PAR Springer-Miller Systems – SpaSoft
Spa and Wellness Management System Using Embedded Database Technology
When it comes to wellness and spa management technology systems, SpaSoft has become the standard for the world’s finest luxury hotel, resort and destination spas. An industry-standard for more than 15 years, SpaSoft provides first class technology for resource management, activity scheduling, Web booking, group management, yield/revenue management and forecasting, Club membership, inventory management, and a PA-DSS validated point-of-sale module and is one of the many products offered by hospitality management solutions provider PAR Springer-Miller Systems Inc (PSMS).
The extensive product line offered by PSMS meets the technology needs of all types of hospitality enterprises including resorts, city-center hotels, destination spa and golf properties, timeshare properties and casino resorts worldwide. From Mexico to the Maldives, across the Americas and Asia and everywhere in between, PSMS SpaSoft is being used to improve spa business services.
Hidden and running behind the scenes of the SpaSoft application is the InterBase SMP database management system. Tightly integrated and powering the application with critical business data, the high performance, small size and nearly zero maintenance makes InterBase an ideal database management system for SpaSoft which requires an embedded database.
“SpaSoft’s customers require that our application respond within seconds. With InterBase’s high performance and small size, the application is able to easily meet the demands of our clients. The performance is truly amazing.”– Penka Sevova, Product Development Director, PAR Springer-Miller Systems
The hospitality industry is a demanding industry with demanding technology requirements and where customer service is king. Seconds can literally translate to the difference between providing a good experience and a bad experience when servicing customers. So, whether an end-user is scheduling a guest’s spa appointment or arranging a membership program, the spa’s reputation relies on a technology system that is fast and performs well. Since InterBase SMP is one of the fastest native databases available, and its performance scales well on higher-end systems with its built-in SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) capabilities, the SpaSoft application can quickly respond to the application’s queries. “SpaSoft’s customers require that our application respond within seconds. With InterBase’s high performance and small size, the application is able to easily meet the demands of our clients. The performance is truly amazing.” Says Penka Sevova, Product Development Director at PSMS SpaSoft. InterBase SMP also scales to multiple CPUs, including multi-core CPUs, with up to a total of 32 CPU/cores per machine and includes a number of performance and optimization features to help ensure maximum database performance.
Most hotels and resorts around the world have a wide variety of personnel but are typically constrained when it comes to a robust IT staff. Having a dedicated database administrator to oversee ongoing maintenance is simply not an option for most resorts and spas. Database maintenance also adds to costs. Developers may be able to automate the maintenance tasks but automating routine maintenance adds to development time and cost. If the database requires maintenance that cannot be automated, additional staff will be needed to perform the maintenance tasks and the cost will be ongoing. InterBase requires no maintenance and a primary reason why the SpaSoft development team chose InterBase as their embedded database. It has features that are designed specifically for use in applications where no DBA or other support is available. Because InterBase is self-tuning and self-aintaining, there is nothing for a DBA (or developer or user) to do during normal operation. “The self-maintenance of InterBase and the fact that it doesn’t require a DBA is a huge benefit for us. Our customers really appreciate the ease-of-use” said Sevova.
InterBase SMP is part of every SpaSoft installation. The SpaSoft support teams based out of Canada, the United Kingdom and Malaysia handle all of the product installations remotely. And with over 70 installations of SpaSoft in 2009 across the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia, the SpaSoft implementation teams require a database with a small footprint, minimal system requirements and easy to install over the web. InterBase makes this possible and installs within minutes.
The small memory and disk space requirements for InterBase are important because they have almost no impact the end-user’s system configuration and hardware resources, making adoption easy and straight-forward. And because InterBase supports Unicode, the universal character set, plus other international character sets including support for International character sets via Unicode (UCS-2) and UTF-8, SpaSoft support teams can deploy InterBase across multiple nations and languages.
PA-DSS is the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council-managed program formerly under the supervision of the Visa Inc. program known as the Payment Application Best Practices (PABP). The goal of PA-DSS is to help software vendors and others develop secure payment applications that do not store prohibited data, such as full magnetic stripe, CVV2 or PIN data, and ensure their payment applications support compliance with the PCI DSS. Payment applications that are sold, distributed or licensed to third parties are subject to thePA-DSS requirements.
To meet the PCI Security Standards Council’s new compliance guidelines, PSMS employed an independent Qualified Payment Application Security Assessor to perform a thorough inspection of SpaSoft’s payment processing environment. The audit included an intensive review of the process by which sensitive information is classified, accessed, and stored, an analysis of network, system architecture and application, a complete assessment of IT policies and procedures, documentation, employee interviews and more. Achieving the PA-DSS validation and compliancy with the latest Payment Application Data Security Standards Version 1.2 (PA-DSS V1.2) was a very important step to assist their customers in protecting sensitive data.
The SpaSoft application was able to meet the PA-DSS V1.2 requirements in part because of the InterBase data security features. Achieving PA-DSS validation requires special authentication for users with passphrase support and to support passwords with more than eight characters. InterBase also provides a number of other security and encryption features for enhanced data protection. Database and Column-level encryption allow encryption of the entire database and/or individual columns in a database. InterBase also supports encryption for backup files to ensure ultimate security.
InterBase supports both strong encryption (AES) as well as weak (DES) encryption standards (128/192/256-bit for AES and 56-bit for DES). AES is the latest strong encryption standard that is being adopted worldwide and is fast in both software and hardware, and relatively easy to implement.
The InterBase Over-the-wire (OTW) Encryption encrypts the data as well as any other communications (commands, etc.) between servers and clients. This is important if there are concerns about unauthorized parties or systems seeing this communication.
Over the past decade, the PSMS SpaSoft application has been chosen as the industry’s leading spa management system in hundreds of hotels and resorts around the world. And over the past decade, the InterBase SMP product has been a part of every one of the implementations. The InterBase multi-generational architecture with simple installation, low administration and deployment costs, automatic crash recovery, and a self-tuning engine have made it an integral role in the success of SpaSoft. To learn more about InterBase, please visit http://www.embarcadero.com/products/interbase-smp.
“The self-maintenance of InterBase and the fact that it doesn’t require a DBA is a huge benefit for us. Our customers really appreciate the ease-of-use.”– Penka Sevova, Product Development Director, PAR Springer-Miller Systems