Find, buy and sell books on bookrrrr
Bookrrrr is a prototype of a book marketplace for students at the TU-Braunschweig. It’s implemented as a Java Portlet, a special kind of Servelet that can be deployed onto a Portlet container like Liferay Server. At my university, a Liferay instance is running the TUgether portal which aims to centralize all services relevant to a student.
Within a semester, a group of five students (initially six) developed an idea along with use cases and scenarios, and started a prototypical implementation. The prototype already featured a database, the portlet UI and communcation with a Google Books Webservice to search for a book by ISBN number and acquire additional meta data on books.
Idea and concept
A student may need books for his/her courses, which many other students needed before. Unlinke ebay, amazon and Co., trading books within the university has several advantages:
- direct communication
- no shipping
- no complicated money transfer
- book ratings not only on their general quality, but on their usefulness for a specific lecture
- direct integration with the universities module index and library catalogue
A portlet needs to share its screen space with many other portlets, so a minimalistic approach to the GUI is needed. Not all of the UI designs could be implemented yet due to time constraints.
Much of the work has been preparation, research, planing, presentation and discussing. To make the general idea accessible to a wide audience, some promotional videos have been created, like this one (German audio):
[pro-player width=’530′ height=’363′ type=’video‘]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvhnXAmYUxU[/pro-player]
You can read more about bookrrrr in this blog post at the Institute für Wirtschaftswissenschaften (German only). As you can see there, the prototype will be extended into a working service within the next semesters.