Towards the end of October 2015 we announced a broader vision for our company. Roomify aims to provide the tools that will allow anyone to manage the booking and availability of resources - whatever those may be. We consider this a core component of an open sharing economy platform.
After that announcement, we went to work. We kept our head down, the coffee (and tea) flowing and focused on what needed to be done to achieve this goal. Today we are thrilled to announce that BAT is ready to be downloaded and tested more widely.
What is BAT
Booking and availability management are non-trivial problems. It took several iterations and blood, sweat, and tears to get us to where we are today, and we are excited to share our first public beta with you!
BAT is a framework for building domain-specific tools that handle bookings and/or manage availability. This is analogous to Drupal being a framework for building domain-specific content management tools. BAT makes no assumptions about what booking rules you have or what types of resources you are dealing with. You can book items for a few minutes or a few days. You can have many different events associated with your items. Our goal was to abstract what it means to manage availability to the most general level, and let you provide the details based on your specific needs.
At a more technical level we also had to deal with wanting BAT to be immediately useful to the huge amount of Drupal 7 sites out there, while allowing a clear upgrade path to Drupal 8. We also wanted to make it available to the wider PHP community. Therefore, the core of BAT is actually “simply” a PHP library. All the core components are there and you can drop them in any PHP application. The BAT Drupal 7 module we are also releasing today is a Drupal specific wrapper and UI for the library. This means that upgrading to BAT Drupal 8 will be much much simpler. In addition, there is also the BAT API which gives us REST access to our event data.
There is a lot to talk about when it comes to BAT. BAT does not make any assumptions about your application and can handle anything from nightly-style bookings for a hotel, to bookings just a few minutes in length. You can create any number of bookable things and add as many individual units for each type as you need, and you get a great Calendar interface to manage it.
For those interested in seeing it in action, check out the screencast below.
We hope you will give BAT a whirl and we can’t wait to see what people will build with it. If you are building a website or application that needs a booking component, get in touch. We are excited to work with companies that need bespoke booking solutions, and with BAT we have an amazingly flexible and very powerful tool that can meet your exact needs.