Casino Hits Database Jackpot With SQL Server

Integrated BI makes SQL Server a winner for the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

When building an IT environment for a large casino and hotel that weaves together traditional mainframe applications with forward-looking Web-based software, rolling the dice on critical database decisions isnt a wise gamble.

Despite the dependence of many casino-oriented applications on IBM infrastructure and "green screen" technology, casinos such as the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa are embracing Microsoft Corp.s .Net development tools and SQL Server DBMS to bridge the gap between disparate platforms and to enrich the customer experience.

On the eve of its first anniversary next month, the Borgata, of West Atlantic City, N.J., is reaping the rewards of its bet on SQL Server 2000, according to John Forelli, director of administrative systems. The Borgata is using the DBMS to power its back-end systems and integrate them with popular hospitality industry applications that are tethered to IBMs DB2 database running on iSeries servers.

Forrelli said he is particularly excited about SQL Servers integrated business intelligence features.

"Thats the home run. The developers that work in my group, if they develop a Web page for a customer kiosk, they can use [Visual Basic .Net], whereas if we had another BI tool, theyd have to learn all of their applications," Forelli said. "From a [total cost of ownership] point of view, you are saving money on the application side, and you dont have to staff up and throw all this money at training. [The database] absolutely has to be integrated and tie in all these pieces."

Next page: Web use explodes in casino realm.