Betfair launch Flex application

Betfair, one of the major online betting providers in Europe, have today launched an application built using Flex 2. The Blackjack game, developed by an in-house team of designers and developers, is now available to their 1,000,000 registered users on Betfair.com.

We started working with the guys at Betfair about 15 months ago, introducing Flex to both the development and business teams, so it’s great to see the first of their online games built in Flex go live. You can access the game here (you’ll need to register first), but for those of you based in the US (who won’t be able to see the site due to US legal restrictions) I’ve provided some screen grabs below:

Betfair - Flex 1

Betfair - Flex 2

The game replaces a previous version built using HTML/JavaScript (see below), and undoubtedly provides a richer, more interactive, approachable and enjoyable experience; for me, that is the key here – making it ‘enjoyable’. If you want people to stay online, using your application or service for longer, then the experience needs to be one which they enjoy; when your revenue is based upon how long you can engage with your customers, it’s easy to see the ROI for an RIA.

Betfair - AJAX

HTML/JavaScript version of Blackjack game (above)

Betfair - Flex 3

Flex version of the Blackjack application (above)

The game was built by a team of 2 designers and 5 developers over a six month period – built using Flex 2, the application makes use of the Flex Component Kit so that the designers could create visual assets in Flash CS3 that were fully integrated into the Flex application. I think you’ll agree the result shows how visually rich you can make a Flex application; with Flex 3 making this process even easier, we should continue to see an increase in the number of expressive Flex applications on the web.

Betfair has some pretty amazing stats about their site, so this is also a great example of Flex being used in a high-volume, business critical environment. Here are a couple of facts I received from Betfair:

  • Betfair processes over 5,000,000 transactions per day (1000 per second)
  • Betfair does 15 times as many transactions as the London Stock Exchange
  • Over a billion bets were placed on the exchange platform in 2006
  • £2,000 a minute is deposited on the site

Hopefully this will be the first of many Flex applications that Betfair releases 🙂

It’s not just the games team at Betfair that have leveraged Flash, there is also a trial taking place on Betfair’s Labs site using Flash Player and Flash Media Server to stream their radio content – you can checkout the trial and provide feedback (the existing service uses Windows Media) at http://labs.betfair.com/Project+and+Discussion+Viewer/?contentId=572

Thanks to Graeme Harker at Betfair for providing some background info on the Flex application – checkout Graeme’s blog at: http://graemeharker.blogspot.com/.

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5 Responses to Betfair launch Flex application

  1. Congrats to the guys at betfair; great to see this go live!

    Steven

  2. Rorie Devine says:

    Hi Andrew
    Thanks for the write up, but more than 1 billion bets were placed on our exchange platform in 2006 (not 1 million)!
    Cheers
    Rorie

  3. Thanks Rorie – I’ve updated the post with the correct figure 🙂

  4. JMWhittaker says:

    The app looks great fantastic.

    I take it that they are using LiveCycle DS to connect with their .NET systems? Also do you know if it was developed using agile and what unit testing framework did they use?

    Thanks Andrew

    Cheers James

  5. James, the application does look good. We were lucky enough to have a great designer on the team (Kofi Brenya). We are using agile and we use the standard FlexUnit framework. No rocket science.

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