Serverless
is the new
black

rta Consulting designs and develops web & mobile apps to support companies on their missions.

We specialize in serverless architecture with Firebase, Google's web and mobile app development platform.

This allows you to forget about managing IT infrastructure and to build modern applications with increased agility and lower total cost of ownership.

Services

Our service offering is twofold.

Web Application Development

Building state-of-the-art Web and Mobile Apps that boost your business is the core of our activities.

Our application development services combine our expertise in Functional and Technical Analysis, Application and Database Architecture, UX Design and development for serverless cloud-based platforms, to take your web app all the way from concept to launch.

We deliver web apps of different type and size: from a prototype or a simple MVP, to a fully featured version, optimised for mobile and/or for larger screens.

The Agile development methods and practices we apply during the development process ensure that your project is carried out in a transparent and collaborative manner, meaning you are always in the driving seat.

Interim Project Management

Having the right Project Manager driving your Web Application Development projects determines their success. For a set period of time we will seamlessly integrate within your team as an Interim Project Manager, effectively helping you managing your projects.

We can support you in the management of all stages of the Application Development life-cycle: from Functional & Technical Analysis, Architecture & Design, Development, Testing, Data Migration, up to final Production Deployment and Maintenance.

But that’s not all... We also help our customers setting up complex Call for Tenders, working hand in hand with Procurement and Legal departments, offering support in determining budgets and deadlines, and eventually in selecting the right IT Services provider for their project.

With a sound experience working on an interim basis, we are equipped with seasoned Project Management and Team Leadership skills and therefore we will be highly productive from day one.

Technologies

We have carefully selected a technology stack composed of
the best frameworks on the market, mainly open source ones. The main drivers for this selection were
application quality, usability and reactivity, speed of development and ease of maintenance
as well as size of the developer communities.

Serverless

Serverless allows building and running web applications without thinking about servers. It eliminates infrastructure management tasks such as server provisioning, patching, operating system maintenance, and capacity provisioning.

A serverless architecture doesn’t mean there aren’t any servers: there is a Cloud provider allocating the server resources, but you don’t have to think about those servers and worry about server management.

Building serverless apps means that we can focus on your application and its core functions instead of worrying about managing and operating servers. This reduced overhead lets you and us, as your service provider, reclaim time and energy that can be spent on developing the best possible web app.

So, yes... Serverless is the new black (i.e. it is fashionable and popular), but it is also much more than that and brings you a lot of benefits!

Benefits

  • No Server Management: There is no need to provision or maintain any servers. There is no software to install, maintain, or administer. And you don’t need to hire an expert in server management.
  • Flexible Scaling: The platform automatically and quickly scales up or down based on the incoming traffic, and even scales down to zero.
  • Pay for Value: You don’t have to pay for idle servers. You only pay when the servers are actually serving your app.
  • Security: The cloud platform takes care of the security of the system and the network configuration around the servers that run your web app.

Firebase

Firebase is Google's mobile and web app development platform. It provides developers with a set of tools and services which help them quickly develop high-quality apps. Those services are hosted in serverless mode on Google Cloud word-class infrastructure.

Firebase offers the following services that can be seamlessly combined to implement all the functions of a modern web app: Database, File Storage, Authentication, Push messaging, Analytics and Hosting.

In addition, with Cloud Functions for Firebase, it is possible to execute complex code "in the backend" and to connect your application to external (micro-)services in order to, for example, execute online payments (Stripe), send emails or SMS, generate PDFs, execute the OCR of an image uploaded from the app to extract the text it contains, etc... The possibilities are truly endless!

For all these reasons, at rta Consulting, we are big fans of Firebase! For more than three years we specialize in the different services it offers. Our customers are so happy about the results, that today, all of our web app development projects are based on Firebase!

Benefits

  • Do not re-invent the wheel: Use a mix-and-match approach to combine the Firebase services and cover the set of functional requirements of your web app.
  • Pricing: Firebase offers a generous "free tier" for all of its services. This is particularly interesting for startups: they launch an MVP with nearly no cost of IT infrastructure.
  • Scalability: Firebase projects are backed by Google Cloud, taking advantage of its performance and scalability and letting you scale your app to billions of users.
  • Firebase Authentication supports several identity providers: email and password accounts, phone auth as well as Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook and Apple login.
  • Hosting: Files deployed to Firebase Hosting are served by Google's CDN. You also get free SSL certificates for your custom domains.
  • Direct link to Google Cloud APIs like BigQuery, Vision API (OCR), Speech API, Auto ML, etc.

Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

In a nutshell, a Progressive Web App, or PWA, is a web app that looks and behaves in the same way as a mobile application: it can be added to the main screen of your smartphone or tablet, it can send notifications and it can work offline.

Unlike most native iOS and Android apps, PWAs work across platforms, so we only need to build and maintain one code base. Therefore the interest of PWAs is simple: Developing a PWA web app is cheaper than developing two, separate native apps. If your business core value is not a native app, just make sure that you deliver mobile-first experience and focus on value (i.e. your app functions), and not on technology and over-engineering.

Another interesting advantage of PWAs is that publishing your app is significantly streamlined: You don’t have to submit your app to Google Play or to the App Store and to wait for reviews and approvals. This is particularly interesting for updating you app: just deploy the new version on the serverless platform and your users receive the update instantly!

Vue.js

Vue.js is one of the most acclaimed JavaScript Framework for building User Interfaces and Single-Page Web Applications (SPAs).

This lightweight, progressive, open-source Framework offers all the necessary "essential building blocks" for constructing a robust and efficient Web App: two way communications MVVM Architecture, Routing and Centralized State Management.

Its large developers Community, the quality of its documentation and the evergrowing list of libraries and components, together with the aspects detailed above, were key when choosing it as part of our technology stack.

Our Work

Here are some examples of what we’ve created for our customers, across industries and organization sizes.

ABR Architecture

Project Management & Timesheets Application for an Architecture agency

Galilea is a Planning and Timesheets application realised for the "ABR Architecture" agency. The core component of the app is a Cloud Firestore database which contains all data about projects, plannings, timesheets, employees and teams. Each Project plan is defined via a Google Sheet which implements a Gantt chart and connects to the database to save planning data and to fetch other projects and timesheets data (to visualize the total workload of each employee).

A secured web app allows architects to enter their timesheets and managers to monitor projects progress and risks through a set of real-time aggregated reports and KPIs (e.g. ETC, Budget variance). With this user-friendly Progressive Web App, architects can visualize their planning and enter their timesheets via their smartphone, at the worksite or on the road.

Technologies: Cloud Firestore (JS SDK & REST API), Cloud Functions, Firebase Authentication, Firebase Hosting, Google Sheets, Google Apps Script, Vue.js, PWA.

Crash Stickers

Online Store

CrashStickers is a Belgian award winning start-up which offers a personalized stick-on label to fill-in road accident statements in less than a minute.

The CrashStickers online Store allows visitors to create their personalized CrashSticker by entering their personal data and uploading a picture of their car's green card (photo from a smartphone or upload from a PC). When the picture is uploaded to Cloud Storage a Cloud Function is triggered: it interfaces with the Google Cloud Vision API (OCR) to extract the relevant green card info. The visitor finalizes the order by making a payment with Stripe.

Orders are stored in the Firebase Realtime Database and, every day, a partner Printing Company receives an export of the new orders: they print the CrashStickers and send them to the customers.

Visit the site: https://store.crashstickers.com

Technologies: Vue.js, Firebase Realtime Database, Cloud Storage for Firebase, Firebase Authentication, Cloud Functions, Material Design, Stripe Payment API.

Mainteneo

Mobile App for HVACR Professionals

Mainteneo is an App for the Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) professionals which helps them managing and optimizing their gas inventory, making it accurate, quick and easy.

This Firebase based application has two components:

  • A mobile app (PWA) which allows service technicians to record the quantity of gas used during maintenance interventions at customer sites. They scan the QR codes identifying the gas tank and the machine (Heater, AC Unit, etc.) and key-in the type and quantity of gas, etc.

  • A desktop web application which presents a global dashboard on gas inventory (types, inventory levels, etc.), a tracking of the gas tanks (at customer site, in trucks, etc.), different visualizations of the interventions (by customers, by technician,etc.) and automates the reporting on use of fluorinated gases requested by the F-GAS European directive.

Technologies: Cloud Firestore, Cloud Functions, Cloud Storage for Firebase, Firebase Authentication, Firebase Hosting, Vue.js, QR Code, PWA.

EUROCONTROL

Wiki like anniversary Minisite

EUROCONTROL, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, wanted to celebrate the 10 years anniversary of the Working Group of the aeronautic Radio Frequency Managers of its 41 Member States.

The minisite presents a timeline which displays the main milestones of the work of the group (e.g. meetings, key decisions, project launches, etc.). Pictures of the group life events or scans of documents are attached to each milestone.

The website is a wiki: any authenticated user can create a milestone or modify an existing one (e.g. by adding pictures).

Technologies: Firebase Realtime Database, Cloud Storage for Firebase, Firebase Authentication, Cloud Functions, Material Design.

EUROCONTROL

SAFIRE Web Application

Radio communications are a key enabler of aviation and air traffic control. Whilst air traffic controllers and pilots need to communicate to ensure the safety of flight, there are also other communication needs such as those between aircraft and navigation beacons or automatic landing systems.

SAFIRE is the Central Register of European radio frequency assignments and the European frequency request coordination system. It is a complex web-based application based on a database containing information about all aeronautical Frequency. It implements a set of collaborative functions to facilitate the coordination procedure for assigning radio frequencies between European countries and for optimising the way aviation uses this scarce resource.

Activities: Project Management, External providers coordination, Functional & Technical Analysis, UI/UX Design & Prototyping, Technical review and Testing.

About

Launched back in 2012, rta Consulting is located in Brussels, in the heart of Europe. Our customers are start-ups, SMEs, as well as long established large companies. We help them transforming their web application plans into success.

rta Consulting is operated by Renaud Tarnec, whose big love has always been crafting user-centric applications and digital tools.

Renaud is a full-stack web application Senior Developer, Architect and Project Manager with 20+ years of experience, exclusively in IT services companies. Over the years, he has developed many small and large business web apps like collaborative work platforms, workflow applications, transactional e-banking and e-commerce web sites or mobile apps in PWA mode.

His expertise covers all stages of the Application Development life-cycle, from Business/Functional Analysis, Technical Analysis, Architecture & Design, Development and Testing, up to Production Deployment and application Maintenance.

Renaud holds a “Diplôme d’Ingénieur” (Master of Science and Engineering) from the Grenoble Institute of Technology and a post-graduate degree from Paris Diderot University (Sorbonne Paris University Group).

Experience

International Organizations/Public Services
  • European Commission - DG TAXUD
  • European Commission - DG RTD
  • European Commission - DG Agri
  • Eurocontrol
  • Belgian Home Office
  • Belgian Driving Licence Exam Centers (GOCA)
Bank and Insurance
  • AXA
  • Zurich Insurance Group
  • DKV Belgium
  • Allstate
  • Société Générale
  • DeltaLloyd Bank
  • Puilaetco
  • Euroclear
Industry and Services
  • Danone Group
  • Kraft Jacob Suchard (KJS)
  • Moët & Chandon
  • Electricité de France (EDF)
  • Ugine Steel
  • Carnaud Metalbox
  • Canal+
  • Ricoh
  • FujiFilm Europe

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