The second quarter of 2007 is moving ahead at a rapid pace. GSA's technical committees continue to work diligently and produce outstanding results. The May Technical Meetings were held in Vegas and hosted by Konami Gaming.
GSA's Architectural Oversight Committee (AOC), chaired by Bruce Rowe, Bally Technologies, recently met for a strategic planning meeting. The group, consisting of Bruce and the Committee Chairs from the GSA Technical Committees, met to discuss future opportunities and long term direction for the GSA protocols. The information will be presented to GSA's Board of Directors in the near future. The committee is also reviewing the issues of backwards compatibility within GSA's standards and how to maintain backward compatibility while continuing to advance the individual protocols.
The G2S Committee Chair, Line Robichaud of GTECH reports that the G2S Committee continued its forward progress by releasing the G2S 1.0.3 errata document in mid-April. The certification workgroup is focusing its efforts on finalizing the first drafts of G2S certification documents in preparation for certifying the first EGMs and Systems once they are ready for certification. The G2S Technical Committee has been working hard on the next version of G2S which is due for release in September. This new version will address bugs found by developers as well as backwards compatibility and extensibility issues. The new version will also include new functionality - more specifically remote device configuration (deviceConfig class) and the ability to interrogate storage on the gaming device to facilitate downloading functionality (storage class).
Walt Eisele of Bally Technologies, the S2S Committee Chair, reports the S2S Committee recently released an errata and updated schema package to support the introduction of S2S 1.2. The updates were fairly broad based for an errata release but it was critical that these changes be made to support adoption and implementation of the standard. The update is available on the public download portion of the GSA website. The committee continues its focus on providing certification standards for the S2S protocol. This is a tedious time-consuming task but remains one of the top priorities as it will ensure consistent, uniform implementations of the standard.
The committee will be focused on the additions to S2S for the next scheduled release of the standard in October. Additional message classes to support progressives and bonusing are among the currently identified items for inclusion. As the adoption of the standard continues to expand, backwards compatibility becomes more of a focal point. The committee will need to strike a balance between enhancing and improving the standard while preserving the technology investments already made by member companies.
Tony Green of Bally Technologies, Transport Committee Chair, reports the GSA Point-to-Point SOAP/HTTPS Transport and Security Specification v1.0 was approved by the voting membership on April 19th. This specification provides a standardized framework for network connectivity across gaming equipment from multiple manufacturers. The network transport and security specification has been crafted to integrate with the GSA's S2S and G2S protocols, thus providing interoperability at the transport, security, and application levels. The Transport Committee will continue efforts toward a certification process of the Point-to-Point specification, while continuing to evaluate and extend the transport capabilities to keep up with other GSA protocol enhancements.
The GDS Committee Chair, John Hilbert, FutureLogic, Inc. reports the GDS protocols have been approved by the members. This year the GDS committee will be focused on the normal implementation challenges that arise with any new protocol. The GDS Committee has set 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.
Updating the GDS toolkit to support the most current protocol documents and then make the toolkit available for all to use.
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.
Work with other members to encourage the implementation of the GDS standards.
This is a very aggressive agenda for the committee which encourages members to participate with the implementation of the GDS protocols.
Ken McNichols of IGT, the SAS Protocol Committee Chair reports the committee has finished preparing new errata and new addenda documents. The committee is working to support a projected end of life for the SAS protocol, and to keep SAS functional as industry and/or regulatory changes occur.
Finally, Steve Kastner, IGT, GSA's RAC Committee Chairman says that the RAC created a regulatory requirement review process. Steve reports the successful completion of GSA RAC review of GLI-21. Check out the new RAC website page at http://www.gamingstandards.com/index.php?page=resources/regulatory.
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 August and will be located in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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