How we’re achieving remarkable Space performance

June 11, 2019 | Zahar Poletaev
Space Technologies
As the team is getting ready for the release of Gurtam Space, we’re lifting the veil and sharing the story of the technologies and features behind the platform. Here are the challenges we faced while building an absolutely new product and how we overcame them, having done what nobody did before.

Gurtam Space as a new approach to telematics 

Space exploration has always been an assembly of cutting-edge ideas, inventions, and technologies, and moved science forward through solving the unique problems nobody ever faced earlier. What is more, space tech gave birth to many breakthroughs in multiple industries.  

Similar to space science, our unique job is to discover the new software development approaches and bring the brand new technologies and opportunities to our partners and the whole telematics community. Through our partner network, Space will improve processes and increase revenue for thousands of businesses around the world. To make this happen, we’re to create more than just a piece of software. Today, we’re telling the story of the technologies Gurtam Space has under the hood. 

Performance challenges

After the first months of development, the platform prototype, and the first app (a simple tracking application) were ready, and we started the tests. To our great regret, we have faced a big speed and productivity drop at big amounts of information (dozens of thousands of units). For sure, we could not base a new platform on such an unstable technology. As a result, the Space team started to work from scratch to figure out the most efficient data processing mechanism. 

In three more months, the final stack was figured out. But to achieve the performance we planned, we went through a total of three architecture revamps. 

Receiving data from GPS tracking devices

flespi

flespi gateway is employed for this segment. We have already performed complete tests, and the solution appeared to be a perfect fit for Space. flespi gateway allows to receive and process impressive amounts of information from different trackers simultaneously and makes it faster than any other system on the market.

The gateway is also equipped with a universal GPS tracker configuration tool. It fully automates the process of trackers configuration and saves tons of time and effort. In the future, flespi is opening data centres in Russia and the USA and will sync them with the main server in the Netherlands. The gateway will automatically direct data trackers to the nearest data center, cutting down the data processing time as well. 

Thus, we have ensured that receiving and processing the data from trackers will be a fast and effective operation with no delay or stumbling neither for smaller businesses nor for the larger companies with thousands of trackers employed. 

Head of Space 
Nickolay Kurdesov
Head of Gurtam Space

Data processing

classic 
Traditional SQL-based data management structure

The next crucial mechanism for Space is the data storage that will work with the system entities such as units, users, accounts, geofences, notifications, and others.
Because of the Space platform specifics and the information volumes which are supposed to be processed, traditional SQL database management systems appeared to be not flexible enough to cover the needs of the new product. That’s why we have chosen a new innovative database type called HASD (Hierarchical Asynchronous State Database). 
HASD

HASD (Hierarchical Asynchronous State Database) structure


The main advantage of HASD is the possibility to connect apps, apps’ backends, server backends, and even trackers directly with the database using one common protocol - MQTT. This means that all the apps on Space and their backends, mobile apps, the platform itself and the devices will communicate with the one centralized database separately using one and the same protocol. 
No matter how many applications Space operates, they all will get and send the data directly to the main database as fast as possible, offering high efficiency and simplicity of the data storage architecture. 

In real life, it means that the data from Space used by operators or other software will be provided with very small, unobservable delays regardless of the number of entities involved. 

Developer of Gurtam Space 
Oleg Chirich 
Developer of Gurtam Space

Logic and algorithms

The analytical part of the platform will be based on a brand new technology from flespi - flespi analytics
Flespi analytics provides an innovative approach to working with data. It splits all the trackers’ messages accumulated in the data storage by applying specifically designed logic. When the intervals with the messages are defined, flespi analyzes and calculates every single interval separately using its own logic as well. As a result of such an approach, users will be able to generate reports and conduct custom calculations on the level of the data storage, without loading data from the database to the frontend. This will directly and positively affect efficiency on extra big volumes of information processing.

SDK libraries for frontend development 

SDK

One of the main advantages of Space is the possibility to develop different niche solutions or apps much faster than it was possible with Wialon or any other platform on the web. That’s why the Space team is focused on the platform’s SDK and other development tools. 

In order to develop an app for, say, fleet management, one should care about 3 main areas or layers: 

  • The link between the database, or platform, and the app via API. This includes such tasks as data updating, issues analysis, connection status, and more. 
  • The frontend and the interface of the app. This is where a user works with the interface and its elements, such as buttons, tabs, tables, graphs, etc. 
  • The business logic of the application. This is how the data in the app is processed and analyzed.
 
The idea behind Gurtam Space SDK is to completely cover the first two layers and let the developers focus on their apps’ business logic. According to our plan, Gurtam Space SDK will include a range of ready-made, logically united components. These components could be used as a constructor to easily combine the visual and server parts of an app with minimal coding. 
Today our team is building our first apps using the Vue.js progressive framework, which is planned to be the basis of Gurtam Space SDK first versions. 
Gurtam Space SDK will allow our partners to easily build, promote, and distribute their solutions of outstanding performance and efficiency. 

Authorization

One of the key features of Gurtam Space is the possibility to create, distribute, and use niche solutions called apps. In order to smoothly set up the network which includes developers, integrators, and fleet owners, the platform should have a flexible authorization mechanism that will cover all user types and relationships between them. 

The technology we have chosen for this purpose is based on the OAuth 2.0 specification. The key point of it is a so-called authorization ID. The ID is automatically assigned to each app developed in Gurtam Space. This ID is further used when integrators add apps from the marketplace and provide end customers with access to them. The OAuth 2.0 technology allows us to regulate the relationships between developers, integrators, and end users, to control access hierarchy, and even apply billing plans depending on the type of the apps used. 

What’s next?

Gurtam Space is one of the first platforms of its kind, designed with technologies that have never been used for telematics software development before. It’s challenging to be the first one to pave the way. At the same time, it’s fascinating for the team to create a revolutionary platform which will be used by thousands of businesses worldwide. 

And our team is ready and prepared to do it from A to Z. As far as Gurtam Space is being developed, we will continue to keep you posted about the technologies, features, and milestones of the Gurtam Space project. 
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