Inspiration

Aortta was inspired by the name 'aorta', the main artery in the human body that branches into the different arteries. Our program represents a one-stop-shop of messaging apps connected together, so only it has to be open rather than opening everything separately. However, there is also an extra 't' in the name, representing "technology".

What it does

Aortta is the all-in-one messaging web app meant for many people of today's world, supporting receiving and sending messages via Microsoft Teams, and Slack.

How we built it

The backend was developed using Node.js and ran on a web server from Azure. To store login information, we used the Cockroach DB, which took in the user name, phone number, and Teams & Slack information. The code for this was written in SQL. Along with the simple login, there was also a second verification we implemented using the Vonage Verify API, in which the user had to input a code that they received via an SMS. To have good integration with the backend yet still look nice, the frontend was developed in React.

Challenges we ran into

We ran into multiple challenges on both the frontend and backend. Early on, our database was not connecting to one of our computers and we spent hours trying to re-connect and debug the issue. Eventually, we spoke with the Cockroach representatives and the issue was resolved. Returning information from asynchronous functions also proved to be a challenge, as we had not thoroughly used Node.js prior to this project. On top of this, connecting our integrations was difficult (the messaging data, authentication, and the frontend).

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Some key moments that we were proud of were seeing that our API integrations for Slack and Teams worked, the verification system was working great, and the large errors and challenges presented earlier getting resolved. Overall, we are proud of the fact that we could split up the work and create something that people can actually use with a clean interface with a good backend supporting it.

What we learned

We all learned how to integrate the Cockroach Database and the Vonage API into our Node.js code. Along the way, some of us also learned a lot of Node.js, while others learned a bit about starting up servers using Microsoft Azure and the Express package with JavaScript.

What's next for Aortta

Aortta's got a long way to go. With many forms of communication that can be added and the potential for it to expand beyond a web app in a browser, Aortta can expand into a platform that can be used on the go.

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