Major League Baseball and LBi Software Engineering Introduce eBIS Application

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In time for Opening Day, the Web-based baseball information system will provide MLB with a unified "backroom."

MLB’s IT organization gave us the opportunity to work within a best practices setting by allowing the necessary flexibility in the project plan

based Baseball Information System (eBIS) for every Major League Baseball club across the United States and Canada. eBIS documents most aspects of baseball operations within a single, unified application. Driven by MLB's IT staff, and developed jointly by MLB and LBi, the new application is a complete rewrite of five legacy systems and their associated databases. The new system offers club users a friendly interface, quick response time, "one-stop shopping" for all of their daily baseball transactions and the convenience of never having to update their machines for new releases.

The consensus among the MLB user community is that eBIS has revolutionized the recording of baseball transactions in Baseball Operations. The department, under Baseball's Office of the Commissioner, acts as the hub for all business between the clubs involving player movement, contracts, trades, waivers, scouting, Free Agency and the Rule 4 and Rule 5 "real-time" drafts.

One of the key components of the system's success involved providing time for users to "play" with prototypes during the design process. The design team repeatedly suspended the development process to work with users to refine requirements, to detail and understand workflow and to encourage future users to be involved in every step of the design and building process. This approach ensured virtually no rework and has created an end-product that can be seamlessly integrated into the MLB framework.

"MLB’s IT organization gave us the opportunity to work within a best practices setting by allowing the necessary flexibility in the project plan," says Laurence Beck, President of LBi. "We designed each module before we developed the programs, and whenever necessary, we stopped the process to make sure the product we were producing matched user expectations."

According to Richard Teed, the eBIS project manager for LBi, "In some of the earliest design meetings, it was decided that the system should be 'player-centric.' This is a departure from most systems which are usually organized as transaction-centric. The player-centric business model was chosen because, for baseball, a player is the primary 'business object.' This apparent subtlety provided for a simpler overall design."

Technical Aspects

eBIS uses the full range of modern development techniques: J2EE as the language base, UML for Architecture Design, MVC design patterns and adherence to the Sun Blueprints Best Practices. The application consists of more than 1.4 million lines of code. The database, implemented in DB2, consists of 230 tables and was designed using Erwin.

eBIS is organized into five modules and was delivered in four stages, with the final stage scheduled to go live shortly before Opening Day. The first module delivered was Major League and Employee Contracts, which included a scaled-down version of the Player Profile (a central repository for a player's key information). Next to be provided was the Minor League Contract and College Scholarship Program module, which was followed by the driving force of the system, the Transactions module. With the Transactions module, a fully operational Player Profile was also introduced. The last module delivered consisted of Scouting and the Rule 4 (amateur) and Rule 5 (professional) Drafts.

About LBi

Headquartered in Woodbury, New York, LBi is a systems integration organization that delivers and supports custom systems to enhance business operational proficiency. LBi’s services include conducting front-end analysis, program design and production support. LBi serves IT organizations across the United States. In business for over 23 years, LBi has subject matter expertise in a variety of additional areas including Employee Benefits and Payroll, HR, Insurance, Brokerage and Banking. For more information, please visit

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Ann-Marie Inkpen


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