TV4 Group uses external providers for metadata creation services covering everything from programme descriptions to press listings and EPG information. These providers in turn make use of several different metadata-authoring systems.
“Because of the multitude of external providers and systems involved in these operations, we needed a unified way of integrating systems across organisational and technical boundaries” – TV4 Technical Development Manager
Mediasmiths had previously assisted TV4 with the implementation of an open-source enterprise service bus (ESB) on a virtualised platform and the challenge was now to provide multiple integrations with different update cycles at the same time as keeping on top of constant changes to the operational requirements.
Furthermore, completed metadata and programme information was being transferred back from the external providers to TV4 and although some of the metadata was stored temporarily, nothing was stored permanently nor available for later re-use or re-authoring.
The TV4 Group therefore also needed a way to permanently store metadata about its content, to make it available for re-use in other locations as well as re-purpose it for other applications.
For the design of the metadata storage, the first step was to define and communicate clear boundaries around the solution. Taking best practices and experiences from media systems implementations as well as available metadata standards the focus was then on learning from previous experiences without re-inventing the wheel.
The design of the metadata storage was then done through quick iterations and updates that were constantly communicated to TV4 and other affected parties through a wiki as well as released documents.
New integrations are developed using an agile process with continuous integration software and automatic deployments to an integration environment for testing. Deployments to the production environment are carefully controlled and coordinated with affected parties.
Mediasmiths provide a common ticket system to TV4 for all integration related issues and updates, that is constantly updated.
“Having direct access to a JIRA and with the regular reviews of priorities that we have gives me full insight into what will be delivered when and by whom” – TV4 Systems Developer
With a common view of all tickets it is possible to jointly prioritise new developments, configuration changes and platform updates to ensure the most critical elements are delivered first with minimal disruption to services and comprehensive budget controls.
Integration services with external providers are now running 24/7 ensuring timely and accurate delivery of press listing and EPG information to multiple platforms.