Mobile App Development
CAG-Ticket Scanner

Willinga Park CAG-Ticket Scanning App

“It was generally quick scanning. All in all, it worked easily and every time”

Hanna Timmer Property Manager | Willinga Park

Willinga Park is a world class equestrian centre set across 41ha on the South Coast of NSW. Drawing competitors from all over the world, Willinga Park stage a number of Olympic Standard events throughout the year. Soda Strategic, a Salesforce marketing, branding and design studio based in Canberra turned to way+bu to help deliver Willinga's mobile requirements.

Willinga Park, together with our partners Soda Strategic, determined a strong business case exists to replace their current off the shelf, licensed software, with a custom ‘Ticketing Solution’ using Salesforce. This implementation requires a custom mobile solution to facilitate ticket scanning at the park entrance.

Soda Strategic briefed way+bu to design and deliver a native iOS mobile solution addressing Willinga’s requirements to improve efficiency scanning tickets at entrances around the park.

The Challenges

Located in rural Australia, 4G connectivity, Wi-Fi, power and traffic flow (both foot and vehicle) were technical concerns to address at the outset, if this project was to succeed. High traffic flow was a safety priority for the Willinga Park, where the entrance is serviced by a single lane road, terminating at the entrance gate.

A fast, error resilient application able to handle poor connectivity were benchmark acceptance criteria for this project. Other concerns were:

  • Distances from Wi-Fi access points to scan tickets, occasionally up to 50 meters from the gate.

  • Vehicle and foot traffic backlog

  • Double spend

  • Battery consumption

A park attendee at the gate often walks fifty metres from the gate to scan tickets. On occasion, traffic into the park may stretch over a kilometre, so it is imperative that on high volume attendance days, the application works without fail.

It was crucial the application run on assets currently owned by the park. The current iPod touch devices suffered from poor battery life so an efficient mobile application with minimal battery consumption was paramount, as the current solution drained the batteries after an hour or two of use. When the devices failed due to poor battery life, it caused significant delays for ticket holders and safety concerns for Willinga Park.

The project needed to address these concerns and provide a fast, efficient solution to ensure optimized, foot and vehicle traffic into events.

How we helped

“way+bu made the mobile component of this project smooth and simple”

Sarah Tutt Project Manager | Soda Strategic

We knew a straight Salesforce solution would not meet our internal acceptance criteria or our clients. Inherently a ticketing system requires a messaging service, opposed to traditional Post/Request/Response network architecture. Ticket validation needed to be answered instantly, and the only way to meet these standards was to implement a messaging service, which Salesforce isn't designed for. We proposed an intermediary and Soda Strategic built the integration from the ticketing system in Salesforce to a Google Cloud Platform, which delivered ticket status updates instantly across all connected devices.

The final Salesforce, Firebase solution

A traditional architecture requires data validation via a server, in this instance submitting a ticket number and waiting for a response was too slow, couple this with inconsistent internet at the park, it introduced unacceptable risk. The chance of vehicle and foot traffic congestion, a double-spend attack (fraudulent double scanning of tickets) or stale data to float around was too high.

We designed a solution where the ticket validation logic was internal to the application, which meant validation was instant and synced to cloud storage via a socket connection only when its status changed. This solution dramatically cut unwanted communication which drastically improved battery life. Implementing Google Cloud Services, we were able to introduce a solution that maintained all devices with up to date data to the millisecond when connected.

Soda Strategic constructed a bridge between Google Cloud Services and Salesforce to sync ticket and event data for mobile consumption. And with constant internet/Wi-Fi, we eliminated unlawful attempts to fraudulently scan the same ticket at multiple points of entry.

Results

The CAG-Ticket Scanning application was delivered for testing a full month ahead of schedule. Scanning on site at the event exceeded our internal expectations and met all acceptance criteria. In the field, scanning, validating tickets and displaying information was blindingly fast. Reports from users expressed appreciation for the extended battery life, removing the need to carry juggle a portable power device while scanning.

Internet access at the entrance gate was reliable, offering continuous Wi-Fi. This ensured devices running the CAG-Ticket Scanning application remained constantly synced. In the field, we noticed only one or two scanners were used at any given time and no reports of error were cited from the 2000 tickets scanned for this event.

Future Mobile Plans

We are currently working with Soda Strategic and Willinga Park on stage two of the CAG-Ticket Scanning application which aims to introduce the following functionality:

  • Analytics:

    Simple and elegantly displayed event analytics below event information, offering a quick visual reference for important information.

  • Search:

    Easy to use ticket lookup when attendees fail to produce a ticket.

Need to discuss options to improve your workflow or how to use your data in more creative ways? Book an appointment now.

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