Technical Committee Update

The first quarter of 2006 has been rich with change and progress. GSA's five technical committee's have been hard at work, but special notice should be made to the formation of GSA's new Game-to-System (G2S) Committee. The vital task of merging BOB and SuperSAS has been the committee's number one objective and with diligence and a record setting pace the merging of the two protocols is nearly finished.

Recently elected as the G2S Committee Chair, Jim Morrow of Bally Technologies, reports that a workgroup from the committee has been meeting nearly daily since January 3, 2006. The workgroup has wrapped up the core classes, presented them to the G2S committee at its February face-to-face meeting and received approval to move forward. This work product is being forwarded to GSA's Technical Writer for formal documentation. Morrow noted comments and issues relating to the documentation are now being tracked using JIRA, GSA's Change Management system.

Additionally, Morrow stated the Core classes of the new protocol include: G2S message envelope, communications, eventHandler, commConfiguration, optionConfiguration, cabinet, meters, gamePlay and handPay. The next set of classes to be architected, which the committee calls the Application Classes are: Role of the SMIB, coinAcceptor, noteAcceptor, hopper, noteDispenser, printer, progressive, bonus, player, voucher, WAT, GAT, audit meters, and download.

The GDS Committee re-elected Abdul Ali of Artistocrat Technologies as Chair, and under his guidance continues their path forward with the completion of several signfigant items. They have finalized the Printer and Ticket Template Specifications and released them to GSA's Board for process review and then member vote to accept them as standards. The Card Reader Standard was also released to the Board for process review and member vote. Moving forward the committee plans to work on recommending connector solutions for various devices.

Walt Eisele of Bally Technolgies, continues in his role as the S2S Committee Chair. Walt reports that over the past few months the primary focus of the committee's effort has been on the release of S2S version 1.2. The original goal had called for a much earlier release of the draft standard, but additional items have been introduced and modifications to existing classes have caused delays. Overall these delays have been for the best, as the additions and modifications have strengthened the protocol and addressed implementation issues encountered by several vendors.

Some of the highlights of version 1.2 are as follows:

  • Significant functionality improvements to the Patron class allowing the addition, modification and deletion of patrons by remote systems. Complete auditing and logging are also included with these changes.
  • Additional corrections to the protocol have been discovered and addressed. Most of these resulted from companies implementing the standard.
  • All open JIRA items will be addressed in this release.
  • A generic error response methodology has been adopted to handle cases where a command was acknowledged, but later in the processing cycle had an exception that required notification to the command originator.
  • A Handpay class allowing a flexible way in which jackpots and other large wins can be paid and accounted for the by the systems.
  • Generic client registration to accommodate devices other than EGMs.
  • An "InfoUpdate" class that will allow systems to subscribe to data from other systems. This is a powerful and flexible way for systems to share data.
  • Over the next few months, the committee will begin the task of integrating G2S changes applicable to S2S once those are finalized. The committee will also evaluate the adoption of the GAT class into S2S.

    GSA's SAS Committee Chair was re-elected to a new term. Mansour Esmaili of Aristocrat Technologies, reports the committee has recently been discussing a new addendum to the SAS 6.02 for "Server Based Gaming". This addendum was suggested by IGT and approved by the committee. SAS Toolkit v1.1 is still being worked on and upon completion will be SAS 6.02 and addendum compliant.

    Line Robichaud of GTECH was re-elected as Chair of the Transport Committee. As part of its recent activities, the Transport committee has created a WS-1 compliant version of the S2S WSDL. This is currently out for 30-day membership vote. A WS-1 compliant WSDL for G2S has been created and is at the process review stage with the BOD and will then be sent out for full membership vote.

    The Transport Committee is currently in the process of reviewing the BOB Transport and Security over SOAP/HTTPS v1.00 specification with the goal of making it a generic transport layer specification to be used with GSA messaging protocols (i.e. G2S, S2S). The committee plans to have a draft proposal ready in the near future to be reviewed internally by the Transport Committee workgroup.

    The Transport Committee has approved the Multicast Transport Specification to be sent to the BOD for process review, and then to be sent out for 30 day membership vote.

    The Certificate Management white paper that was created last fall has been divided into two sections. One part consists of a Certificate Management Specification and the other a Certificate Management Best Practices document. Both of these are being internally reviewed by the Transport Committee workgroup. The Certificate Management Specification should be ready in the very near future to be sent to the membership for a 30 day comment period. After adressing all comments, the document will be approved by the committee and sent to the BOD for process review and then a 30 day membership vote.

    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 face-to-face meetings are scheduled for May 16 - 18, 2006 and will be located in West Greenwich, RI.

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