ALN Apartment Data and The Vendor Guide
Vendor Edge
"We saved three weeks and $4,000 in development costs using Iron Speed Designer."

- Bryan Patrick II, Owner of Psuedo Consulting

Vendor Edge

ALN Apartment Data and The Vendor Guide
Dallas - Fort Worth Metroplex, TX USA

The Vendor Edge application was developed for ALN Apartment Data, in conjunction with The Vendor Guide. ALN Apartment Data provides Apartment Locator Handbooks and computer software to customers throughout Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington. The application is accessible from website. Customers who advertise with The Vendor Guide can access the application directly from their home page.

Vendor Edge featured by The Vendor Guide.

Vendors of goods and services for multi-family properties (apartment complexes) use Vendor Edge to perform targeted searches for customers, across 13,000 different communities. Vendors purchase "points" in the form of a monthly subscription to Vendor Edge. When a search is performed, the user is asked to "approve spending". A summary of available points, "points required" and "points remaining", is provided in the form of a dashboard.

Vendor Edge's primary search screen.

If the user approves the search, the results are displayed along with an updated point summary. The user may download and email reports in Microsoft Excel or Adobe PDF format. Using Vendor Edge, a typical report with information on every property in the Dallas and Fort Worth area will cost approximately $400.00.

Vendor Edge Points Summary dashboard.

Vendor Edge search results are very specific. Users can perform a detailed search for apartment communities that fit a wide range of criteria including: year built, number of units, location, etc. Users can view information in 30, 60, or 90 day increments, or they may select a custom date range. This is useful for locators working with customers who selling a particular service or product to multi-family properties. For example, a pool services company can search for apartments with pools, while a workout equipment company may search for properties with fitness centers. Users can access information about properties under construction too. This gives customers like the pool services and workout equipment companies an edge. Oftentimes, customers use Vendor Edge search results to target email advertising campaigns.

A custom report outlining Manager Changes for specific properties.

Application size and scope

Vendor Edge utilizes one Microsoft SQL Server database, five database tables, 13 database views, and 11 Web pages. The largest table, Apartment Data, contains over 2,320,744 records.

There are approximately 50 application users processing 1,400 transactions in Vendor Edge every month.

The project

I completed Vendor Edge on my own, in just three weeks. I spent two weeks on the Iron Speed Designer portion of the project.

Code extensions and customizations

This application did not require any custom code. However, we did implement a third-party reporting tool called FastReports.

Page layout customizations

We used the standard Kilimanjaro page style in Iron Speed Designer.

My Account point login.

Iron Speed Designer impact

I believe we saved three weeks and $4,000 in development costs using Iron Speed Designer. The project would have taken a lot longer without the tool.

Next steps

Vendor Edge was originally built in Iron Speed Designer V4.3. We recently re-created the application in Iron Speed Designer V6.2.1, improving the look and feel of the system instantly. We continue to add new search criteria to the application as we begin tracking it.

About the developer

Bryan Patrick was a professional programmer by age 16. He worked his way through college programming. He would literally ride his bike from University of Texas to the airport in Austin before jumping on a plane to work overnight. In the morning, he'd fly back to Austin, get off the plane, unlock the bike and make his way back to school.

Bryan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin.

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