Taking a more proactive approach to issues in production environments

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

Ross Hawkins is the Owner (and a Consultant/Developer) of Ignition Development Limited. The company mainly provides consulting and bespoke web development services (using ASP.NET and other Microsoft technologies) to large scale ecommerce shops in Europe.

"Raygun is a number of things. It’s error management done right", Ross explains. "It’s a chance to add some process to the way you handle errors within your organization, without needing to roll your own app to do so. Raygun enables you to take a more proactive approach to issues in production environments, helping you to spot them well before your customers do. It's a valuable addition to any piece of software out in the wild that can help to identify (and fix) problems quickly and easily."

"The level of detail that’s recorded against each logged error and the way it is presented in the portal provides a level of context beyond other approaches that we’ve used. It’s hard for me to give solid numbers right now, but Raygun frequently adds value at every stage of the development process."

"In one particular project, we were tasked with upgrading an old web application that was created by another development team many years ago – the site hadn’t been touched in years, contained a number of areas which we suspected were not being used, and had no documentation. Raygun saved us so much time and money during development, testing, and go-live by helping us to expose and fix a number of issues with the legacy code, as well as to identify the actual usage patterns of the site’s users (which didn’t exactly match the customer’s expectations). Without having Raygun in the mix, that project would have been a lot more frustrating for us, and more expensive for the customer."

"I can most definitely recommend for any software development team, and I have done so a number of times! There are many different ways that any company can benefit from Raygun. That versatility means that as a product it has something to offer almost every development team - regardless of the processes they may already in place, the size of the company/team, or the technology stack(s) that are used."

"Raygun helps me identify problems before the customer does, without having to keep a constant eye on a number of different logs located on different servers. It provides us with additional information to help debug intermittent issues which are hard to reproduce. It provides an insight into just how many crawlers and spambots are out there trawling the web and probing into every nook and cranny of every site. Raygun can also be valuable in spotting when other developers on the team are having issues with a particular piece of code, which can be a handy timesaver and is especially relevant for us given that all of our team are remote workers."

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