Hitcents

Raygun helps Hitcents understand how errors affect app monetization

In the world of digital transformation, where every company is a software company, the moviegoing experience now begins online. The small cinema sector is no exception, and the pressure is on for boutique cinemas to keep up with large multiplexes and meet online expectations.

“It’s not just about when you turn up to the cinema anymore. It’s about the entire booking process,” says Sean Jackson, Software Development Manager at Veezi. “Buying your ticket online needs to be as easy and simple as possible.”

To help independent cinemas provide the unique and frictionless experience that moviegoers crave, Veezi’s development team needs to deliver updates and features that are error-free.

“It’s incredibly important for Veezi to deliver a reliable experience.” Sean says.

Sean Jackson, Software Development Manager at Veezi
Vista Cinema software runs in 40% of the world's cinemas in 100-plus countries worldwide. If our customers aren't getting a reliable experience from us, that means their customers aren't getting a reliable experience from them.
Sean Jackson - Software Development Manager

As a manager, it’s Sean’s job to maintain development velocity by optimizing the time developers spend writing code. As part of that task, Sean is always looking for inefficiencies in processes and tooling. During a routine evaluation, he noticed that managing errors was consuming too much of his team’s time. Sean recognized that instead of testing every configuration and looking through error logs to diagnose errors, an error monitoring solution would alert them to errors and their cause.

Sean says that when they implemented Raygun Crash Reporting, he was able to introduce more efficient error management workflows. The results were excellent—his team saved hours every week—enabling them to optimize time spent writing features and delivering quality code to customers.

Collection of images showing Veezi by Vista using Raygun Crash Reporting to increase reliability

The confidence to deploy, even during times of increased load

Modern multiplexes have set the bar high for independent cinema. Moviegoers want a boutique experience, but still expect state-of-the-art screens, luxury seating, and flawless booking experiences.

Monitoring thousands of applications for software problems is challenging, but Veezi has built robust workflows that ensure—even with increased load from blockbuster movie releases—there is no downtime for their customers.

Sean explains: “For movie releases like the Avengers or a new Star Wars movie, we'll see up to 20 times our usual load coming through our ticketing systems.”

Even during these high-load windows, Raygun Crash Reporting gives the team confidence to deploy changes and bug fixes faster. “When we deploy a feature into our test system, being able to find any errors before we push it up to production and before our customers notice is absolutely critical. Raygun is absolutely an integral part of our workflow to enable deployment of better software faster.”

With Raygun’s Dashboard, Sean’s team can investigate and resolve errors before customers notice, allowing them to deliver their product more reliably and more quickly.

I think now we have one of the best workflows you would find anywhere. We're able to power through writing new features more of the time and that means better outcomes for our customers and their customers.

A best-practice workflow enables Veezi to innovate and scale up faster

A best-practice workflow enables Veezi to innovate and scale up faster

Online ticket sales for cinemas are increasing every year, and we know that moviegoers that purchase online are more likely to attend in groups, buy concession items and upgrade to premium seating. Therefore, more independent cinemas are turning to Veezi to help increase their online reputation and their bottom line.

As Veezi’s team grows and scales up to meet that demand, Sean wants to ensure the development team is always delivering new value and maintaining an error-free product.

"It's important for us to be able to have a lot of confidence in our own product. Because everyone here is really passionate about the movies, we are essentially customers of our customers. That motivates us to innovate faster and deliver our product as soon as achievable as well.”

Linbis uses Raygun Crash Reporting and Slack for proactive error monitoring

To create an effective method of detecting errors in production, Eric looked to Raygun Crash Reporting. One of the first steps Eric’s team took was to set up production alerts so that the development team is made aware of any issues in real-time.

“Raygun’s had a positive impact on our team; that ties back to the developer’s ability to spend most of their time writing features with confidence and reducing the lead time of feature delivery."

“Everyone is proud to be part of this unique business where we are supporting the independent cinema industry with a mission-critical product and in doing so, increasing both the standard of their moviegoer experience and the economic success of their cinemas.”

About Veezi and Vista Cinema

Veezi, engineered by Vista, is the leading independent cinema management software solution in the world. Running in the cloud, in more cinemas, in more countries than any other provider, you couldn't have better credentials to develop Veezi. A bunch of movie zealots working alongside Vista Cinema across 100+ countries (and counting), they understand the moviegoing experience and constantly strive to enhance it for all.

Visit www.veezi.com and follow Veezi on Facebook and Vista Cinema on LinkedIn and Twitter

Jonathan Peppers is the Senior developer in the app department at Hitcents, working on cross-platform C# applications. He is a Xamarin MVP and author of the book, Xamarin Cross-platform Application Development. Hitcents is the software company behind the Hanx writer, with about 60 people in Bowling Green, KY. There are two sides to the company: building custom software for clients such as line of business apps, and building in-house apps and games.

“Raygun is a “real” error tracking system, compared to what we have developed ourselves for apps in the past,” Jonathan explains. “There’s an SDK for nearly any platform you’re developing for, which reports errors to the Raygun backend service. You can choose to receive emails when errors occur, and Raygun provides plenty of reports and filtering on the web dashboard to help figure out what went wrong.”

Before we started using Raygun, I felt like we had no visibility into some of the errors that were actually happening in production. In customer facing apps, we have seen the number of errors we’ve fixed from Raygun reports affect monetization in a positive way. With apps we’ve built for clients, many times we can proactively react to an error from a Raygun email during Beta testing. Clients are generally impressed, because we have a head start on fixing it before they have time to report it to us.”

“If you have an application that has a significant number of users, or really want to provide an excellent error tracking service to your clients, Raygun is a no-brainer. We feel like the monthly cause easily pays for itself by improving your app’s monetization or keeping your paying clients happy.”

“So far, having a reliable SDK that is reporting errors on multiple platforms has been the best feature. We have apps on iOS, Android, web apps in Ruby on Rails on Linux, and ASP.Net on Azure. Getting reliable error reporting on all these platforms and being able to aggregate them under one application in Raygun gives us a better view of the whole picture.”

“My team generally complains about using new things as they are learning (such as new source control). They have never complained about Raygun, so it must be a great service. Generally, everyone wants an email when something goes wrong in their code, and Raygun’s SDKs are easy to setup in your app.”

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