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Web 2.0 hits New Zealand with Eventfinder

Media Release
for immediate release
22 June 2006

Web 2.0 hits New Zealand with Eventfinder

New Zealand’s most popular events calendar Eventfinder has re-launched its website using Web 2.0 technologies and an application stack that are a first for New Zealand.

Since launching Eventfinder in January 2006, audience numbers have grown so dramatically that in April chief executive Michael Turner made the decision to re-develop the system from the ground up.

“We knew we had a winner on our hands after the first two months of operations. We also knew the original system would melt if our audience projections were correct. So we made the call early on to re-develop the system to scale and to be more flexible with regard to launching new features,” said Turner.

The Eventfinder application has been built from the ground up by Nerds Inc, an Auckland software development company using a best-of-breed application stack based on the proven flexibility, stability and security of Linux, Apache, PHP and MySQL.

The software was developed using Symfony, the most advanced web applications Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework available for PHP5.

Managing director of Nerds Inc, James McGlinn, said “Symfony was definitely the right choice. It reduced our development time, not just for this release of the Eventfinder application, but for new features already in development.”

The application uses Propel, an advanced Object/Relational mapping layer and Creole for database abstraction. Being able to switch database server types if needed was a requirement laid down by Eventfinder.

Although recognising MySQL as being the most appropriate database server for these kinds of web applications, Eventfinder wanted flexibility in future decision making by not being tied to a particular server.

Turner decided to serve PHP over the Zend Platform which maximises uptime and dramatically improves performance. “We wanted this site to be fast, and the improvement in performance the Zend platform has given us is incredible,” said Turner.

One of the reasons Eventfinder went with Nerds Inc was because they have two of only five Zend Certified Engineers in New Zealand. After deciding on the platform, “we went looking for the right people,” said Turner, “and James and his team have performed remarkably given the pressure we placed upon them regarding specific time frames and functionality.”

Some of the features use AJAX technologies that are ground-breaking for a high-traffic New Zealand website. The site uses real-time validation during registration, allowing the user immediate feedback for incorrect fields, avoiding the repeated cycle of submitting the form only to find errors have been made.

Eventfinder account holders have similar functionality embedded into the event management system, speeding the process of posting events while maintaining data integrity and making the system easier and more intuitive to use.

“We’re already reaping the rewards,” said Turner. “After going live with the new application over the weekend, server responsiveness has improved, and we’ve already had great feedback from some of our account holders and advertisers. We expect to significantly improve on the 34,000 visits we received last month. Our advertisers also benefit from the new platform, as we now provide real-time statistical reporting.”

“Now we’re making ourselves investment ready so we can expand Eventfinder to other markets,” added Turner.

Eventfinder …you need to get out more


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