Apr 18

An interview with the OneDealer development team

An interview with the OneDealer development team

Beyond the attractive, user-friendly exterior, there’s a great deal going on behind the scenes at OneDealer.

The most innovative automotive retail solution on the market is the culmination of years of planning, development and testing. Yet, when it reaches the hands of car dealerships, it’s easy to overlook exactly what goes into creating a software solution of this size.

This isn’t a fault of the user, either, and in fact proves that the development team has achieved its goal of developing software that simply works without bamboozling users with technical detail.

With that in mind, we thought we’d lift the lid on the development of OneDealer by speaking to Michael Fousteris, Head of Development.

And we’re glad we did, because he gave us a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how the OneDealer development team is able to build such fascinating software.


How is the development team structured? Are you all in one physical location or dotted around?

Michael: “The development team consists of smaller internal teams that manage different tasks. The main teams are: Platform Development (the guys who build the core components), Applications Development (who focus on different elements of the app’s ecosystem), Data Architecture, and the UI (user interface) teams that focus on the look and feel of OneDealer. We also involve external teams for specific solutions and implementations, such as DMS, mobile development and data mining.”


What’s your favorite module or feature in OneDealer?

“That’s hard to say! We really like our workflow engine, which is the heart of the system. It allows us to orchestrate different processes and components and provides the users with an experience that is tailored towards their business.”


OneDealer utilizes cloud technology. What are the advantages of this for the dealership?

“Cloud tech allows dealerships to move away from traditional software licenses and on-site servers. Instead, they pay a singly monthly fee for the OneDealer cloud infrastructure. This lowers the total cost of ownership while offering brilliant scalability as their business grows.

High availability and disaster recovery are also services we’ve been able to build into OneDealer as standard, thanks to the cloud.”


What programming languages and tools did you use to develop OneDealer?

“OneDealer focuses on advanced web implementation. We’re developing within the Microsoft ecosystem and use C#, .NET and ASP.NET MVC for the code. We also use framework tools such as Bootstrap, JavaScript and Xamarin to help build beautiful yet functional user interfaces.”


What project are you currently working on?

“We’re building a very important layer that allows dealerships with multiple branches to be hosted within the same environment with no physical separation of data. This enables users to have access to different data across the business estate within a completely secure environment.”


What challenges did you have to overcome when developing OneDealer?

“OneDealer is fully hosted on the web, which means we have to take extra special care when testing the software to ensure it works across all major browsers, devices and operating systems. Ensuring the user experience remains consistent is therefore a challenge, but one we relish.”


What element of OneDealer do you expect to have the biggest impact on the automotive industry?

“OneDealer goes way beyond a dealership CRM solution. It’s more like an automotive service hub, where you can find multiple solutions from customizable sales processes to online service booking.

“It can also operate at a ‘single person’ sales level to mass sales campaigns. It just packs in so much functionality that is genuinely accessible to all – that’s very rare in this industry.”


How much free creative reign is the development team given?

“Because OneDealer is so innovative in its field, the development team has the opportunity to try new techniques and approaches – a rare opportunity for a software developer!”

Time to geek-out! What’s your favorite big number or statistic about the power of OneDealer?

“OneDealer’s preview release was comprised of twenty-eight code projects. The next release contains just three. Yep – lot’s of R’n’D involved there!”


Thanks, Michael!


There you have it – a unique and fascinating insight into the world of OneDealer software development. One thing’s for sure – they’re a very busy team indeed, so we’ll leave them to their incredibly hard work!