One off - car reservation webapp/appengine
November 3, 2008 11:21 AM

Disclaimer: This job is posted on rentacoder, too, but I want it to be open to mefites also. AskMefi is where I first asked about this.

A web app to facilitate the reservation of a small organisation's vehicles. What is needed is a PHP/Perl/Appengine/Ruby/Python/MySQL app which would allow somebody to input their date, time and number of passengers and be able to book a vehicle from the available suggestions the system returns them. The system does not go so far as to check that the vehicle left the garage, nor does it check that the vehicle is returned on time. It is simply assumed that this happens.
There is no need for any money to be involved.

There seems to be some misunderstandings about what this system should do. If you just think about it as an intelligent whiteboard, you should understand it pretty well.

There should also be a facility to report problems with the vehicles. We currently use a whiteboard but would prefer to use a digital system.
It is possible to see what problems are already registered to a car when you're booking it. For example "mirror missing".

Administrator register new users manually.
Administrators should be able to ban and reactivate users.
Administrators should be able to put out of use and reactivate cars. Receives a list of all current and future bookings when he does this.
Users can book cars and modify their own bookings (choose which booking to modify from a personalised list).
Administrators can modify ALL bookings.
By all means use AJAX and or a Javascript library (jQuery for example) of your choice. Make it look as pretty as you can but the important thing is that the webapp is CLEVER, logical, and thinks things through. If you can get that right, then good design may well get you a bonus!

Further clarification:
A vehicle can be booked many times in the same day (though it's typically about five times). So long as there is no overlapping, there is no limit on how much the vehicle can be used. A booking on our current whiteboard look like this:
1200-1450 Fred Manchester

The user should have to confirm that they have permission before they are allowed to book a car for more than 24 hours. They can do this on trust with no administrator approval required. See screenshot for how I would like this implemented. Cars can be booked again immediately after the last booking but I would suggest that it would be a good idea that the system itself adds in five minutes of 'safety buffer' after each booking. So that if someone requests a car for 1520, but the car isn't due back until 1520, the bookee is told that the car is available from 1525.

There will be no self registration. The Administrator adds all users using a private interface. The administrator also modifies and adds the vehicles.

I don't have a database ready. It needs to be designed to fit in with the system created.

There is NO MONEY involved. That means no user budgets. There are about 15 cars altogether, and people can see from the picture if it's a van of a personal vehicle. And the system will only show them cars with enough seats for how many passengers they want to take and if it's allowed based on the type of journey they want to make (some cars are for company business only). This is a property set by the administrator on the "edit vehicle" page. In addition the system should only show cars as available to a user if they have a driving licence to drive the car. If, however, they are making a booking for another registered user (selected from a list), then the system shows the cars available to THAT user's licence. i.e. the person who will actually be making the journey.

There should also be a page to show all current and future bookings. Another page to show all PAST bookings (in case someone wants to know who had what car when, for whatever reason).

Car Notes page - Users or Administrators can come here and add notes to the car (Damage etc). Notes are approved by the administrator before they are added to the car. Before this they are held in a queue. This is to prevent duplicates and to afford the administrator the opportunity to reprash the problem.

-The system needs to THINK. If a booking needs to be extend by someone who realises he won't make it home in time, and wants to legitimise this need, the system can by all means provide the opportunity to extend the booking, IF it doesn't result in overlap with somebody else's booking.

-There needs to be the ability for a registered user who doesn't themself have a driving licence or a driving licence in a higher category to be able to reserve a car/minibus for somebody who DOES. This person would be selected via a list and their name would show as the driver, NOT the user who made the booking. Ideally the system would check first that person was available at that time and not already booked to another car at the same time. But I realise I'm adding a perhaps unnecessary layer of complication here.

-A touch screen interface would be useful...possibily. I am not sure.
There is no checking to see if the car is returned. It is simply assumed that the car has been returned. Everything (I guess) in the system work on the assumption that people return cars on time UNLESS they use the 'extend' facility to extend the booking. And as mentioned, that is only allowed if it doesn't intefere with the next person's booking.

Be sure to see my mockups for a simplified indication of how things could work.

A basic design IS fine! But if you can use AJAX/jQuery/etc - you may well get a bonus.

Comments or enquiries via MeFiMail or below, for all to see, as a comment.

payscale: c. 500 dollars
job type: contract
posted by dance to Web/HTML/Info Design

This job has been filled.

« Older Senior Software Developer - .N... Joomla Genius (Freelance)... Newer »