I recently made a post over at the VPSstat.us blog just letting folks know what’s going on and why there’s bee such a delay in getting our product out there for everyone to use. Rather than go into that again, just checkout the post at the VPSstat.us Blog.
The gist of it is, a friend and I have been working on a new startup idea. Kegplan.io, a SaaS business that helps liquor stores to better manage their kegs, with many additional features in the pipeline. Ace (the friend), who runs I-35 Spirits in Ankeny, IA, was the inspiration for the idea. Managing kegs, such as pick up dates, return dates, weather or not the customer needs a tapper, etc, can be a real time drain. Most liquor store owners have much, much better things they could be doing.
We’re almost ready to release a private beta and invite some local liquor stores to try it out. “Local” being in Iowa, Central Iowa preferably, but that doesn’t mean we won’t leave Iowa if we can get a few potential customers lined up out of state.
There’s a very, very basic homepage up now at http://kegplan.io. Please forgive me for it’s ugliness, most of my time so far has been spent developing the software that’s installed on customer sites. I’ll be hitting kegplan.io pretty hard in the next few weeks, including incorporating Pure CSS to make development a bit faster, and also provide full responsiveness.
Below is an overview of how to integrate kegplan.io into your website:
- Signup for a kegplan.io account
- Choose a plan (beta will be totally free, no cc details required)
- Choose the keg beers that your store has available from our admin interface, or send us a spreadsheet and we’ll import it just for you
- Install our script on the page on your site you’d like to have the keg request form
- That’s it! Direct customers to the page you installed the script on and they’ll be able to submit keg requests. Requests are sent to your email and also stored in a database so you can have all sorts of neat reports and graphs.
Since this is a service that can immediately have a positive impact on businesses, and a friends business specifically, I’m focusing on getting kegplan.io launched before putting more work into VPSstat.us. Kegplan is a relatively simple piece of software so getting it production ready shouldn’t take more than a couple of weeks.
All the scripts that are installed on customer websites are hosted on Heroku for maximum availability. The customer control panel is hosted on a pretty beefy VPS from DigitalOcean. We may eventually switch to using DigitalOcean’s private networking with a few different VPS’s in different locations, but I have a feeling Heroku will be plenty sufficient.
Shortly before the private beta release, we’ll be integrating kegplan.io into i35spirits.com. Once it’s been thoroughly tested on i35spirits.com, we’ll drop the private beta. If you’re interested in more info or if you want to get in the private beta right away, email me (Tyler) at
tyler at kegplan dot io.
If you’ve got any suggestions on the best, most secure way to deliver scripts for installation on third-party websites, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Right now I’m including a script on customer sites that’s delivered via HTTPS, and basically prints the form on the customer website. And I’m using jQuery and AJAX to send the results back to an SSL enabled domain for storage in a database and to send the necessary notification emails.
Anyway, keep checking kegplan.io for updates. There’ll be a official kegplan.io blog eventually, but right now all announcements will be made here at longren.org, and maybe at the I-35 Spirits website.
Would love to hear any comments. If you know anyone who runs a liquor store or other establishment that sells kegs, please tell them about us! We’re new at this too, so we’ll be helping beta users through every step of the on-boarding process.