Gladstone, based in the UK, is a market-leading supplier of comprehensive leisure management solutions covering all aspects of membership management and health club fitness facility administration.
Orbit Professional™, was the first of a new line of products from Gladstone. An intelligent and integrated membership management solution for private independent health clubs. The product supported prospecting, member signup, communication, bookings, point of sale, administration, payment collection, and reporting.
A critical aspect of health club membership management is the ability to control the payment frequencies that are offered to members so that they can choose how to pay for membership.
Another key requirement for bookings is to provide clubs with a flexible and powerful mechanism to schedule ad-hoc and regular classes so that members can reserve a space in a class or schedule a session with a personal trainer.
To ensure the smooth running of the club classes and personal fitness assessments, the requirement was defined according to a regular schedule or as an ad-hoc event, and the relevant facility or resources required to be reserved for that specific date/time slot. Bookings were required to be configurable to a specific time slot on a specific day (a regular time slot on a specific day, every week). In some cases, they span days or even weeks. In many cases, they required to support complex date patterns (e.g. Monday evenings between 6-7pm except for public holidays).
The ability to configure odd time slots was also required, for example in some clubs, golf “tee time” bookings required a booking slot every 8 minutes during the day.
The Aspose.Email for .NET has been used within Orbit Professional for several different purposes:
- To control the payment frequencies that are offered in clubs. Clubs can define their own payment frequencies such as weekly, monthly, 3 monthly, annually etc.
- Define resource and activity schedules to control the availability of resources and activities for bookings. The Aspose.Email for .NET has proved to be a great component to configure occurrences, and within Orbit Professional, it has combined with duration to control the availability of a resource.
- Define booking slots. The booking slots can be created using Aspose.Email for .NET component and specify when during a day, the resource can be booked. A tennis court, for example, can be booked every 60 minutes during the day.
Payment frequencies, date patterns and recurrence patterns for bookings were quickly and easily implemented. Most significantly, valuable developer resources were saved. The code is robust and maintainable, and it is not necessary for the Orbit Professional development team to develop separate algorithms to support complex date patterns.
- Increased speed of development
- No complex data structure to support recurrence patterns
- Improved stability and maintainability of code
- Supports extremely complex recurrence patterns simply
We will continue to use Aspose.Email for .NET in the future development of Orbit Professional. The development team will expand its use in the future to support complex courses (recurring weekly classes, scheduled once), multi-resource and spa bookings (series of treatments booked in a pre-set, ordered sequence).
Gladstone’s experience with similar systems has shown the company that recurrences and scheduling can be extremely demanding, especially when recurrence patterns are complex.
The Aspose.Email for .NET component has saved the Orbit Professional development team many hours of development. It is extremely easy to use, as the only item that it is necessary to store is a simple string in the database. Most importantly, Aspose.Email for .NET component provided us with the ability to define advanced recurrence patterns, simply and intelligently.
Orbit Professional screenshot showing payment frequencies created with the Aspose.Email for .NET component:
Development Project Manager, Orbit Professional
Gladstone Health & Leisure