Technical Committee Update

The first quarter of 2007 is off to a busy and energetic start to the upcoming year. GSA's five technical committee's have been hard at work and new chairs and vice chairs were elected at the February Technical Meetings. Congratulations to our 2007 Chairs and Vice chairs which are listed below:

Bruce Rowe, GTECH, Chair, Architectural Oversight Committee
Steve Kastner, IGT, Chair, Regulatory Advisory Committee
Line Robichaud, GTECH, Chair G2S Committee
Brendan Seagraves, Multimedia Games, Vice-Chair G2S Committee
Walt Eisele, Bally Technologies, Chair S2S Committee
Chuck Pearson, Multimedia Games, Vice-Chair S2S Committee
Tony Green, Bally Technologies, Chair Transport Committee
Demetrius Comes, Incredible Technologies, Vice-Chair Transport Committee
John Hilbert, FutureLogic, Inc., Chair GDS Committee
Abdul Ali, Aristocrat, Vice-Chair GDS Committee
Ken McNichols, IGT, Chair SAS Committee
Mansour Esmaili, Aristocrat, Vice-Chair SAS Committee

In recent months, Bruce Rowe, GTECH, Chair of the Architectural Oversight Committee (AOC) reported that the committee provided oversight on the revision process for the GSA Technical Committee charters. The charters were rewritten to address member concerns that they were not clear enough in stating the scope of each committee. The AOC is the liaison between the board of directors and the

The G2S Committee Chair, Line Robichaud of GTECH reports that the G2S Committee continues its forward progress by releasing the G2S 1.0.1 errata document and schema to the world in mid-January. As many of the member companies continue with their efforts at implementing the new protocol, the certification workgroup is redoubling its efforts to get a certification plan and program in place before the first EGMs and Systems are ready for certification. Meanwhile, the committee continues to address questions and comments from the implementers. Supporting GSA's new focus on getting the operator's informed and engaged, members of the committee gave an overview of G2S, along with a real comparison of the pros and cons of remote configuration and code download to a group of nearly 50 operators at the International Gaming Institute at UNLV in Las Vegas.

Walt Eisele of Bally Technologies, the S2S Committee Chair, reports with the release of S2S version 1.2, attention has turned toward new features, addressing additional requirements and minor adjustments to the protocol. The committee is finalizing the release of the first errata for version 1.2. This release will include a schema update as well. Both the errata and schema are scheduled for release in March of 2007. In the future, the committee will no longer release errata that includes schema changes unless it is within 30 days of a major or minor version release (to fix any oversights or problems with that release). This allows companies to better plan adoption and implementation strategies without worrying when another release impacting backwards compatibility will occur. In the future, schema changes will only be released as part of a minor or major revision requiring full membership review and vote prior to adoption. The committee is planning on doing such releases, at most, twice a year, once in March and once in September. The committee will of course consider any members' needs on a case by case basis to ensure business needs are met and to speed the adoption of GSA standards throughout the industry.

Certification continues to be the focus of the technical committee workgroup. Progress has been steady with a goal of providing certification guidelines for certain business functions by summer of 2007. Some of the areas of focus within committee are the proposed addition of a class to facilitate progressives in an S2S environment and the addition of commands to existing classes to facilitate the use of kiosks for specialized functions. Work is also progressing on message classes that will act as "helper" classes to the G2S protocol including facilitating communications and providing additional security within gaming system environments.

Participation within the committee continues to grow benefiting from the input of all portions of the industry including operators and regulatory interests. This level of participation will help produce an even stronger protocol to support gaming in future.

Tony Green of Bally Technologies, Transport Committee Chair, reports that the committee has motioned to send draft 0.10 of the GSA Point-to-Point SOAP/HTTPS Transport and Security Specification to full membership vote. The document will be sent out for 30-day membership vote on March 8th, following the close of the patent disclosure period. The release of this document will be an important milestone for the member companies that are implementing the S2S and G2S protocols. The transport certification workgroup is working hard to get a certification plan in place in a timely manner for the certification of the first EGMs and Systems implementing this new Transport Specification.

The GDS Committee Chair, John Hilbert, FutureLogic, Inc. reports that the committee voted to send the GDS Connector forward to Membership vote, the final stage prior to adoption. Additionally the committee voted to approve errata releases for the Printer and Card Reader standards.

Ken McNichols of IGT, the SAS Protocol Committee Chair reports the committee is continuing to update the interoperability requirements and errata for version 6.02 of the protocol to support emerging gaming technologies, and to streamline the SAS protocol to remove legacy requirements without affecting the behavior of existing systems. We have finished the SAS FAQ which is available on the GSA wiki.

The committee will correct any errors (in tests and test scripts) arising from these tests to meet the criteria. The SAS FAQ is available for the members to review.

Finally, Steve Kastner, IGT, GSA's RAC Committee Chairman says that the RAC continues to bring its message on the benefits of implementing industry standards to the Regulator community. Steve reports that the committee created a process where regulators can submit changes to GSA by sending a message to rac_review@gamingstandards.com.

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 May and will be located in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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