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How ALLOHOUSTON Makes Organizations Smarter with Meteor

Many businesses have the will to innovate but lack the roadmap to do so efficiently and intelligently.

There’s where the experts at ALLOHOUSTON become invaluable.

This lean software startup based in France helps organizations create and transform their processes with customized digital solutions.

Whether a business wants to launch a new product or service, create an app, optimize its growth model, or better serve its customers, ALLOHOUSTON provides the roadmap to help them navigate this complex digital landscape with ease. And they’ve been achieving these end-to-end solutions using Meteor.

In this case study, we’ll walk through ALLOHOUSTON’s process, check out their tech stack, and see how Meteor makes it all happen.

Meet the ALLOHOUSTON Team

ALLOHOUSTON says they’re a technical partner for any organization wanting to transform its ways of working.

Launched in 2016, this independent startup has no external investors, supporting its growth through controlled equity. Its founders say everyone on the team shares the same convictions and values: pragmatism, simplicity, teamwork, empathy, and transparency.

And in typical startup fashion, the ALLOHOUSTON team works in a garage transformed into an Open Innovation space (“Le Square”) at the Filles du Calvaire metro station in Paris, France.

So What Does ALLOHOUSTON Do?

ALLOHOUSTON specializes in understanding each business’s needs and achieving solutions that exceed them.

Their customers are business professionals who don’t know how to handle digital transformation or optimization and face daily challenges in their jobs as a result.

Starting from a simple brief, an ALLOHOUSTON Consultant-Developer approaches each project with pragmatism and simplicity. They work closely with future users to create a digital response that fits their needs and the needs of their clients.

And since ALLOHOUSTON’s team speaks all operational languages, it’s easy to help clients choose the best course of action.

Once a plan’s in place, their team carries out all aspects related to their method, including:

DSI RelationsContractualizationDevelopmentCommissioningMaintenanceMonitoring

This mission helped ALLOHOUSTON land some pretty impressive clients, and their follow-through led to even more remarkable achievements.

ALLOHOUSTON’s Top Achievements To Date

ALLOHOUSTON works on projects of all sizes and in all business sectors. Though most of their experience comes from working for big and small organizations in France, the team has also successfully partnered with international clients.

Check out this list of projects they’ve shipped:

PARIS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS. Provided new innovative services based on the measurement of passenger flows (four new services designed and tested in ten months).

ACPM. Enabled the certification of Podcast downloads for the organisation that audits media circulation. A daily processing of podcasts logs ensures metrics consistency. The new certification was ready to launch within 2 months.

RENAULT GROUP. Enabled the production, monitoring, and analysis of downstream supply chain indicators 100x faster.

RENAULT NISSAN CONSULTING. Improved client satisfaction and the health of the firm’s projects with a new business process supported by a mobile application (in four weeks).

Want all the details on these stellar wins? Click here to take a deeper dive into how AlloHouston achieved these (and more!).

So how does ALLOHOUSTON do it?

Take a Peek at the ALLOHOUSTON Tech Stack

ALLOHOUSTON says almost all their projects use Meteor + Blaze.

ALLOHOUSTON uses Mongo as the database and very often Grapher from Cult Of Coders to provide complex and efficient data fetching. They occasionally use AWS DynamoDB as the database engine.

Inside the apps, they love the abilities given by d3 and crossfilter libraries. Around the apps, they like to use Python and Apache Spark to build data processing pipelines from data files provided by other systems. They also perform computations and store results in MongoDB.

For mobile development, ALLOHOUSTON relies on React-Native either with Meteor or with AWS Amplify.

Why ALLOHOUSTON Builds With Meteor

ALLOHOUSTON is proud to say they’ve been using Meteor since v0.8!

The ALLOHOUSTON team wasn’t trained as developers, so they loved the idea of learning a single language and being able to code at the same time for servers, web browsers, and mobile.

They initially used Meteor to build side projects like their first app: an event planner that helped guests organize what they should bring to a house party. The users’ live updates made the app fun to use and “felt really modern at the time.”

When they officially launched ALLOHOUSTON, Meteor helped them build almost every project to this day. They started with and continue to use Blaze because “it’s so easy and fast.”

“Meteor + Blaze is, in our mind, the most efficient way to build a new product from scratch.”

The team says they’ve developed a very personal way to use Meteor with their own tooling. For example:

Starter apps configured with their best practices and standards.Shell scripts for scaffolding new Templates or new Mongo Collections.Utilities around data input (for fields and forms).Data fetching and displaying, such as server-side pagination, pagination for UI and mechanisms, lists of items, search, etc.Tooling to deploy and maintain applications in the cloud.

But this success was not without its fair share of ups and downs.

3 Challenges ALLOHOUSTON Solved with Meteor

According to ALLOHOUSTON, the “bulletproof” Meteor guide written by Arunoda helped their team navigate the complex waters of performance and security during their first years.

Upon reflection, most of their challenges came from:

Daily Data Handling and Processing

ALLOHOUSTON had to find ways to handle data consistently and efficiently, so it didn’t affect performance. Several of their apps regularly receive data files from customers, which they process using Apache Spark and store computation results in MongoDB.

In addition to good indexing of collections, the team uses tricks like dynamically creating Mongo Collections depending on the month, or storing the history of information so they don’t lose details while overwriting data.

High-Level App Security Requirements

Before they delivered their first app in production for Renault, they received a formal checklist of security specifics they’d need to guarantee. Having full control over the application code and the server infrastructure allowed them to comply in full and move on.

ALLOHOUSTON enjoys not having to waste time taking care of user and password management or the handling of user sessions when building their apps — Meteor covers these bases for them.

“Meteor’s internal security is first class, and we saved a lot of time thanks to it.”

ALLOHOUSTON has been able to get these security tools and functionalities running quickly with Meteor over the last few years:

SSL connectionsSSO based on OpenId technologyLogging of all database modification and accessData encryption at rest at a field levelData encryption at rest of the database and user filesEnforcing password strength for usersServer isolationProtection against XSSAntimalware scanning of uploaded filesSuperior user authorization for methods and publications

One of their apps went through a full audit from Orange Business Services and was soon validated by them. According to ALLOHOUSTON, Orange Business Services was “quite impressed” with the WebSocket connections (DDP) and Meteor’s security and solidness.

Monitoring

The ALLOHOUSTON team says monitoring was “quite a challenge at first” in two aspects: ensuring application availability, but also application performance.

They used the “excellent” APM developed initially by Arunoda for performance monitoring, and Statuscake as a monitoring and alerting tool for availability.

What’s Next for ALLOHOUSTON

The next steps for ALLOHOUSTON include:

1. Developing tooling to be more efficient. The team wants to gain speed when creating applications, so they can serve more clients without compromising quality and expand their steady business.

2. Grow their team (PS: They’re hiring!). AH hired its first employee with very few technical skills (only three intensive months of web classes in HTML, CSS, and JSS). They helped her ramp up her competencies so she can now create a wide range of functionalities in their apps.

ALLOHOUSTON calls this a “great achievement” for their company. They hope to hire many more employees who embody their company’s mission and values.

3. Convince more people to embrace their ways of working. AH believes their new and unique way of working holistically and intelligently on projects will soon become mainstream.

Their philosophy includes:

Enhancing collaboration inside a company around a business processAutomating reporting and computationsProviding missing links between other business softwareCreating a backoffice to manage a specific business

There’s no stopping the ALLOHOUSTON team from reaching all these goals in the near future. So what about your team?

Ready To See How Meteor Can Help Skyrocket Your Team To Greatness?

Meteor is an open-source framework for seamlessly building and deploying web, mobile, and desktop applications in Javascript. And as we’ve seen in this case study, our customers skyrocket to success with our help.

So what can Meteor do for you?

If you’re ready to find out, join the community of more than 500k developers from all over the world that trust and rely on Meteor today!

How ALLOHOUSTON Makes Organizations Smarter with Meteor was originally published in Meteor Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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