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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
WriteUpp is a cloud-based practice management solution created for small healthcare providers. In just five years the small team of five have grown WriteUpp to 700 clinics in 17 countries - and have no intention of slowing down. Primarily based in the UK, WriteUpp has their sights set on the US market, where they see vast potential for growth.
As WriteUpp entered its third year, CEO Bob Bond recognized it was time to ramp up their infrastructure. After a move to Microsoft Azure, their second port of call was to ensure that they are always up and available across multiple time zones.
However, customers weren’t reporting problems, and if they did, the lack of technical detail left the small development team blind to errors and “working on the assumption that something wasn’t quite right.”
They needed something to help identify errors when they happen so they could proactively solve problems, rather than reactively responding to support requests. Senior Developer Richard Kimber discovered Raygun as a solution, and immediately got the visibility into issues he needed.
We dipped our toe in the water with Raygun and realized just how beneficial it was. It’s fair to say that now, we couldn’t do without it.
Bob wants their excellent support reputation leading their brand. He says, “Support is a big factor for people wanting a cloud-based practice management software.” He adds, however, the challenge remains that “Very few of our customers are IT savvy. They are busy and don’t always want to describe the problem, or they get frustrated when you don’t understand where the error is.”
In a traditional small team setting, this typical developer to customer miscommunication can leave a large backlog of unresolved errors, and confused and frustrated clients.
However, WriteUpp has an impressive technical support reputation. Their response rate is 90% in the first hour and is rated 4.9 / 5 on Facebook Reviews, 80% of which are support related.
So, how do they do this, with just a team of five?
Richard uses Raygun to keep a close eye on recent version and feature deployments. He is looking for problems that may affect the application's functionality, just in case they need to roll back a release.
Richard says, “Raygun is our first port of call after a release. Before, we had no visibility into what was going on. Now, we’re always looking for an error spike, asking what we missed.”
The healthcare industry often uses outdated technology, browsers, and software which can cause unique environments when replicating errors.
Luckily, Raygun catches all the diagnostic details of errors, including the environment in which they occurred. Even if their customer has encountered an error on an outdated browser after a unique set of actions, the team can fix it quickly with minimum fuss.
The different ways people use the software always makes me chuckle. We all have different ways to navigate to setting pages. Typically, the bugs we find are because they are using our system in a way we didn’t anticipate
Middle-of-the-day maintenance is off the cards for WriteUpp, who strive for 100% availability. Their customers work around the clock, and if the system goes down, customers can’t access vital patient information needed to do business as usual.
So, when an error caused a major outage in the middle of the business day, Richard was anxious to investigate.
He recalls, “Our application crashed and logged people out for 10 - 15 minutes at a time. It was pretty horrific. We got no sense from our hosting provider at the time.”
Richard quickly tracked the error through the Raygun dashboard and into the error details page, where he could immediately see the problem. “It turns out the Redis cache we were using for our session state was running out of memory. It was such a simple solution. But at the time, we hadn't the foggiest idea what was going on, because you can’t recreate that locally.”
WriteUpp is soon implementing Raygun’s Real User Monitoring (RUM) to their software. Richard says “I’m hooked on the advantages of knowing about user-specific instances. We want RUM to get context around what’s going on with the user.”
Soon, Richard will be able to track performance metrics and attribute them directly to errors. He’ll be able to see exactly who experienced errors and the actions that led them to the error with the Session Trace feature.