Gone are the days when you can casually stroll into the grocery store and pick up a roll of toilet paper. It's is flying off the shelves, and many online stores report toilet paper in stock only for a brief periods of time. Hunting for TP has suddenly become a chore.
What it does
Users enter their phone number and select their store subscriptions. The TP Stalker monitors your favorite stores and sends a text when toilet paper is in stock.
How we built it
We used Visual Studio Code and Azure CLI to code the scraper, Azure function application that sends SMS, and interface with the Azure Cosmos DB. We coded the website and user interface, to be added to the domain once it is setup.
Challenges we ran into
UWB Hacks was the TP Stalker team's first hackathon. Also, this was our first introduction to the cloud. There was a lot to learn in terms of navigating Azure, setting up services, maintaining active resources for cost control, and connecting services to existing code. However, after a few tutorials in Microsoft Learn, we gained some momentum.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're proud of our web scraper, and the fact that we're making a service that the community could use. This was a fun project!
What we learned
We each picked up new skills for our coding portfolios. We learned how to manage Azure cloud services using Microsoft Learn. We each have something to take away from this experience, and are super grateful to the UW Bothell ACM, UWB School of Stem, and the UWB Hacks sponsers for making the event possible.
What's next for TP Stalker
We'll compare cloud platforms for flexibility, ease-of-use, and performance. We'll finish loading our code into the cloud services to keep the TP stocked, so we can study.
Tasks that still need to be completed:
- Connect the toilet paper stalker with the database
- Activate the SMS messaging service and refine the trigger events.
- Redirect the domain to our web form and hosted files