There are hundreds of new car models launching every year. No car mechanic can possibly learn how to service them all. Because cars are also becoming more technologically advanced, the variances between models can pose a challenge even for more experienced professionals. In spite of that practically every car can still be repaired at your local car garage. How is this possible?
Historically, independent garages have used professional repair manuals to access technical information about parts and hands-on, complete procedures. The biggest company in the world offering such knowledge is the British company Autodata. Autodata gathers information from the manufacturers and brings it to workshop owners around the globe.
The information provided by Autodata was originally published in book form. Then, it was distributed on CDs. Today Autodata offers access to the data via its dedicated web portal for garages.
Among key challenges in this project was the sheer size of the database, its big number of users and ongoing, frequent updates. Autodata collects technical information for over 45,000 models worldwide and makes them available to workshops in 44 countries. Every year, the database is updated with information on several hundred new models and updates to tens of thousands existing models.
Working closely with car experts and IT professionals at Autodata, we helped them develop architecture that provides continuous access to these extensive technical resources. The application allows workshops from England to Australia to use the system 24 hours a day. We also update the website regularly, in line with the expectations of users.
The website offers its paying subscribers information about service and repair procedures. The clean and simple interface allows convenient work even under harsh conditions of a car garage. The application is currently available in 17 languages.
We have been involved in the construction of the system from its beginnings. Autodata and Fingo teams joined forces to form one unit which operates within a joint Scrum process. We feel comfortable in international teams. We cooperate remotely to solve issues. This model has proven effective and the application for garages has since been developed jointly. Currently, our work comprises of PHP programing as well as conceptual aspects and architecture of the solutions, allowing our team to have an influence on the direction of the tools' further development.