The Official Newsletter of GSA - Fall 2007

Technical Committee Update

As the fall leaves begin to change, GSA’s technical committees are charging full steam ahead. The August Technical Meetings were held in Charlottesville, Virginia and were hosted by VGT. The meetings were well attended and produced outstanding results.

GSA has recently created a new committee called the Operator's Advisory Committee (OAC). The committee is chaired by Don Karrer, Penn National Gaming and vice-chaired by Mick Constantino, MGM MIRAGE. The group consists of representatives from various GSA gaming operators. Its charter is to facilitate collaboration between GSA member operators and manufacturers, system providers. The committee will solicit future functional requirements from its members to continually ensure the standards are in alignment with market demands. The requirements list will then be prioritized and presented to the Board of Directors in the near future for approval. Once approved, the list will be forwarded to the technical committees and ultimately to the manufacturer community representing GSA's future requirements.

The G2S Committee Chair, Line Robichaud of GTECH reports that the committee is working diligently on getting the next release of the G2S protocol ready. Since reporting in the last newsletter an expected date of September, 2007 for the next release, the technical committee made the decision to delay the release in order to ensure more thorough and complete resolutions to the backwards compatibility and extensibility issues. Namespace negotiations are being added as part of the resolution to these issues. The new version will also include new functionality - more specifically remote device configuration (deviceConfig class). These features and the resolutions to the issues will be available in the next scheduled release of G2S which is set for March 2008. At the last face-to-face meetings held at VGT in Charlottesville, VA, the committee listened to a proposal to enhance the G2S protocol for use in the Wide-Area-Network (WAN) environment. The committee agreed to continue discussions and investigations on adding such an enhancement to the G2S protocol.

Walt Eisele of Bally Technologies, the S2S Committee Chair, reports the S2S Committee has been busy working toward the release of a new version of the protocol. This version features several new message classes including the following:

  1. Progressive
  2. Bonus
  3. G2S Pass Through
  4. Authorization

Many substantial improvements to the protocol’s existing classes have been introduced as well. The decision was made to perform a complete comparison between the protocol document and the XML schema used to implement the protocol. While this was a tedious and lengthy effort, it will provide a more solid basis for implementers of the protocol. Another key addition to the new version of the protocol is the addition of sample message constructs of the various message classes within S2S. This is expected to aid those implementing the protocol for the first time as well as those who may have implemented portions of it previously.

Overall participation within the technical committee has risen steadily. Thanks to all those committee members investing their valuable time to provide valuable new functionality to the industry. Also thanks to Jeana Hines for her dedication in performing the schema vs. PDF comparison. This effort provided substantial improvement to the overall quality of the S2S protocol.

Tony Green of Bally Technologies, Transport Committee Chair, reports the committee has been working on a strategy for Transport Certification and how that may involve application protocols such as G2S or S2S. Certification of the Transport will likely be partitioned into of the various transport services such as SOAP, DHCP, DNS, Security, and Multicast.

Additionally, there has been a proposal for an alternate transport that is more suitable to low speed/high latency environments; however, the proposal is in its infancy and is in the process of filling in the details before the Transport Committee will consider it for an official work item.

The GDS Committee Chair, John Hilbert, FutureLogic, Inc. reports the GDS is making good progress in updating all of its protocols, with a target of new releases in the coming months.

This quarter the GDS committee continues to be focused on the normal implementation challenges that arise with any new protocol. The GDS Committee is pursuing its goals for the year which include:

Develop a GDS certification program that will provide implementers with information necessary to test and verify their implementation. In progress with other members.

Updating the GDS toolkit to support the most current protocol documents and then make the toolkit available for all to use. This is complete. We expect to make the toolkit available to members in the near future.

Complete testing of the Device Firmware Upgrade(DFU) that allows a host to reload a peripheral and then make the DFU available to all to use. This is complete and is included in the GDS toolkit.

Work with other members to encourage the implementation of the GDS standards.

Ken McNichols of IGT, the SAS Protocol Committee Chair reports the committee has completed updates to the interoperability specification to include changes specified in the recent Addenda, and is working on creating test scripts to the test suite to test

Keep up-to-date on all the activities of the GSA Technical Committees by attending meetings if you’re a member. A full meeting schedule can be found here. The next major face-to-face meetings are scheduled for December and will be located in Kansas City, Missouri.

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