File-Based Workflow Engine
The business process in modern media production environments is based on file-based workflows. It begins at the camera where the video and first metadata assets are gathered. In the second step, these assets are ingested into the post-production chain and more metadata is requested—triggering the first video file processing. Along the post-production chain, these sources are refined. So first, an editorial review and selection happens, followed by cutting, animation and graphics, sound, and any subtitling. Finally, a finished asset arises to broadcast "on air".
The content is provided as "Catch-Up TV" or "Video-on-Demand" in libraries shortly after airing or even parallel to the linear distribution. For such offerings on the so-called "second screen" or "multi-screen", more metadata and essences are required. The libraries offer at least a preview and a brief content description. Often there is a trailer, storyboard, long description, and more information about the provided clip available. Also essential for providers and their suppliers are exploitation rights and pricing models.
So-called aggregators form asset packages. These are occasionally processed by other service providers and often made available to multiple propagators. The latter, in turn, usually have several suppliers.
The business processes described begins in the studio and ultimately end on the devices of the viewers or users. At the beginning of the described process chain, the focus is on the processing of video materials and towards the end outweighs the need for metadata aggregation and delivery. Basically, it's always a file-based, automated, self-managing workflow.
We take a process-oriented view of media production environments. Manual, fully, and partially automated processes are mapped by our workflow system. This provides task-specific interfaces for operators. It has connections to all relevant components in the production environment. It controls and transfers video essences and metadata between the units. There is a focus on ingest into production, post-production, or content management systems, as well as archives, processing systems, non-linear publishing, and delivery systems. "On-Air" Broadcast is covered as well.
The strength of our workflow system lies in its openness to connect any software in media IT environments and its flexibility to execute required business logics.
An overview of the WFS features:
The Workflow Manager Light is an entry-level Solution for basic Workflows with the following feature set and limitations:
Example Use cases:
Expands the out of the box functionality of a transcoder/MAM etc. by making use of its APIs.
The Workflow Manager Full is recommended for large scale Workflow Integrations. On top of the Medium version it offers:
The Workflow Manager Medium acts as a base for x-dream-media's Pre-Integrated Solutions:
Once you’ve built a production eco-system based on x-dream-media’s Workflow Solution but need one of the following features, you are entitled to an upgrade to the fully featured version from Signiant:
The following comparison table gives an overview of x-dream-media’s Workflow Solution and points out the differences to the fully featured but more cost-intensive version from Signiant.
|Light Workflow OEM||Medium Workflow OEM||Full Workflow OEM||Full Signiant (non OEM)|
|UDP Accelerated Signiant||x|
|FTP/Windows/Linux copy etc…||x||x||x||x|
|Job Resource Management||x||x||x||x|
|API (submit Jobs)||x||x||x||x|
|API (all other)||x||x||x|
|Number of jobs:|
|UI for Admins (the Manager UI)||x||x|
|UI for Users (e.g. a single job view)||x||x||x|
|Max. Number of Agents||0||2||10||15|
The so-called Components are plugins to the Managers+Agents. They are either the actors or the connectors to third-party software products. That way, they retrieve audio visual content or metadata from ingest systems, archives, file systems, and databases. They are used to control processing software like transcoders, re-wrappers, audio processors, standard converters, QC tools, file correcting tools, virus scanners, etc. Once processed, they enable the file transfer and checkIn to post-production environments. And finally, they upload the content to CDNs and the checkIn to CMS or alternatively to playout and archiving. There is a continuously growing list of Connector Components from x-dream-media for Signiant’s Manager+Agents as well as our Workflow Solution:
All WFM related documentation:
The [product name] related HowTo videos:
Software integrator with an entire commitment to media IT, developing its own software products for file-based workflows and asset management. Part of the x-dream-group.
Based in Germany.
Managing Director and co-founder