CASE STUDY – FUTBALNET.SK

Innovative solution for Slovak football fans.

What is Futbalnet?

  • Platform for creating and publishing content for 1,700 clubs, 44 unions and 5,000 teams.
  • Results for 2,200 matches each week.
  • 1.4 mil. single users annually.
  • 70+ mil. webpage views.
  • Register of more than 360,000 people.
futbalnet.sk

What services do they offer?

Match results for fans Match results for fans
Editorial System for creating webpages for unions and teams Editorial System for creating webpages for unions and teams
Video archive Video archive

We prepared

E-shop for fans E-shop for fans
Buying tickets for football matches with an allocation of seats Buying tickets for football matches with an allocation of seats
Event management for more than just sports events Event management for more than just sports events

2012-2014 Portal

Technological solution:
  • Java Liferay web framework
  • MySQL database

Assignment:

  • Suggest a solution for User Interface.
  • Create a webservice that would ensure the supply of data from the external applications of the SFA (Slovak Football Association) to the frontend.
  • Graphic design of the portal.
  • Programming of users’ section of the portal and programming access to the webservice.
  • Carrying out the project and being responsible for its proper functioning after launch.

Problem No.1

How to manage more than 5,000 active online users at a single time. These 5,000 users aren’t just browsing the home page or few articles, they’re also browsing different sections of the website. Mostly, they’re checking the results for more than 2,000 football matches played in a given week. We couldn’t just “cache” a few webpages.

Solution:

We applied new REDIS technology, with which we were not fully working with at that time. The Management of SFA created space for us to lead an experiment. After the initial analysis was finished, the director of the IT Department Ján Letko defined the use of a “cache” layer as the starting point of the whole technological solution.


Problem No.2

Change in the webservice. It was impossible to generate the desired portal from the functionalities provided by the webservice. The structure of the data would demand that the webservice server or the frontend server operate exorbitantly.

Solution:

Owing to the iterations and gradual development of the cycle, this functionality came to us as no surprise. We developed the so-called “Lopatovač” (a “translator”) – which is a working name for a sub-server that would be part of the frontend server. It is supposed to create the structure and cache the data coming from the sourcing webservice and “translate” them into the format we need.


Results

Technology used:
  • PHP Phalcon framework
  • TAL templates
  • Curl for connection to the webservice
  • Python 2.7 (Multiprocessor, multithread server)
  • Redis for caching the data
Something from backstage:

Feedback from the customer after the launch of the Futbalnet.sk portal

Dear friends, the right time has come… the revolution must continue.

We are now launching the new Futbalnet with services for unions, clubs and football fans coming up. We are doing it for you, therefore we thank you not only for your support, but also for your comments and suggestions.

Nevertheless, we do want to thank at least one person who put a superhuman effort into this project. Michal Hricišín and the bart.sk company, we thank you in the name of Slovak football.

Our thanks also go to other friends in our broad team…

Ján Letko
Director of SFA IT Department

Conclusion:

Contributions to fans
Throughout the project, we collectively gathered requests and suggestions for improvement directly from fans. The new design was received with great applause. Moreover, the added value of more responsive version with the option of browsing results via mobile and tablet devices was added.

Contribution to the SFA
Higher satisfaction of clubs and unions. After 3 difficult weekends of REDIS optimization, the “Lopatovač” idea proved to be the right technological solution. It considerably lowered the customer’s monthly expenses as well as maintenance costs.

Contribution to bart.sk
We won over a satisfied customer that trusted us with the development of further services. We program the video archive, CMS (Content Management Service), server for verifying users, E-shop, ticketing and event management. We also launched the website futbalsfz.sk and sienslavy.futbalsfz.sk

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