The Miami Beach area is a vacation destination that flourishes with rich culture, powerful vibrancy, and inviting appeal. The Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority needed a unique way to showcase those elements in an accessible, functional platform. MBVCA wanted to put the power of app building in the hands of creative developers while giving residents and visitors the resources they need on devices they use -- their mobile phones. By offering apps that gave developers the freedom to quickly adapt data when necessary, MBVCA would also have a novel way to provide real-time help to visitors, residents, and businesses. It could connect visitors and residents with the latest information that puts an array of resources in the hands of the people who need them most. By providing apps that gave them the ability to easily change data when necessary, they would have a way to deliver helpful, real-time, GIS-based data to users. Ideally, MBVCA could partner with a development team capable of addressing both the organization’s website needs as well as this experimental new project idea.
Miami Beach VCA partnered with Solodev from design to development of this unique API project. The Solodev platform allowed MBVCA to control the data accessible to third party app builders by simply updating the database. Solodev equipped builders with a secure website portal to request keys and access documentation.
MBVCA wanted the API to be ‘future proof,’ so Solodev made sure updates and data restructuring were as easy as possible. Thus, MBVCA can keep up with both data and UX trends to give their app users the best functionality possible. This stemmed from Solodev and MBVCA leveraging the power of a headless API. MBVCA needed an easy-to-update option through the front end as well. In addition to crafting a reliable administrative back-end interface, the app can be quickly updated through a front-end portal specifically designed for business owners.
Miami Beach VCA saw its dream become a reality, and the project has been a huge success since its launch. The MBI app built on the Solodev platform functions as a comprehensive 411 resource. It provides granular details on every business in the area as well as data on city amenities and events. The website now has over 7,000 listings with extensive detail available by category. This data allows Miami Beach’s visitors and residents alike to find an accountant and then select a beach-front hotel in a matter of minutes. For developers, it streamlines the connection between data sets through the Solodev CMS directly to a mobile application, thus bypassing the traditional website templates typically built into those frameworks.
Thanks to its partnership with Solodev, the city of Miami Beach can quickly and easily add new data sets to address the needs of the community while updating data to offer the latest information. The University of Miami even featured the Miami Beach API in 2013 for its annual hackathon. The API software package and the Miami Beach VCA website have also generated quite the buzz within the Florida tourism industry. The MBVCA API even outperformed travel website Hotwire’s app to win the coveted Gold Magellan Award in 2014 as the best travel destination by Travel Weekly.
Between developing the API and investing in a new website, Miami Beach VCA continually proves that the user web experience goes beyond the desktop. The MBVCA commits to bringing the best web experience to its visitors and residents, and by leveraging the power of the Solodev platform in its API, MBVCA can connect people in the area with the multitude of exciting resources the Miami Beach community has to offer.