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Case Studies | Tickets.com

Tickets.com is a leading business-to-business ticketing solutions provider for live events, facilitating the sale of tickets by enabling venues and entertainment organizations with cutting edge software, retail outlets, kiosks, call centers, and interactive voice response (IVR) systems. Tickets.com also builds private label Ticketing GatewaysSM to enable entertainment organizations with e-commerce distribution platforms. 

We serve the entire breadth of the entertainment industry, including professional sports teams, performing arts organizations, as well as many prestigious venues and arenas. 

The Challenge
Tickets.com provides software solutions that capture a wealth of information about patrons and their ticket choices at the point-of-sale. Additional information is captured about customers and their preferences from various marketing activities conducted by each entertainment organization. 

To be competitive in their marketplace, our customers need flexible, real-time access to the data in their customer databases. Historically, a fixed set of fully parameterized reports has been provided to users, but this approach does not provide our customers with the ultimate flexibility they are seeking.

The Product
ProVenue™ Reports is designed to allow our customers to write their own reports using state-of-the-art software and to enable a widespread distribution of those reports to personnel within their own organizations as well as targeted individuals outside their organization. 

How ProVenue™ Reports Uses ReportBuilder

The reports are designed in a customized ‘Report Explorer’ application built with the ReportBuilder components provided by Digital Metaphors Corporation and deployed as a Win32 application. 

ReportBuilder provides us with a powerful, intuitive set of components that provide sophistication in the design of reports, and the ability for non-programming professionals to produce outstanding quality reports.   

We also make use of the ReportBuilder Server components to enable the deployment of reports through a thin-client web browser. Deploying reports in a thin-client architecture eases the burden for the software installation considerably, and enables an entertainment organization to provide access to reports to people outside of their organization (a promoter or a producer for example). 

 

The Development
Building a world-class reporting product created a number of demands. Key factors in the development process included: 

Flexibility – There were a number of challenges that were not easily met by most third party components: 

·     Our applications must provide an ability to retrieve data using complex queries and stored procedures. While the built-in query tools satisfy the required functionality in many cases, there are instances where the data relationships are too complex for the built-in tools. We have developed our own objects which respond to the Report Explorer events, executing our own data methods as appropriate. 

·     We must have an ability to build in a security framework that is consistent with the authentication used in our other applications. We are able to limit the folders and reports that are visible to end users using views that join the ‘folder’ and ‘items’ tables with our own security tables. We were able to extend the ‘Report Explorer’ functionality to include the ability to make folders and reports read-only based on security settings. 

·     We must have an ability to integrate our reporting application into our other applications, providing a consistent look-and-feel to our product offerings. Using the built-in examples provided by Digital Metaphors, we were able to ‘re-skin’ the application, adding our own visual elements. 

Vendor Choice – Digital Metaphors produces high-quality reporting components and provides outstanding support for their product. The newsgroups provide a wealth of information and collaboration between the vendor and other developers. The company has always been extremely responsive to any support issues.

Cost of Deployment – Deploying reports via a thin-client web browser was an early requirement for the project. The ReportBuilder Server components are deployable at a very reasonable cost. 

Conclusion
ProVenue™ Reports provides ticketing professionals the power and flexibility needed to compete successfully for the entertainment dollars of their customers. The ReportBuilder components from Digital Metaphors provide an ideal platform for building world-class reporting applications.