If you’re new to our software, you might notice that the software is split up into several different components. Several of these components are aimed at different end users, but it’s important to understand how they all work together to form one whole system.
This page takes a run through the different components and who is expected to use each, while subsequent pages focus on each individual component.
The basic components are shown in Table 1 below. It can seem complex at first, but once you start to use each component it becomes clear how all the parts fit in together to form a whole system.
|Component||Description||Who uses it|
|Passenger app||A Progressive Web App that allows passengers to book and manage journeys. |
Passengers can also sign up for your transport service using Simply Connect, communicate with your system administrators (or with Simply Connect staff if you choose this option), and manage their account settings and communication preferences from the passenger app.
|Driver app||An Android app, built for Android tablets, that tells drivers who they’re picking up or dropping off next, gives voice navigation between one uplift point and the next, and manages the process of passengers getting into – and out of – vehicles.||Drivers|
|Admin app||An application for a Windows computer. The admin app provides a system administrator (someone responsible for overseeing vehicle operations from an office) with a view of where all the vehicles are, where they’re going, who’s in them, who’s about to be in them, and lots of other information.|
The admin app also allows a system administrator to create new passengers or drivers, send messages to passengers or drivers via a variety of means, and, of course, book journeys for passengers.
|Management console||The management console is where you manage your entire organisation. You use the management console to create and manage locations. There’s more about locations on the next page, but in short they are geographical areas where you run (or plan to run) a transport system.|
As well as helping you create locations, the management console allows you to change a variety of settings that are specific to each location. It also allows you to manage your organisation-wide settings (even if you have more than one location within your organisation).
The management console also contains the simulator. The simulator simulates multiple passengers booking various journeys, and multiple drivers ‘driving’ along the road to carry passengers. It is useful because it allows you to try out the full functionality of Simply Connect, as well as experiment with different configurations, without wasting time and money driving around the countryside.
Note: The management console is separate to the admin app because it is aimed at managing things from a higher level perspective. Whereas the admin app is for detailed day-to-day administration of a particular location, the management console gives higher-level system settings across all locations that your organisation has, and as such is geared more towards organisation owners than day-to-day administrators.
On the next page, we’ll stop briefly to look at a couple of bits of important terminology, before continuing on subsequent pages to look at each of the above components.
The passenger app is open on a smartphone.
The user is signing up and can choose where the location in which they wish to use Simply Connect.
A Progressive Web App, or PWA, is a fancy term for a web app (an application that runs in the user's browser) that makes use of a variety of modern web technologies to allow the application to integrate with the user's device in a similar manner to how a native app (such as those installed from mobile app stores) would.
For Simply Connect, this allows a 'best of both worlds' combination of the user friendliness of a native app combined with the ease and immediacy of use of a web application (there is no need for the passenger to install the app to use it, though they can do so if they wish).
Furthermore, it means the passenger app is not limited to running on any particular platform(s) - it can just as easily run on a low-range Android phone as on a large desktop computer.
This photo shows the driver app open on a tablet.
The app is in simulated mode in the photo. Simulated mode uses the simulator (found in the management console) to automatically book journeys and simulate drivers driving from one uplift point to the next.
An uplift point is a term you'll see a lot throughout this documentation. It's a short way of writing "either a passenger pick-up point or a passenger drop-off point".
This screenshot of the admin app shows a journey that is running (slightly) late. The red lines on the map show the next uplift points the driver will stop at and the expected times of arrival and departure from each point.
The times are shown in more detail in the itinerary window in the foreground. The currently expected arrival and departure times are highlighted to indicate that the driver is running late.
This photo shows the Management Console in Firefox. The simulator (within the Management Console) is currently showing.