Three Media enhances its XEN:Pipeline content management platform with Arcitecta Mediaflux.
Over time, the capabilities of many of the industry’s leading media and metadata management systems and tools have continued to advance, but can they change quickly enough to keep ahead of the new demands? The relentless, almost geometric growth, across the industry, in both the volume of files and complexity of data required for identification and global exploitation, poses a significant performance challenge to all vendors. This, coupled with the necessity to increase automation and dramatically reduce human intervention at every point in the supply chain, has meant many vendors have had to step back and consider if their products remain “fit for purpose”.
Content management solutions developer Three Media was no different and performed an intensive ‘bottom up’ analysis of its XEN: product set. XEN:Pipeline is Three Media’s content management system which can process all types of files and metadata, from programme inception through to packaging and delivery. Supported by a flexible data schema and a powerful business logic layer, the highly automated system supports processing and transformation of all types of assets, files and metadata for delivery to any linear or non-linear location.
Inherent market, design and functional pressures guide the definition of new functionality and capabilities in most products, but Three Media have identified an additional two key areas that needed to change, and which also posed significant challenges to resolve.
All new systems must support easily extensible and flexible data schemas, complex business and technical hierarchies (parent/child relationships) and the ability to manage and present “big data” sets – an example of which would be layer after layer of timeline data extracted through video and audio AI recognition workflows. Not only must the database support these capabilities, it must also be highly functional. The clear conclusion was that a wholesale upgrade of core database capability was required but that none of the traditional choices would deliver against all the requirements.
Second to that, Three Media identified that visibility and identification of files across multiple locations was becoming more and more critical. A user does not need to know where a file is located but just that it exists, it is associated to the hierarchy and can be exploited. As most content providers have an archive of library files stored across multiple devices, locations and in many different formats, this capability was defined as being a core requirement, delivering significant efficiencies. The challenge was then to identify a mature vendor operating in this space as building this functionality would take months, if not years.
The Solution: Arcitecta Mediaflux
Three Media’s evaluation resulted in the decision to replace the underlying database and related infrastructure and to implement significant changes in the way XEN:Pipeline manages, processes and presents data and files to end users. This was an essential move in order to provide a flexible framework to support and enable continued growth and critically, expanded features and functionality.
This led, after an exhaustive search and product evaluation, to the selection of Australian company Arcitecta and its Mediaflux compressed object database (XODB) as the new core of XEN:Pipeline. Arcitecta provided a robust, mature solution based on Mediaflux to both areas of identified change. The flexibility of Mediaflux, combined with a broad set of API functions, enables the ability to integrate almost any kind of storage environment anywhere into a cohesive and global namespace, fully supported and protected by native national defence grade security.
With Mediaflux at its heart, Three Media says XEN:Pipeline now offers “unrivalled capabilities” to the media industry. The way in which it manages data provides the flexibility and performance required to manage many millions of data sets. The company says, there is now no limit to the extensibility of the data schema ensuring that, as the industry grows and new trends surface, XEN:Pipeline can extend quickly, seamlessly and cost effectively.
Its approach to storage management provides the near unique ability among its peers to integrate almost any kind of storage into a common, secure, operational environment with little or no engineering required. It can be deployed into a customer’s business and operational environments alongside any existing storage management system with no disruption to existing operations, whilst delivering dramatic reductions in overhead connected with implementation, deployment and support of new features.
The combination of Mediaflux and Three Media’s powerful business content management layer and the simplification of the XEN:Pipeline UI delivers an entirely new set of advanced capabilities to the metadata and content management industry. XEN:Pipeline enables businesses and users to cost effectively discover, identify, associate, describe, manage and ultimately exploit a far broader and deeper range of “long tail” content, wherever it’s located and on almost any kind of storage hardware. In the past, and the present, much of this content is not economically viable using other systems.
Arcitecta, Mediaflux and XODB are registered trademarks of Arcitecta IP Pty Ltd
XEN:Pipeline is a trademark of Three Media Associates Ltd
Article first appeared in Content + Technology (February 2020).