Building a Better Blueprint for Ticket Industry Apps
Softjourn

Building a Better Blueprint for Ticket Industry Apps

November 25, 2019


Ticket Hoy
Ticket Hoy

Ticket Hoy is a ticket sales platform in Argentina and Chile that sells tickets for recitals, plays, festivals, stand-up shows, and other cultural experiences.


Digital ticket sales and distribution companies changed the world of event management and attendance. Not too long ago, attendees had to buy a physical ticket at a physical kiosk, keep that ticket safe until event time, and hopefully not forget it on the big day. Today, attending an event is as simple as logging into a ticket service, buying a ticket, and scanning a QR code or barcode in a mobile phone application at the event entrance.

The concert and event promotion industry has grown at an annualized rate of 4.6% to $33.3 billion between 2014 and 2019.1 That growth rate is only expected to continue in the future, and the ticket industry needs to expand and upgrade its offered services to grab its piece of the pie.

To ensure a smooth attendee experience, as well as keep sales fraud at a minimum, the technology behind event-door ticket validation is incredibly important.

Ticket sales platform Ticket Hoy, offering services in Argentina and Chile, provides vendors access to various tools to manage online and face-to-face sales. This includes digital tickets with QR codes, a ticket validation app, real-time reports to know the status and origin of sales, a ticket system with thermal printers, and price and stock management.

In an effort to stay up to date on the latest technology, Ticket Hoy wanted to explore options for rewriting its ticket-validation iOS application. To ensure the application met functionality and security needs, Ticket Hoy turned to the virtual software development services of U.S.-based Softjourn, Inc. to help define its development needs.

Defining and Mapping Application Specifications

Ticket Hoy was referred to Softjourn by a trusted source, and had met representatives at conferences. The ticket service wanted to leverage Softjourn’s vast experience to create the blueprint for an updated ticket-validation app. Softjourn offers nearly two decades of virtual software development experience to clients in the U.S., U.K., Europe, and other countries, handling the work from its development hubs in Ukraine and Poland.

Specifically, Softjourn’s been delivering functional and system-level ticketing solutions since 2004. Softjourn focuses on developing new, creative solutions or enhanced existing platforms help its customers compete, grow, and prosper.2

Our clients have told us that our expertise makes us a highly valuable partner, said CEO and COO Emmy Gengler. We offer business-building insights that go beyond code, and suggest new functionality and advanced technology. We work hard to give our clients the tools to pursue new markets and grow their business.

Softjourn’s developers took on the task of helping Ticket Hoy identify the application functions it needed for its real-time, ticket-validation process.

To meet the challenges of internet availability, varying crowd sizes, and overall ease of use for all entities involved in the ticket-validation process, Ticket Hoy and the Softjourn development team defined several requirements for the new application:

  • Support offline mode: This was especially important for venues with weak, unreliable, or nonexistent internet connection.
  • Reliable data synchronization: All scanned data must be synchronized with the ticketing system server. If a request fails, the app must have retry logic to deliver the scanned data.
  • Fast scanning speed: Crucial to avoiding long lines and improving each attendee’s experience, Ticket Hoy was interested and wanted an application that could scan several tickets in one second.
  • Laser-scanning support: The app needed to support laser-scanning attachments or external devices to provide faster scanning speed and work better in low light conditions.

In addition to these, Ticket Hoy also needed a ticket-validation application that could support multiple events at one time, in one location. This required a preliminary check of the ticket at the venue entrance, where staff first checks whether a customer ticket is valid for one of the events in a location. Once the ticket is validated, it’s then scanned one more time to check in the customer for their specific event. Both the validation and check-in of a ticket is stored on a server and synchronized through the entire process to prevent non-ticket holders from trying to gain entrance with the same ticket.

A Simple and Effective Design

Softjourn’s team created a software requirements specifications document for an access control application called ReactNative to help Ticket Hoy meet its needs. The application is a simple-to-use, quick program that synchronizes data in the background without interfering with real-time validation operations, making it ideal for both ticket holders and staff checking people in to events.

How It Works

After a simple login that is similar to typical app login screens, the user has only three menus to navigate: Configure, Scan, and Search.

Configure

On this screen, a user can specify which tickets to scan at the specific venue. One or multiple events, one or many dates, and one or multiple sectors of the venue can be selected. This met Ticket Hoy’s need to validate tickets for multiple events at a single venue concurrently. The user saves the desired fields to configure the scanner for what they need.

The Configure function also permits a two-step validation to be enacted. When “Validation Mode” is enabled, the app will simply validate whether the ticket holder is allowed to enter the venue, but does not check an attendee into a specific event. Event entrance is done later, using the same app, when the attendee enters that sector of the venue.

Validation records are stored on the app and can be sent to the server. This allows multiple scanners at multiple gates to be in sync with each other, avoiding double-scanning of the same ticket.

Scan

Once the configuration for the event is established, users then click into the Scan screen. When opened, screen camera view is automatically initialized to allow scanning. The number of all downloaded tickets is displayed, along with successfully scanned tickets.

Users see whether the Validation Mode is enabled, or if the device is offline, in which case a manual sync can be performed.

Next is the actual scanning function, which can lead to three possible outcomes:

  • The ticket is valid and confirmation is displayed.
  • The ticket is invalid (not found) and a warning is displayed.
  • The ticket has already been used and a caution is displayed.
Search

All downloaded tickets, including the check-in status for each, is available in this function. Users can search for tickets by name, ticket ID, and customer document ID. In addition, gate agents can manually check in attendees, and see each ticket’s scan history.

A Versatile Solution

While honing and defining the software specifications for a Ticket Hoy validation app was the scope of this project, the architecture also offers a myriad of other uses for a variety of industries.

Building upon the specifications, this application could also be configured for functionality in sales, scan statistics, point of sale, and other business areas.

Ticket Hoy appreciated the versatility of this solution. We were very excited to finally develop the framework for this ticket validation application, said Diego Balan, CEO at Ticket Hoy. The Softjourn team was focused on creating what this app needed, and understood the importance of the security features we had in mind.

1IBISWorld International (2019). Concert & Event Promotion Industry in the US – Market Research Report. Accessed September 2019.
2Softjourn, Inc. (2019). Mobile Ticket Validation: Access Control Systems. Accessed September 2019.


Softjourn is a global technology services provider that finds custom solutions for our clients’ toughest challenges. We leverage our domain expertise in Fintech, Cards & Payments, and Media & Entertainment (with a special emphasis on ticketing), to apply new technology that brings our clients' growing needs to life. Contact us to discuss how we can make your idea a reality!