Software Configurations

Configurations

Optimal Auctions' software is highly flexible and configurable to support any auction design and any auction rule. Every auction is slightly different than every other auction. It's just a fact that no two auctions are exactly alike. Every client has a unique rule that they'd like implemented, and every client wants their bidding pages to look a certain way.

These types of customizations and unique set-ups have the potential to create bloated software, one that has to be branched for each client, and can potentially create a software nightmare in terms of testing and maintenance. If every configuration change, or every customization, required a new version of the software, the number of versions would grow as fast as a client base does. But the testing requirements grow as well with the versions, also requiring additional staff. It can quickly be deduced that as the number of unique auctions increases, so does the cost to all the clients using the software.

Luckily for our clients, our software was specifically designed to be highly configurable and customizable. Instead of requiring a new software version for each client, we instead have tuned our software to such a degree that we can create a customized properties file for each client, and leave the underlying software untouched. This means we aren't changing any code when we add new clients, and don't need to create new tests for each clients. The result is our costs never grow as we add clients, ensuring low prices and good value for all of our auction clients. In fact, because we are only changing one file for each client, we can generate a highly customized version of the software for a new client in 1 day!

In enterprise-level auctions, there are literally hundreds of available options that can be tuned, changed, or adjusted. They range from dozens of options to fine-tune and adjust the user interface, to options on how to set up the multiple languages used in the software, to options on adjusting how bidding works in the auction. There's far too many options to list them all here, but rest assured, if a client is asking for something to be changed, we have an option we can update for them.

Just as an example, to show how easy it is to change the auction settings within the software, here is the part of the auction configuration file that adjusts how passwords work in the auction. These settings can be changed in less than a minute.

Auction Configuration

Auction Types

The biggest and most important configuration change we make within our software is to change the auction type. This means switching between an SMR, or a Clock, or a Combinatorial Clock, a Dutch, a Single-Round, or a Dynamic auction.

One huge advantage of Optimal Auctions software compared to our competitors is that we have all of our auction types built into 1 version of our software. We took a step back and analyzed all the different auction types and determined that 98% of the code was the same between all the auctions. This makes sense of course. Every auction has the same logic to control the schedule. Every auction has the same logic to send messages. And every auction has the same logic to accept and process bids, with the potential for small changes on some auctions. We took this analysis and decided to make 1 version of our software, which could be switched between every auction format as easily as flipping a few switches.

This has tremendous time and cost savings for our clients - we can get a version of our auction software out to them, no matter the auction type, quickly. We can even switch auction types for a client after another format was already decided upon. We've made our software so good and so customizable, that the auction format is a minor configuration change in the software.

Configuration Specifics

Optimal Auctions' auction software by default allows bidders to bid on multiple product blocks, allowing or disallowing high bidder switches. It allows them to withdraw and change bids between blocks. The software has eligibility rules pre-configured, with the ability to adjust activity rules. Increments can be defined by the auction manager. The software allows products to have caps, weights, and handicaps. Additionally, there are various waiver mechanisms built into the software. Prices can be rounded to the nearest 1000, 10, 25, whatever. Times and currency can be formatted to fit any country. Proxy bids can be placed. Winner algorithms can be adjusted to include price, round submitted, random number, etc. Price can be ascending or descending. Bidders can have extensions to extend rounds or bidding phases. Password rules can be adjusted. Each page can be customized for its user interface. Reports can be added or removed. The colors, fonts, and icons used in the software can be changed. The Optimal branding can be included or removed....

We could go on and on, listing hundreds of different things our software can do.

If a client needs a customization in their auction, it's highly likely we already have it!