Mercury 5 grand designs

Office Abstract 003

Avid followers of Grand Designs are probably familiar with the major milestones of building a house. The first is breaking ground – the designs are finalised and the project is underway. The next milestone is the completion of the foundations, literally the groundwork on which the entire house will be built. Upon lockup stage, the framework, the roof, the walls and windows have been completed, and the place is ready for fit-out – making it liveable. And lastly, the owners move in (usually adamant that they will never, ever do it again).

This comes to mind having just gone into Beta, Mercury 5 which is somewhere between the lockup stage, and actually moving in. Or more specifically, we’re at the point you often see in Grand Designs where the house isn’t quite finished, but is functional enough to start moving in. In GD, this is usually because they’ve run out of money, can’t afford to rent and build at the same time, and move in through desperation. Which is where the analogy falls over somewhat. After all, we still have our existing residence (Mercury 4) at our disposal, and we have plenty of resources.

The purpose of the Beta program is to open up the software to a restricted group of users to identify any bugs or usability issues. This allows us to address these issues before making the system available to the wider user-base. At this stage the Mercury 5 interface simply replicates the existing software. This should not be taken to indicate that Mercury 5 won’t eventually be a massive improvement on the old software, but is more a reflection on the work that has gone into the foundations and framework on which Mercury 5 is built.

One of the major enhancements in terms of the foundations is the Mercury platform is now available via REST API. While this sounds very technical, essentially it means that you can by-pass the interfaces that we provide in accessing Mercury data. So companies who maintain their own CRM would be able to synchronise with their Mercury CRM. And going forward this puts us in a much better position to integrate with external platforms.

In terms of framework, the new front-end is now based on HTML5 rather than flash, which is in the process of being overtaken as the platform of choice for rich internet applications such as Mercury. As well as future-proofing Mercury, a key advantage here is that the standard Mercury interface will be available in tablet browsers. And not only that, we will be much more agile than we have ever been in building dedicated apps for mobile devices.

So in summary, we’ve built the foundations, put up the new framework, fitted out the main living areas, and are alternating between the new house and our existing residence. The big difference is that even when the new house is complete, and everyone has moved in, we won’t stop building.

Ben Cook,

Head of Development