by Edward Qualtrough

Royal Opera House CTO says testing critical after online sales glitch

Jan 15, 20142 mins
IT StrategyMedia and Entertainment IndustryMobile

Royal Opera HouseCTO Rob Greig said problems with online ticket purchases “won’t happen again” after some customers suffered difficulties while booking for the upcoming Spring Season.

Covent Garden has had capacity problems in the past with customers held in waiting rooms and suffering errors, but Greig explained that even if the frustration for users was just as acute, “the nature of yesterday’s problems was very different” in an open and technical post on the ROH website saying their constant testing procedures will help them improve the customer experience.

The Royal Opera House has recently undergone a major website overhaul as the organisation sets about creating a new digital offering. This involved the website being optimised for mobile devices while also changing the back-end to improve page load times and for ease of future development.

Greig said that the Royal Opera House moved from the Zend development framework to a new open source framework called Symfony which would help them launch new features in the future, but that a part of code was causing a problem and slipped through their rigorous testing.

“We have a thorough process of testing both code and load ahead of every booking day, and often reveal issues which we fix before they are seen by the customer,” he said.

“The tests, however, are mechanical and although they test the load to many times the size of a booking day, it’s still a mechanical test. So we now need to work on a more organic test, which will work more like a simulation of what actually happens on a booking day.”