle Software FOSS packages. It certainly is beneficial for clients to sponsor packages, in the "we enjoy giving, we really enjoy getting" department.
Being able to base the token-based login on existing software was a huge time saver.
The biggest programming to do was the email parsing, which was a new thing for me. I was able to dig right into it because I did not have other programming to worry about (except the token-based login package).
Did I have an opportunity to use my admin form automation? Well, actually, yes. I had to add a new database table. So satisfying to report to you that the admin form automation was a big time saver. For LaSalle Software v2, I will ponder how to make the forms more customizable without having to do a full blown template over-ride.
This web app was 95% done in May, but was on hold until recently while the main site enjoyed its makeover.