Softjourn

Ticketbud: Enhancing Access Control with Technical & Ticketing Expertise

Enhancing access control takes a combination of technical acumen as well as understanding the nuances of the ticketing world

August 11, 2020
Ticketbud
Ticketbud

Ticketbud is a user friendly, all-in-one event ticketing and registration platform with all-inclusive pricing and customer support. Ticketbud’s customer support is what sets us apart. We’re there every step of the way.

Outsourcing software development requires trust. While it’s true that a third party can shore up differences in domain or technical acumen, choosing the right business to partner with can be tough. If anything goes wrong, it’s both costly and difficult to not just find issues that need to be addressed, but to actually address them.

Softjourn’s client Ticketbud recently dealt with such a scenario. Their access control mobile application had been developed by a third party, but it wasn’t functioning as well as they would have liked. They were having issues scanning tickets that were sold onsite at fairs, their primary demographic. This was causing a delay in queue processing times, which created a speed bump in their long-term business plans.

Working with Softjourn restored my faith in working with remote teams, said Alex Levine, Ticketbud Lead Software Engineer.

Ticketbud is a ticketing platform provider that focuses on fairs and similar events. Some of their events process upwards of 400,000 patrons over a few days; aside from offering a ticket-selling platform and patron analytics, they also provide a mobile access control application on iOS and Android that helps event organizers scan tickets. These apps connect directly with Ticketbud’s servers, which in turn feeds their analytics programs to help organizers review how successful their event was.

The Problem

At fairs, tickets are often sold to patrons onsite. However, issues arose when those tickets were scanned at access points; Ticketbud’s mobile app would compare the ticket to those stored on its local cache, and recognize that the ticket was not present in the cache. The app would then connect to Ticketbud’s server and download all of the event’s tickets all over again.

This was time consuming and caused lengthy wait times for patrons in queue. Ticketbud was aware of the issue, but uncertain on the best course of action to take for a resolution.

They turned to Softjourn for help. We have almost 20 years of experience in the ticketing industry, and have worked with many different access control apps for a variety of companies such as Ticketpro, EzTixEventfinda, Ticket Hoy, and Ticketmaster.

We partnered with Softjourn because of their ticketing domain expertise, Kayhan Ahmadi, CEO of Ticketbud, said about the collaboration. They also had the technical capacity. Overall, we had a very positive experience and would be happy to work with Softjourn on future projects.

Softjourn approached this collaboration in two phases: first, we reviewed the mobile apps and their API documentation to discern the issue, and then worked on developing a solution.

The Solution

Phase 1

After three Softjourn experts (an iOS developer, an Android developer, and a ticketing expert) reviewed the code and API documentation, we found that the way the APIs were written was causing the app to download all tickets whenever it identified a ticket not found in the cache.

We recommended that new ticket validation workflows be created so that the apps could identify different kinds of tickets (i.e., tickets purchased online in advance of the event versus tickets purchased onsite) and check in patrons correctly and quickly.

Phase 2

Softjourn started by defining new API endpoints for ticket updates and batch check-in and out.

APIs, or application program interfaces, are connectors that allow different programs to communicate and thus work together. API endpoints define where a call, or request, is sent and where a resource lives. Endpoints specify where APIs can access resources and ensure that the connected software is working properly.

Softjourn then refactored the code for both versions of the mobile applications. Code refactoring is the process of restructuring existing computer code without changing its external behavior. It isn’t fixing “bad code,” but instead making existing code clearer to better define the cause of bugs, build new features, or simply make the code more maintainable. This is much like restructuring a sentence so that its full intention is clear to the reader without confusion.

Advantages of code refactoring include:

  • Helps analyze performance: Isolates opportunities for improvement and makes it easier to spot bottlenecks.
  • Speeds up development: By standardizing good practices and by allowing engineers to use code efficiently.
  • Improved debugging: Detangles layers of unreadable code and clarifies it.
  • Increases productivity: Teams can react more quickly because code is easier to read and exposure to bugs is minimized.

Once that was completed, Softjourn implemented new ticket validation workflows, including both when a mobile device is online and offline. This is especially pertinent for venues that have little to no network connectivity, which can stall queue processing; with an offline mode, event organizers can continue to process patrons even with no Wi-Fi or other internet connection.

The Benefits

With the new validation logic implemented, Ticketbud’s applications can now scan all tickets without the cache bottleneck issues it had before. This project also supported their hardware rental business; Softjourn added the capability in each mobile app version to connect with Linea Pro ticket scanners, which lends an air of professionalism to any event management.

Because of the refactoring, their mobile application’s code is easier to read and thus maintain in the long term. When they need or want to add new features and functionality in the future, they can do so much more easily. Finding and dealing with bugs is also easier.

Ticketbud was very pleased with the end result of their project with Softjourn. Because of their collaboration with us, they can now pursue larger festivals and larger deals, expanding and scaling their company. 

Softjourn took a strong consultative role in understanding pain points and creating a thorough analysis, said Ahmadi. We weren’t rushed into a solution, and the solutions Softjourn provided were ultimately successful and delivered within budget.

Conclusion

A remote software development company like Softjourn offers businesses the skills and expertise they need, at a fraction of the cost it would be to create their own internal dev teams. And even when those companies do have those departments, a fresh pair of eyes can be what’s needed to cut to the quick of a problem.

With Softjourn’s skills, Ticketbud’s caching issue was resolved to allow for stronger access control. Developing new workflows and enabling missing features were the solution for this particular project, but we pride ourselves on understanding the nuances of every client project. Whether it’s developing something brand new, regression to earlier versions, refactoring existing code, or rewriting an app from the ground up, Softjourn has the domain expertise and technical acumen to bring clients’ ideas to life.

Interested in developing an access control application, or just have questions? Feel free to reach out and let us know what you’d like to discuss. We’re always looking for new projects!

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