iSolutions hired to create state-of-the-art custom seating application for M.I.T using javascript and FileMaker

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T) was looking for an interactive seating map to connect to their existing FileMaker database(s) to centralize and manage guests and seating for various fund-raising events held on or near the M.I.T campus. iSolutions had worked on various M.I.T projects throughout the years and participated in their “Partners Conference” where they had demonstrated the seating chart for the Oscars.

M.I.T wanted a seating map that could be used on a desktop and via iOS mobile devices so it was decided that iSolutions’ new HTML5 and FileMaker technology would be the perfect fit.

The custom seat map required a supporting database called the “setup file.” iSolutions created this file in FileMaker and stores it on the M.I.T server. This file will manage all the various events, including room libraries, table and object libraries, and numbers of tables and positions of all elements. Elements include not only tables of unlimited configurations, but also non-table elements like obstacles or other geometric shapes for reference within the map.

The setup file facilitates the ability for users to create and manage an unlimited number of events over time and to be able to toggle between unlimited numbers of events concurrently.

The seat map preserves the same “one database copy per event” structure currently in place at M.I.T. iSolutions retrofitted the existing database to work with the setup file and created a web viewer layout that can be invoked by any user at any time.

The web viewer layout presents the user with a drop-down to select any of the active or archived events, then, once selected, the web viewer will display the stored setup and seated guests along with the pick list of unseated guests. All drag and drop functionality will be allowed via this layout.

Although only one user at a time will be seating guests for any one event, many simultaneous users can view a given event at once, with a “refresh” function used in the database to update the view when seating changes have been made.

As each “one database copy per event” copy is created, very minor relationships are created back to the setup file each time. iSolutions guided internal development staff at M.I.T on how to set those up so they could manage this task independently.

The desktop version is accessible to 250 simultaneous users (unless FileMaker Server Advanced is used), on MAC or WIN platforms. The seat map application itself will be made up of dynamically generated HTML that references JavaScript files stored on a web server accessible to (or the same machine) the database server hosting the files.

The majority of the logic will be managed in either the setup file or the single event database file for easiest maintenance. The iPad interface was designed using iOS compliant “HTML5/JavScript” and will access the same setup file and event databases used by the desktop seat map. Additionally, the choice of iOS supported js libraries allows for FULL feature support on iPad!

The seat map also has a print option that will allow for hard copy distribution of the seating chart upon completion of an event.

For more information on this project or how we can build a custom solution for you or your client, please contact us here.