Ticketpro: Strong Access Control with React Native
Softjourn

Ticketpro: Strong Access Control with React Native

React Native offers a two-for-one: One code base for multiple-platform apps for a native feel

January 29, 2020


Ticketpro Inc.
Ticketpro Inc.

Ticketpro Inc specializes in ticket sales and distribution. Ticketpro offers a web-based ticketing system to provide venues, promoters and producers with a fully customizable solution for full service ticketing and box office management.


Access control in the live event industry refers to systems and procedures determining who can enter an event or specific areas at an event. Live event access control is dependent on the environment, peak hours, the number of patrons attending the event, and so much more. Logistically speaking, access control can quickly become a nightmare for those organizing an event.

And it’s not just about money—event organizers and ticket sellers want patrons to enjoy themselves, and become loyal customers. Having a sophisticated access control system not only gets event attendees in the door faster, but provides a good customer experience. This promotes a business’s brand as a venue, event promoter, or ticket seller.

Ticketpro Inc. is a premiere provider of ticketing solutions for every province in Canada. They specialize in sales and distribution. They also offer a fully customizable solution for full service ticketing and box office management. Ticketpro caters to presenters, promoters, venues, and events such as theater performances, music festivals, and much, much more. 

With Ticketpro’s current ticket scanning application, event organizers can scan mobile and electronic tickets with either their phone or an external scanning device. This allows for quick processing of long lines, letting patrons get to the fun beyond the queue.

The Problem

Ticketpro Inc’s access control app, iScanpro, was limited to iOS and was difficult to maintain, let alone update. It was operating on technology from 2012, and lacked current functionality. This presented an issue with offering the best access control for events, especially since it was limited to only one kind of OS. Eighty-five percent of smartphones globally run on Android.1 

This had the potential to restrict event promoters and producers who might not have an iPhone. It also limited integration with external ticket scanning devices. Ticketpro wanted to continue to offer patrons the ability to scan both electronic and mobile tickets without worrying about fraud.

Aside from being able to offer their app on another operating system, Ticketpro also wanted to tap into the following functionalities:

  • Scan-in/scan-out
  • Local database download, sync, and reporting to create an offline mode for continued access control even in limited or nonexistent connectivity
  • Ability to configure connection to multiple backends
  • Integrate with laser scanners from Famoco and LineaPro
  • Have the camera overlay as a backup in case of issues with the laser scanning hardware
  • Implement RFID via NFC technology with the Famoco and LineaPro scanners

Since they were working on redesigning APIs related to their access control application, it was a good time to give the whole product a refresh. However, Ticketpro lacked the manpower to handle so many projects in-house. When they needed assistance, they turned to Softjourn. They selected Softjourn because of their technical knowledge and industry experience.

“It was very clear Softjourn knew what they were doing,” Guislaine Bulman, Ticketpro president, said. “Softjourn had a plan. Other companies we spoke with were just giving us a price for the hour. Softjourn came back with something clear, which influenced our decision.”

Tweet: Softjourn had a plan. Other companies we spoke with were just giving us a price for the hour. Softjourn came back with something clear, which influenced our decision. - Guislanine Bulman, Ticketpro President #softjourn #thinkhuman

The Solution

Softjourn reviewed Ticketpro’s wish list. They started thinking about how the mobile application could offer native functionality on multiple operating systems, but also keep the app easy to maintain. Softjourn recommended creating a native cross-platform app developed with React Native.

React Native is a cross-platform native mobile app development framework created by Facebook based on their React JavaScript library. Using React Native components, developers can create mobile apps that are nearly identical to those written with native code. 

Some of the advantages of using React Native include:

Reusable code: The app can be exported on multiple platforms from a single codebase, which cuts down on development time and costs.
App stores: Because the app can be offered in app stores familiar to customers, it becomes more authentic and is advertised to a wider audience. 
Performance: Native cross-platform apps are faster than hybrid apps that have to run code inside a platform-specific web component.
Reliability: React Native is used in many of the world’s top mobile apps, including Instagram, Soundcloud, and Skype. It has a reputation for being stable and reliable.
Free: The code is open source.

Before embarking on code development, Softjourn developed screen designs for the new app. Softjourn emphasizes communication between our design and development departments, which encourages designs that transfer seamlessly to the development stage.

The Benefits

There are many decisions to make when it comes to app development: what OS, tools used, should it be native or web-based? It all comes down to the audience you’re looking to serve, and Ticketpro prides itself on offering the best service to its customers.

To ensure that those who patronize their website have the best ticket validation and access control for their event, Ticketpro opted for a native application. They wanted an application that:

  • Would be high quality
  • Was unlikely to be refused placement in App and Play Stores
  • And have a 100% use of the native user experience design

All of which native applications meet!

Softjourn developed an app with strong design, careful development, and open communication. With Softjourn’s experience and expertise, the application gained:

  • Android and iOS capabilities
  • Connection to a whole new laser scanner
  • Ability to verify RFID tags, including RFID wristbands and other similar technology
  • Real-time synchronization of information to keep ticket validation and patrons moving
  • And much more

Conclusion

Working with Softjourn was Ticketpro’s first time working with a virtual software developer. At the beginning of the project, Softjourn proposed a communication plan that included on-demand meetings via Zoom and weekly email status reports. Version control was conducted with Git, and issue tracking completed in Redmine, both on Softjourn’s side.

“It was clear the people we were working with are very competent,” Bulman  said, referring to their collaboration with Softjourn. “They know the industry and were quick to understand our concerns.”

“The iOS app that we had before, it took forever to make small changes,” Laurent Danet, Head of IT Development, said.

“Internally, for us, it means we have more flexibility with regard to devices,” Bulman added. “If we are going to make a change, it will be easier.

“We had no surprises,” Bulman continued. “It’s clear that Softjourn has been developing apps for a long time. They have protocols and a good team in place.”

“I’m confident that others who come to Softjourn will get what they want.”

Tweet: “We had no surprises; it’s clear that Softjourn has been developing apps for a long time. They have protocols and a good team in place. I’m confident that others who come to Softjourn will get what they want.” - Guislanine Bulman, Ticketpro President #softjourn #thinkhuman

Headquartered in Silicon Valley, California, with R&D Centers in Ukraine and Poland, Softjourn, Inc. is a global technology solutions provider that finds custom solutions for our clients’ toughest challenges. Or 200+ employees skillfully evaluate, identify, and plan innovative, creative solutions. We become a trusted partner by proactively collaborating on all design, build out, and deployment. Contact us to give life to your ideas!

1Galov, N. (2019, November 26). Mobile and Desktop Operating Systems Market Share


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