EidosMedia and Actian NoSQL: Driving the Delivery of News to the World
Gone are the days when media companies stayed in their lanes. No newspaper company worried about preparing content for a TV show. No TV company worried about formatting a story for a weekly news magazine. Today’s media companies present content in innumerable formats—text, graphics, audio, video, and more—and they need to anticipate pushing that content to an ever-widening range of devices, from televisions to smart phones, TV screens, tablets, and more.
For content consumers this variety of formats can be exciting and satisfying, but for the developers who build the platforms that media companies use to capture, organize, and present all this content, the complexity and inconsistent structures create serious challenges.
“When we drew up the blueprint for the editorial system that was to become EidosMedia Méthode, we knew that we were going to need an object-oriented database,” says Ismail Gazarin, Chief Information Officer at EidosMedia, a worldwide leader in the development of content and knowledge management systems for news and media organizations. “But the kind of data we would be handling is complex and relatively unstructured—news stories with associated multimedia, page layouts with their geometry and multi-edition information. We knew we wanted a solution that would provide maximum flexibility to add and change data fields without having to completely modify the database structure. We also knew that storing this data in a conventional relational database would result in terrible performance. We needed something else.”
The EidosMedia team began subjecting object-oriented database solutions to a stringent program of comparative tests. “Editorial platforms are mission-critical systems and have to provide 24/7 reliability for their users,” says Gazarin. “The Méthode platform we were building might be supporting a thousand or more users in a given customer environment, so performance, reliability, and scalability were the characteristics we were looking for.”
After putting the contenders through their paces, the Actian NoSQL object database emerged as the clear winner. Actian NoSQL object technology enables developers to handle database requirements for extremely complex object models with ease and has proven itself in the field by supporting applications with very large-scale data management requirements. Actian NoSQL requires no mapping code to store or retrieve objects, so schema modifications can be handled without application downtime. Built-in fault tolerance, synchronous and asynchronous replication features, high availability, and excellent scalability made Actian NoSQL the ideal solution to support EidosMedia Méthode.
“We were impressed by the responsiveness and the reliability of the Actian NoSQL dual-cache solution,” says Gazarin. “It had already proved its reliability in demanding environments such as banking and defense, so we were confident that Actian NoSQL would stand up reliably for our customers.”
Today, Actian NoSQL sits at the heart of EidosMedia Méthode, enabling editorial content to be published simultaneously through multiple channels—from print, Web, and mobile to tablets, e-readers, and syndicated distribution points. Actian NoSQL and EidosMedia Méthode manage the content behind more than 600 media titles and 200 websites. The solution is used by local and regional publishers on five continents, as well as large publishers—such as The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times—whose content is constantly being updated and whose reach is truly global.
“Actian keeps adding support for the features we value,” says Gazarin. “We’ve recently incorporated the latest release of Actian NoSQL into EidosMedia Méthode. The enhancements Actian has made enabling NoSQL to take greater advantage of multicore hardware make it that much easier to scale EidosMedia Méthode in step with growing customer needs.”