Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI):

(Acquired by Discovery Communication)

 

 
 

WWW.CORPORATE.DISCOVERY.COM

 

Enhancing Non Linear Content Distribution application stack using J2E (Java Enterprise Edition)

The customer:

Scripps Networks Interactive (Acquired by Discovery Communications) is the leading developer of high-profile, lifestyle-oriented content for many media platforms including television, digital, mobile and publishing. Our media portfolio includes popular lifestyle brands HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel & Great American Country. On-air programming is complemented with online video, social media and e-commerce components on companion websites reaching millions of fans around the world. Scripps Networks Interactive is focused on a consumer-centric philosophy that allows us to deliver content, products and services related to our Home, Food and Travel categories…whenever and wherever consumers want it. This keen focus has helped establish us as the leader in lifestyle media.

Consumers have come to rely on our brands as trusted resources. This makes us valued partners to distributors and advertisers who seek to target our loyal audiences and connect with that passion we’ve helped create through our on-air programming, online content and new business ventures such as publishing, licensing and merchandising opportunities. Scripps Networks Interactive programming is viewed on every continent worldwide, while our websites lead their respective categories with tens of millions of unique visitors every month. Our content distribution includes, but is not limited to: video-on-demand, Internet, satellite radio, books, magazines, DVDs, video games, and the latest mobile and emerging platforms. In addition, our brands touch consumers through branded merchandising such as kitchenware and other home products, food venues, and experiences such as festivals and cruises.

Scripps Networks Interactive is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, Dallas, Atlanta, Detroit and Cincinnati. Scripps Networks International also maintains an office in London and Singapore.

Scripps Networks Interactive Corporate Website – http://www.scrippsnetworksinteractive.com

Scripps Networks Interactive Enabled Brand Sites –

http://www.hgtv.com

http://www.diynetwork.com

http://www.foodnetwork.com

http://www.cookingchanneltv.com

http://www.travelchannel.com

http://www.greatamericancountry.com

http://www.hgtv.com/about-us/frontdoor-com-closure

http://www.hgtv.com/remodel

SNI uses the services of Loginsoft in Developing, Enhancing, and Maintaining critical applications such as NLCD Application Suite to achieve seamless Non-Linear Content Distribution of Assets (Videos,Closed Captions, Screen Grabs and relevant Meta data) for numerous partners and receivers.

Non-Linear Content Distribution Application suite capabilities and benefit includes

  • Setting Up – Requesting – Scheduling – Validating – Publishing – Delivering – Reporting of Assets.
  • The assets go through various phases in NLCD such as Planning, Preparing, Transcoding, QC (Validation) and Delivering.
  • Centralized View of Non Linear Content Distribution.
  • Supporting MVPD (multichannel video programming distributors such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, etc.)
  • On-boarding and Support new business partners and receivers
  • Improve delivery and tracking of assets

Previously SNI used multiple applications such as PSA, various Services (such as Transcode, Screen Grab…), Gutenberg (Reporting Dashboard) and workflow distribution service to achieve this.

Loginsoft helped SNI in building a scalable, reliable solution for automating non-linear content distribution which increased operational efficiency, expansion of core audience and increase in ratings.

Loginsoft provides services to SNI in the following list of applications.

1.NLCD Application Suite

  • Create a single pipeline for planned assets to flow through our systems with as few touch points as possible to create an on-time delivery of high quality materials to our partners
  • Allow transparency of status for all planned assets throughout our system
  • Allow ease of capturing metrics on workflows from planning through delivery
  • Allow a new partner to be brought on if there are no unusual requirements in 1 week or less.
  • Promote and simplify programming collaboration strategies across platforms/partners
  • Allow internal & B2B content delivery workflows to be automated and scaled

2.Program Scheduling Application (PSA) – The Program Scheduling Application web application (PSA) is used to designate which non-linear clips and VOD programs will be available on Scripps Networks Interactive and business partner web sites and on Video On Demand offerings, respectively. PSA enables Scripps staff to establish monthly schedules for “receivers” which represent web sites (or even pages) on the broadband side and digital content aggregators who serve multi-system operators (MSO’s) on the VOD side. The system provides the ability to enter custom Meta data and establish custom validation rules per receiver.

3.Google Analytics Tracking Specification for PSA – Google Analytics tracks lots of different usage from multiple applications. It’s critical that the users who are analyzing the data can slice the information and answer specific questions about a single application, a set of content, a department, or other arbitrary groupings. Business questions and metrics must be translated into the actual user interactions that need to be measured (page views, button clicks, etc.) and the additional context that must be captured to make sense of the interactions.

4.Transcode Service (TS) – The Transcode Service (TS) is the Scripps-Networks software layer between the applications that require transcoding and the software and hardware that implements the transcoding processes.

5.Internal Operational Content Dashboard (Gutenberg) – Content Distribution Dashboard (Gutenberg) is a new web application that monitors and tracks published work orders through our internal NAS systems such as Edison, Volta, third party platforms like ClearLeap, and other Platforms, through delivery to external receivers. The new Dashboard gives the user a simplified work flow experience and streamlines the existing processes. The user can view the work orders by status with detailed asset information. The Dashboard displays in which stage the asset is processing, and the artifacts gathered during the assembly. If an asset fails, the user can view the detailed reason for failure, and can resubmit or cancel the entire work order or the individual assets. A support desk ticket can be generated from the dashboard to expedite the troubleshooting process.

6.Enterprise Distribution Service (DS) – The Scripps Networks DS is responsible for publishing video files, images and other associated artifacts to various internal and external receivers.

7.Automated Transfer – Automatically deliver files to endpoints. An endpoint could be internal scripps internal locations, affiliates, or a OVP.Transfer Service will be able to deliver files via FTP and SFTP. It will also give feedback on successful or failed delivery. Transfer Service will be flexible enough to determine the order in which the files are delivered for those partners that require it.

8.Mediator – The Mediator application provides following valuable services for Transcoding

  • Make available assets on the cloud (Amazon S3 currently)
  • Route the transcoding for either inhouse or cloud transcoding.
  • Calculates the in-point and out-point values for XDCAM assets.

9.Cloud Transcode Service – The Availability / Transcode application provides two valuable services for Cloud Transcoding

  • Checking whether source files are available on the cloud (Amazon S3 currently)
  • Submit transcode request to the cloud transcoding partners

10.NLCD Suite Partner Service – The purpose of the partner service is to allow our Admins and business partners, when appropriate, to be able configure and update the partner configuration needed by every service and application that is a part of the NLCD Suite. All services within the suite should have access to the configuration data for the partner and to organize setup of a partner so that as a department on-boarding of new partners is efficient and thorough.

Challenge – SNI uses multiples legacy applications such as PSA, various Services (such as Transcode, Screen Grab…), Gutenberg (Reporting Dashboard) and workflow distribution service to achieve non-linear content distribution of assets.

Solution – Loginsoft is playing a vital role for Scripps Network Interactive in developing and enhancing the NLCD Application suite which provides Centralized View of Non Linear Content Distribution and the phases an asset goes through(such as Planning, Preparing, Transcoding, QC (Validation) and Delivering) in a modular web application. Loginsoft is also contributing SNI in their New Receiver/Partner On boarding, End-End Testing and Data Migration from Old Applications such as PSA to NLCD Application suite.<.p>

Implementation – Loginsoft helped SNI in building a scalable, reliable solution for automating non-linear content distribution which increased operational efficiency, expansion of core audience and increase in ratings. This application is built using AngularJS,Restful, SOAP Webservices and Java Enterprise Edition and seamlessly integrates with activiti workflow services. This web application is deployed in Amazon Webservices.

Process – An agile delivery model is followed where the current set of requirements are broken down into user stories or program iterations and subsequent weekly/fortnightly releases established. An easy feedback loop with the customer is established and subsequently provided on validation of the requirements. Email, WebEx and Calls are used effectively for easy collaboration and quality deliverables. Agile planning principles are being used for effective Project Management.

Technology Stack:

Languages

Java and Groovy

Search Engine

Lucene (noSQL)

Messaging Service

JMS

Webservices

SOAP and  Restful

Frameworks –                   

Spring Spring Boot and Wicket framework

XML Technologies

XML and XSLT                      

Workflow

Activiti

Javascript

JQuery AngularJS and KendoUI

Unit Testing

JUnit

Mocking Framework

Mockito

Code Quality

SonarQube

Code Coverage

Jacoco

Build Tools

Maven and Gradle

CI Platforms

Jenkins

Version Control

Git,SVN and Bitbucket

Databases

Oracle and Postgres

Issue, Project Tracking  JIRA and Confluence

JIRA and Confluence

Quality Assurance:

Automation

Selenium WebDriver, Geb, Spock and Protractor, Jasmine, Sauce Labs, JBehave, RestClient and RestAssured

Performance and load testing tools

 Load Runner and Jmeter.

Results from NLCD Application Suite:

  • Transparency of status is achieved for all the planned assets throughout our system with centralized view.
  • Ease of capturing metrics on workflows from planning through delivery
  • New Partner or Receiver on boarding can be performed quickly when compared to legacy applications.
  • Promoted and simplified programming collaboration strategies across platforms/partners.

Client Testimonials:

“I have worked with Loginsoft for over 7 years and have a great appreciation of the professionalism of the company and respect of the expertise of their resources. Loginsoft has been key in helping my organization meet our business commitments. In addition to their technical expertise they are very flexible in meeting our needs reflecting their focus on building partnerships with their customers. Their management team is first rate.”

Ron Johnson,
Ex. Sr. Vice President & Ex. CIO,
Scripps Networks.

The journey:

Over the 7 years Loginsoft maintained a very strong relationship with Scripps Networks Interactive. During this period, Loginsoft has proved time and again that it provides quality deliverables within agreed and stipulated timeframes of the sprints. Overall Loginsoft always added value to the business through its quality in application development and feature enhancements.