The Background

In 2006 All Homes made the strategic decision to redevelop their original technology from scratch. This meant designing and developing a major real estate marketing platform from the ground up. Agile Digital were engaged to undertake this major  program of work over 13 months, successfully launching the completed platform in December 2007. This was a large-scale system that meant the development of multiple public and private web portals that make up the allhomes.com.au and allclassifieds.com.au platforms.

The system user interface already consisted of hundreds of dynamic screens and an array of advanced back-end functional systems (e.g., geospatial, structured data feeds, workflows, reporting, accounting, etc.). All Homes had tasked Agile Digital to deliver a scalable web platform that guaranteed in excess of 99.99% up-time whilst being cost effective to maintain and extend.

This demanded a world-class multi-site software infrastructure spanning two independent data centres, replicating/distributed database servers and filesystems, and a mesh of hardware devices in redundant fail-over configurations. For this, they needed a team of software engineers who understand complex and high-stakes platforms (us!).

The Mission

Agile Digital was to architect, engineer, test and launch a full-stack technology platform for allhomes.com.au. The new platform was required to provide all functionality present in the original site and to support 2+ million page daily views immediately from launch day. The solution needed to be cost effective to maintain and scale; to deliver 99.99+% uptime all day, every day; and designed so that future functional extensions could be easily incorporated.

The Approach

Agile Digital designed the 2nd-generation allhomes.com.au custom real estate platform to leverage major open-source technologies. This highly successful technology stack was profiled by TechWorld at the time.

The middleware was engineered using Enterprise Java on the RedHat JBoss application server, with PostgreSQL providing relational database services. The multi-site infrastructure was conceived as a farm of servers distributed between geographically disparate data centres. Aggressive content caching, service clustering and real-time replication of both database and multimedia data were engineered to ensure enterprise-class performance, robustness and scalability.

Red Hat has published a case study with further details.

The Allhomes and Agile Digital Team

The Result

The new generation allhomes.com.au real estate technology platform developed by Agile Digital was launched into full service in December 2007. The infrastructure and software stack has proven extremely resilient, maintaining rapid response times on its public website under loads of 2.5 million page views each day. Agile Digital continued to be retained by All Homes Pty Ltd for operational support and ongoing platform development until the business was sold to Fairfax Group in 2015.

Agile Digital have been a trusted software development partner to Allhomes since 2006. This team of talented, committed and professional software wizards have definitely played a big part in our success.

Peter Blackshaw (Founder, allhomes.com.au. 2014)

Need a software development team that understands large-scale web platforms? Contact us today.