Inspiration

Many small businesses in Berkeley use "punch cards" as a way of rewarding loyal customers. While it provides incentive for customers to come more often, many people often lose these cards and businesses are unable to keep track of customers using this system.

What it does

VWards is a web/iOS application that solves these common problems of punch cards. It allows businesses to create a login and track user purchases. This is done by giving the user a randomly generated code which they redeem each time they visit the business. The app allows businesses to track users of their business, as well as lets customers track the rewards for each business they are signed up for.

How I built it

We built two separate applications. The web app was created with Ruby on Rails and utilized Bootstrap for the front end side of development. The iOS app was created using Xcode.

Challenges I ran into

One huge challenge we faced was getting the iOS app to get access to the Sqlite database created by Rails. This required knowledge in Rest API that we spent a large portion of time learning about.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We were able to create Ruby on Rails and iOS applications despite having very little experience applying these languages prior to this project.

What I learned

We learned that while ideas may seem quite simple to develop at first, they realistically take far longer than expected to develop. Many hours were spent on trial and error, constantly testing and debugging until the app worked. This project also helped us deepen our knowledge in the respective languages and core understanding of how back end and mobile development work.

What's next for VWards

While we were unsuccessful in having the iOS app access the Rails database, we are working on further continuing our understanding to make this app fully functional. Hopefully, we will be able to develop and test it to the extent that local small business would be able to implement our app!

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