S-O-B Shades of Blue
TWO LOTTERIES (Dutch)
The second largest Dutch lottery was guided through growth (from 100K to 2400K customers). Changes were made in software, processes infrastructure and organization. And all during opening hours, there was no interruption of service. An important aspect was the audit trail, there was a constant requirement from the Dutch justice department. The current-flow was fully automated, fairly no human intervention was needed in the process of taking the amounts from the customer’s account up to paying the winnings. This includes all the fault handling and fraud checking (exception handling).
The systems had a close interaction with weekly television broadcasts to support the keno-games. This challenged the development team, it was quite common changes in the format triggered application changes or development. This with the strict governance from the justice department.
The processes supported were:
- Application and database development
- Creating of direct debt files
- Creating of a file for drawing of prices
- Creation of payment files
- Assignment of lottery tickets and bingo tickets
- Production planning
- Making print selections
- CTI interfacing
- Input management
The audits drove the development of a second generation of the application and database. The original development was done in BBX, a BASIC dialect, which was not recognized as a safe technology for cash streams of this size (30 million euro per month).
In a spin off a similar lottery was made for the Dutch Red Cross. This was done under complete control of Rotaform, in co-operantion with Endemol. In fact this project facilitated a pilot for the development of the other lottery. As environment Ingres was chosen. Specific for the smooth integration of the objects that created the unique bingo-grids. Processing these grids, assigning and checking winnings, took to long when stored physical in a database. Using objects it could be done in core and storing only a string of data.
This last was important for the other lottery where winning has to be checked on 45 million unique forms for 4.5 million lottery tickets. We were able to optimize the process so that the winners could be selected within 45 seconds, using HP9000 machines. Be aware we talk 1995 now! This was hard core C-programming.
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