A case study about how we helped ShorePower Technologies to establish Kiosk and web-based booking system of charging space that provides smooth booking experience to the users.
Finoit helped Shorepower Technologies, US-based electrification, and infrastructure company, scale their infrastructure from being from 30 to 60+ by providing end to end process automation and optimization solution.
The solution included integrating Kiosks to charging station, charging station booking through Kiosk and web applications, automation of Kiosk Firmware Deployment, KWH Recording, System health tracking, and Kiosk Self-Healing.
Business ObjectiveShorepower Technologies wanted to deploy Electrified Parking Spaces (EPS) at truck stops, rest areas, travel plazas, warehouses, truck depots, terminal, shopping malls, businesses and other parking areas. Prior to our association, the client had initiated site establishment across the US and had basic infrastructure in place.
Shorepower had the base infrastructure in place and wanted to establish purchased kiosks and build web based booking system. Below were the key areas that needed immediate attention:
- Establish kiosk and web based booking system for booking of charging space
- Integration between kiosk and charging station
- Implement KWH recordings
- Integrated system with self-healing techniques
- Work on technical aspects to reduce manual intervention
- Implement secure transactions and payment system
- Implement Kiosk automated deployment procedures
- Implement updates to facilitate Kiosk’s fast response to the booking requests
The diagram below gives a high-level solution blueprint of the solution we delivered:
The solution above describes the various logical layered components that comprise the overall application solution:
- Solution ArchitectureWe implemented the application using .NET as technology stack with ASP.NET MVC, DevExpress controls, Winforms, SQL Server 2012, WCF and REST APIs.
- Separation of Concernswe used MVC architecture on the client side for web and MVVM for kiosk app. It provided separated views, business logic and models. With a good separation of concern, application scalability and future upgrades were easy to manage.
- SecuritySystem used right practices on the client side and on the server side to tackle security threats. Following threats were managed by the implementation of validations, authentications, port management and user group management
- SQL Injection
- Cross Site Scripting
- Cross Site Request Forgery
- External Interfaces LayerThese layers took care of the communication and interfacing required for data exchange amongst the systems which were external to the application.
Illustration below provide an information flow which we delivered for this solution:
The above diagram describes the data flow and user actions between different layers of the system. User willing to book a charging station on a nearby site can locate the available charging points and make a booking via online platform or self-service kiosk – placed on the site itself. Both web and kiosk applications talk to server via a REST API (developed using Web API framework) hosted on a windows server which ensures a centralized control on transactions and bookings. Every kiosk is connected via a TCP channel to the server which facilitate real time health and status monitoring of the kiosk and provide auto deployment functionality. This way a kiosk could be completely controlled remotely with least human intervention. The system also constitutes of an Admin web panel which provides and manage all back-office functionalities.
We followed Agile development process for development, figure given below gives an overview of our development approach.
We delivered Shorepower system an improved user experience and great performance. Unique features of web and Kiosk interface we developed are:
- Platform and Web based application development
- IoTization of charging station to initiate charging trigger
- Integration of web application and kiosks with charging station
- Enabled remote management of Kiosks health, with predictive analysis of health
- Enabled remote updation of Kiosk, which led to increased uptime of Kiosks
- System ensured that the end-users didn’t face any hassles in EPS booking and payments.
- Shorepower customers can complete each transaction remotely and deliver services to drivers, without requiring any on-site personnel.
- Implemented gift card programs for consumers.
- System led to increase in business for Shorepower and now they own 35-40 EPS sites all over the United States
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