Many users ask us why we are closing orange.gps-trace.com. And today I want to explain our vision to you.
At the moment there are two versions of GPS Trace built on different platforms. The old one (Orange) is based on Wialon. And the new one is based on flespi / Gurtam Space.
First of all, I should say that I really love Orange GPS Trace. In an internal article in Gurtam, I compared the two versions in the following picture:
(Please don’t tell anyone that I used extracts from internal docs, because of NDA.)
As you know, GPS Trace is absolutely free at the moment. No costs and no commercials. The main line of our business is developing and providing services of GPS monitoring by B2B-model.
You can ask me: And what does it have to do with GPS Trace?
So, one of the main reasons for the existence of this project is the running-in and implementation of technologies for our commercial products.
The development of the Orange version ended a few years ago. And we even thought to close this project at all. But we made another decision: to begin to develop it on the basis of new technologies that we have in the company. And to make it more successful than ever.
Why don’t we leave the two versions?
There are several reasons:
The people who answer the questions of our users.
With a team of five developers, we answered 850+ letters in three months.
It also involves the server maintenance: replacing broken disks, monitoring, purchase of equipment, troubleshooting.
Now we have more than 100.000 users and a lot of servers.
If one light bulb burns out once a year, with 12 light bulbs the risks of burning out increase by 12.
2. Server equipment.
In our data center, about 10-12 cool bare-metal servers are used to service the Orange version. Old storage mechanisms are not as efficient as the new ones created by the flespi team from scratch. We are going to reduce this number by several times.
3. Loss of popularity.
And here is one of the most interesting parts.
In the graph below, you can see a red trend line that shows the number of online users before the release of the new version.
We attribute this to the growing popularity of mobile solutions.
Most of our users log in with a mobile phone.
Before that, we had three different versions (Web, Android, iOS) with their own source codes. And if you wanted to add a new feature you had to implement it 3 times.
I am silent about the fact that our mobile development team is separate, and the commercial solutions are always a priority for it. As a result, there was nothing in our mobile applications except the unit position on the map.
Now we have introduced new development approaches and have made the three versions on one code base. Now all changes are made simultaneously to all the platforms.
Also we know about some users that use our API for developing their own solutions, including commercial ones.
We did not stop such use, but only observed it. Now we can recommend flespi for these purposes, and it is more suitable than the API of old GPS Trace. You can use it for free with some limitations. But you will have modern technologies, such as a MQTT broker and so on.
For the rest of the users who are ready to pay, I can recommend Wialon. You will be surprised when you see the number of opportunities it offers. But most likely, you’ll want to work with one of the partners from our community.
What is about the new version?
Take a look at the graph of the user sessions (ttl - 2 weeks). Some of the users switched from the old version, the others are completely new.
Why does it have so little functionality and what are your plans for the future?
We have chosen the most popular functionality and implemented it. Now we will gradually add more functions, analyze the feedback and make the app as simple and convenient as possible.
Our goal is not a big number of functions, but the convenience of use. We want you to be able to get the phone out of your pocket at any time and get the information you need in three clicks.
We will be very grateful if you speak in detail about what you like and what you don’t like. Even if we don’t answer you, we read and analyze all the reviews. Phrases like “Previously, the grass was greener” don’t give us any useful information.
«You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take».