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The technical approach of media content delivery platforms

It’s easy to see that everything is about content these days, mobile and social. Media content delivery platforms will continue to grow and capture revenue from other mobile segments, so everyone needs to consider developing and integrating such services. But guaranteeing a QoS for video transfer, the dynamics of the device market and consumer segmentation based on user type, device profile, OS, social network platform are challenges difficult to address.

So how can someone achieve high maintainability, flexibility and excellent customer experience with all these variables? How to reach a good time to market for new services having in mind, for instance, the development of new devices varying from smart phones and tablets to TVs?

The technical issues media content platforms have to overcome can be grouped around:

  • Features

The most important technical features to implement are the support of templates and layouts which are used for content adaptation and are based on user and device profiles. These can be used by a core engine to send a very specific content, in a very specific format, to a very specific device.

Templates can be defined as the platform capability that enables the building of different website structures based on the same content. Some content might not be available for smart phones but only for tablets, while certain content should not be available on iOS but only on Windows Phone (e.g. different types of applications).

Layouts are defined as the feature used to adapt the same content to different segment categories. For instance, a text might be displayed with different fonts or colors based on device type or based on consumer age. Also, a video will be encoded differently based on the device capability or based on the OS.

These two features are built on the base of two simple, yet important pieces of information: user/subscriber data and device data, which are basically used to determine customer segments, as well as what/how content will be rendered to the device.

  • Development technology

The development technology is always evolving and though it may look that technology is behind market requirements, the following technologies will be considered with priority when building content delivery platforms: XML, XSLT, HTML5, J2EE and Web Service.

XML (Extensible Markup Language) and XLST (XML Stylesheet Language Transformations) are used in order to facilitate the deployment of templates. They have already proven to be a standard in abstracting a business domain and can be easily modified and extended.

HTML5 has lately become the predominant markup language, being supported by the majority of browsers. It is very promising due to its flexibility and to the extended support for different media types.

J2EE can be used as the central part of the platform, being responsible for gluing together the different content, template, layouts, user and device profiles.

Web Service method is now a standard for system interoperability and can be used for simplifying integration with CDNs or billing systems.

Sorin Maftei // Solution Expert