Mystro Modernizes Massage Therapy

We're always excited to hear from our customers on how they're using Compose. Sheree Evans, a co-founder at Mystro, emailed out of the blue to share some nice things about our ace support team. We asked if we could learn more about their startup and this is what she and another co-founder, Luke Vear, at Mystro had to say.

Massage therapists have not always been the first to leverage new technology, but that’s changing as more massage therapists recognize that the well-being of their business in the online age deserves as much attention as the well-being of their clientele. That’s where Mystro, an Australian startup providing an all-in-one business management, team scheduling and booking application, comes into play. Mystro is helping health, wellness and fitness professionals around the world to run their business in the cloud. In other words, it’s where one of the world’s earliest practices of healing and relaxation meets the newest way to do business.

Mystro's co-founders, Sheree Evans and Danielle McFarland, a massage therapist and UI designer, respectively, came up with the idea for Mystro in 2010 and worked on it for years. They operated a massage therapy business with multiple therapists and encountered the difficulty of trying to schedule appointments and manage client data. Everything a massage therapist needed to manage their business was spread out across multiple tools – CRM, accounting, and scheduling systems, not to mention pen and paper – and did a poor job of helping them move their businesses online.

Mystro Online Booking

“We're starting to see a shift in the health, wellness and fitness industries where servicing your customers and effectively managing your business has to work hand-in-hand,” said Sheree. Managing a successful business in this day and age means putting more of the business online.

“It's because of this that the question asked will change from ‘why do I need software to manage my business?’ to ‘what software should I choose to manage my business?’ It's software like Mystro that eases this transition and handles all of the hassles that come with it.”

It was after Sheree and Danielle brought on two other founders, Luke Vear and Bryce Hanscomb, in 2014 that the dream of building a better service turned into a scalable business. Where Sheree and Danielle could focus on the product and needs of health and wellness professionals, Luke and Bryce could focus on building the platform.

Technical co­-founder, Luke Vear, had experience building scaleable web applications, but wanted to ensure that dealing with scaling a MySQL database didn't take up the majority of his time: "I've had to deal with scaling MySQL databases before, and when you start having multiple database servers with billions of records, it is the exact opposite of enjoyable."

Under the hood

Because Mystro's dataset isn't relational, the team knew it could benefit from a database with a schemaless architecture without making sacrifices. The team also understood that a polyglot persistence strategy could provide a better customer experience by enabling customers to easily search their customer data. That’s when they found Compose-hosted MongoDB and Elasticsearch. Compose database deployments include fault tolerance, high availability, automatic backups and low latency, which made the service a “no-brainer” for the team.

“It made a lot more sense to use MongoDB. It’s cheaper to run than equivalently powered MySQL instances and scales a lot nicer. Integration with PHP is fantastic,” said Luke.

While MongoDB is a terrific general purpose database, its limited full-text search capabilities can be augmented by using Elasticsearch. Mystro uses Elasticsearch to enable their customers to search their own customers (and soon, invoices) by name, address, etc. Using the two databases together is now a more common practice for app developers, and to make it easier to run the Mystro team also began using Compose Compose Transporter to automatically and seamlessly move data from MongoDB to Elasticsearch.

“Transporter makes our lives easier as developers, and it also makes the customers’ lives easier because they don't have to sit there and wait for me to commit something to MongoDB and then also send it over to Elasticsearch,” said Luke.

In addition, Compose includes fault tolerance, high availability, automatic backups and low latency, which made the service a “no-brainer” for the team.
On their favorite part of working with Compose, it was a tie between the Compose interface which allows them to browse their dataset without using the command line and Compose support. As self-described first-time “NoSQL users,” the Mystro team was able to get up-and-running quickly with all their questions answered within minutes.

"Support has been absolutely fantastic. Not once have I felt like I need to go to Google to find the answer because every time I've come to you guys, I've got an answer quickly and my issue has been resolved straight away, first time round. And, obviously, we're not paying for priority support or anything like that, we're just one of your many customers,” said Luke.

While Mystro was built by massage therapists for massage therapists, its simple interface, localized settings for handling different currencies and business features have made it a darling across different types of companies, including a tailor in Queensland, Australia who said the platform worked brilliantly for them for setting appointments and managing their core business. For now, however, the company is keeping a tight focus on building the app that scales beautifully for its core users.

Learn more about using MongoDB and Elasticsearch together:

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