Home > Articles > Programming > Windows Programming

gasTix: A Sample .NET e-Business

This chapter introduces the gasTix corporation. It includes the high-level vision and business goals of the planned development effort, a discussion of the high-level conceptual architecture of the system using the .NET framework, and a presentation of the approach for designing and developing that system.
This chapter is excerpted from .NET eBusiness Architecture.
Like this article? We recommend

Like this article? We recommend

Introducing gasTix: The Sample Client

The sample application being showcased for this book is a Web site handling ticket-selling operations for a fictitious company, gasTix. This section introduces this company and the requirements of the system to be developed.


gasTix was created as a merger of several other fictitious regional ticket sellers joined together to form a national presence in the ticket-selling market. As part of this newly formed organization, the company decided it needed a new ticket selling system to meet these needs:

  • Move each of the disparate companies to a standard platform.

  • Aid in streamlining business processes in a standard set of procedures.

  • Promote a new single brand and identity for the ticket seller country-wide.

The company has managed to sign exclusive deals for selling tickets to major venues throughout the country. To maximize profits, this company wants to make the ticket sales available through the largest number of outlets available, including a Web site. Potential sources for selling the tickets are as follows:

  • Internet users—The new company Web site should enable users to purchase tickets for any of the venues that the company sells for.

  • Phone sales—Customers should also be able to call a central phone number to purchase tickets.

  • Kiosks—Customers could purchase tickets from kiosks located in key locations such as nightclubs and airports. These kiosks could also include information about events.

  • Venue box offices—Many users will want the ability to purchase tickets directly at the venue.

  • Retail box offices—Various retail stores can provide additional outlets for buying tickets in person.

  • Internet partners—gasTix plans to actively look for partners on the Internet so that tickets can be purchased from other sites than just the gasTix main site.

  • Wireless services—The company also wants users to be able to buy tickets using devices such as cell phones.

Problem Statement

The problem statement identifies the business issue that the potential solution is trying to solve.

gasTix currently uses several ticket-selling and administration systems resulting in the following problems for the company:

  • Information is distributed across each of the systems, which limits the company's ability to perform centralized progress and financial reporting.

  • Different business processes are used throughout the company, which limits the company's ability to streamline operations.

  • Because of limitations in each of the current legacy systems, the ability to expand ticket sales to a larger number of alternative outlets is limited.

  • Future plans for expanding the company oversees or into merchandise sales are on hold until a more robust system architecture is established.

Vision Statement

The vision statement provides a short description of the solution that this project is promoting. The vision statement for gasTix is as follows:

To build a state-of-the-art Web site and ticketing engine to provide gasTix with a single application for managing ticket sales while opening up sales to the largest number of outlets possible.

Solution Concept

The solution concept presents the general approach planned for implementing the vision statement. The solution concept for gasTix is as follows.

The gasTix team has elected to build a new system from scratch to take advantage of all that the Internet has to offer. Not only would it allow potential customers the largest variety of options for purchasing the tickets, but it would also provide the most flexible implementation for combining disparate systems to provide gasTix with an enterprise-wide solution. In general, the following steps were planned:

  • Develop a gasTix ticketing engine that can support ticket purchases from a variety of sources.

  • Develop an interface for each of the various ticket purchasing options to take advantage of the engine.

  • Interface with a separate fulfillment system that handles printing and mailing tickets to online customers. Box offices will have their own ticket printing system locally. Also, the ticket needs to be available at the box office rather than through mailing when there is not enough time to mail the ticket to the purchaser.

  • Interface with an accounting system in order to track general ledger information.


Of course, there are other potential solutions such as picking one of the legacy systems and modifying it for company-wide use. These alternatives were not seriously considered for this book partly because any existing system probably would not provide the best foundation for future development and partly because the foundation for this book would not exist. Some type of cost-benefit analysis should be performed in order to select the best solution for any organization's needs.

A key to successfully planning this project is trying to understand gasTix's overall priorities. One useful technique for discussing those priorities lies in the use of a project trade-off matrix (see Table 2.1). The following matrix defines the trade-off expectations for the development project and is used to guide the change management decision process. To properly fill in the matrix, the following rules must be followed:

  • One column must be checked in each row indicating how that attribute will be managed.

  • No column can be checked more than once in order to avoid conflicting strategies.

Table 2.1 Project Trade-Off Matrix









Ship date








Here are definitions of the trade-off terms listed in Table 2.1:

  • Resources—Cost of the project

  • Ship date—The date the system goes online

  • Features—The capability of the system

  • Constrained—The parameter is tightly specified

  • Optimized—The parameter is bound within a range

  • Negotiated—The parameter is free for negotiation

In Table 2.1, the project's ship date is constrained, which means that gasTix corporation has decided that rolling out a new system in a timely manner is its highest priority. Its need to get its business units on a common platform is important enough that there is limited room for negotiation on the final ship date. As always, costs are important for the company to control. As a result, the costs of the project needed to be as low as possible, but there is room for negotiation if the additional cost is justified to help meet the ship date. In return for these requirements, gasTix recognizes that there must be room for negotiating the feature set and that not all the desired functionality will likely be on the site.

Inevitably, some features will not be implemented in each of the product increments. The benefits delivered by releasing the product in a timely manner outweigh the opportunity cost lost to a feature's absence. This strategy is sometimes characterized by the phrase "shipping is a feature."

Business Goals

The business goals of a project define how the project will benefit the company. The overall business objectives that this project addresses are as follows:

  • To position gasTickets.com as the premier ticket provider for venues in the United States.

  • To provide customers the greatest flexibility in terms of locations for obtaining tickets for a concert or event of their choice.

  • To enable partnering with outside companies to provide additional outlets for ticket sales.

  • To reduce administrative costs across the company by providing a common platform for purchasing tickets and administering the ticket system.

  • To position the company to easily branch out into new ventures, including overseas operations and selling of event-related merchandise and memorabilia.

  • To build the foundation for using historical data to track, analyze, and predict sales trends across the enterprise by regional sales, seasonal patterns, and so on.

Design Criteria

Design criteria identify constraints that limit how a project can be developed. Such constraints can be technical, operational, or organizational in nature. The following lists outlines the overarching design criteria used to guide this project:

  • Demonstrate how to use .NET in building a fully functioning application.

  • As this is a public-oriented Web site with customer credit card information, ensure that the system is as secure as possible.

  • Ensure the capability to scale in order to handle high demand when popular concerts go on sale.

  • Ensure code base is effectively managed and versioned to reduce maintenance and administrative costs including all source code, database schemas, and implementation plans as a minimum.

  • The application will have to interface with several external systems. Ensure that the interfaces are prepared to reduce the costs associated with maintenance and interoperability.

  • Design the system so that the major components are as loosely coupled as possible so that portions of the system can be replaced or upgraded without having to rewrite the whole application.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020