OBOR eCommerce App

OBOR mobile application helps find service providers and product suppliers across the world. The app users can sell and buy goods anywhere in the world. Different shops can even create their own pages and guide users with the 360 video tours.

OBOR iOS and Android applications help match users worldwide. Breaking the borders, OBOR application even managed to overcome the Great Chinese Firewall.

31

People Involved

2245

Hours spent

178

Pages of Chinese manual read

Summary

Our customer needed to develop mobile applications to connect users from all over the world. OBOR eCommerce app features included matching users, chatting, sharing files, et cetera. The need to consider the Great Chinese Firewall limitations proved to be the main obstacle in our charge to build truly global applications.

The DB Best application development team delivered a bespoke solution that works well both in mainland China, in the US, and in other countries across the world. These applications use Amazon Web Services as the back end. Moreover, the apps leverage specific services, depending on the country, where the user launches the application. Both iOS and Android applications have successfully passed the quality assurance and load testing stages.

Challenges

Many Internet services like Google, Facebook, Twitter are blocked in mainland China. So, the workaround is to use specific local services such as Baidu, WeChat, QQ, Sina Weibo instead of these popular blocked services for the Chinese users of the application.

The DB Best application development team delivered a bespoke solution that works well both in mainland China, in the US, and in other countries across the world. These applications use Amazon Web Services as the back end. Moreover, the apps leverage specific services, depending on the country, where the user launches the application. Both iOS and Android applications have successfully passed the quality assurance and load testing stages.

However, we had to deal with the fact that AWS in China provides a very limited number of available services compared to the US or European Amazon Web Services list. Particularly, the Chinese AWS doesn’t include the CloudFront content delivery network, so, we used the S3 buckets instead.

Solutions

Looking at the application features, you can easily see the different approaches that we used to overcome the Great Chinese Firewall limitations.

Talking about matching users, we needed to integrate maps into mobile apps. Apple Maps work perfectly both in China and the rest of the world. However, Google Maps is a whole other story. As soon as this service is blocked in mainland China, we had to stick with Baidu Maps for Android users in China.

Likewise, we used PayPal and HantePay to conduct payments over the Chinese border. This is a popular solution, which uses China’s advanced payment technologies (for example, scanning QR codes with WeChat messenger to confirm the payment) to target the US market.

Need to know

The world market is full of apps-doppelgangers. So, in order to score a big win, your app must be unique. To create a special app you need a team of developers who will discover that “kicker” in your idea and understand how to bring it to life in your app. The DB Best team delivered a number of solutions, and we believe personal touch brings apps to the top.

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Features

Let’s take a closer look at the key features implemented in the application.

Matching users is one of the most interesting features around. As the application users might not have a constant place and can be moving around the city or travel to different countries, we needed to leverage the proven algorithms that update the users’ location first and then run the matching routine.

Also, we utilized the MongoDB database that provides support for geohash indexes, which are used to store the user’s location. Also, this database allows for running geospatial queries, so that you can quickly select the users located nearby.

After successfully matching the users, the application provides them with the opportunity to send text messages and share files. We then utilized our turnkey solution, based on the MongooseIM chat service. Of course, we customized it according to the application’s needs. Our developers can even use a proven video chat module if needed.

For successful and meaningful communications, we integrated Bing Microsoft Translator service into the chat module. So, now the users from different countries could communicate without any barriers.

Finally, when the users agree the deal, they need to conduct payments. This last but not least application feature allows for processing international payments in the most convenient way for users in any country.

In addition, be sure to check the list of technologies we regularly use in the application development projects.

Results

Our developers had to read tons of manuals in Chinese in order to meet the customer’s specific requirements. Nonetheless, we managed to decrease the overall development time by taking advantage of such proven DB Best solutions as a chat module and matching service.

Here’s the short list of the customer’s benefits:

  • The application uses the appropriate stack of services depending on the user’s location.
  • It bypasses the Great Chinese Firewall and allows for secure and reliable international messaging, data transfer and payments.
  • The app takes full advantage of the Amazon Web Services in China and the AWS Global infrastructure.

If you’re ready to use DB Best’s unique knowledge and expertise to develop truly global mobile applications, drop us a line.

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