Table of Content

CLIENT OVERVIEW

Our client is a US based software vendor focused on building an online portal for self-help audio contents. Our client’s success hinges on its ability to market audio solutions as the best means of self-help information exchange over web, mobile and podcast channels. Our client harnesses the power of technology to bring these services to the end users 24*7 over a variety of delivery platforms making it easy to access and enjoy their library.

ENGAGEMENT SITUATION & CHALLENGES

Our client embarked on a business idea to consolidate and categorize authors of various topics; offer the books as audio content using specialized oratory services; and deliver the content over multiple media-over the internet, through mobile handsets, and as an iPod-usable file.

The end user who subscribes to various types of plans can listen to the any of the available titles that is of interest. Our client offered its services through multiple plans with each plan offering different access limits and expiry.

Some of the challenges and business requirements of our client were:

  • Support for multiple channels such as web, phone and iPod to listen to audio

  • Achieving performance benchmarks - Supporting 500 concurrent users with the total user base of 20000 in 8 months

  • On the fly conversion of audio file formats like MP3, WAV

  • Serving the audio content to phones with automated and dynamic voice menu and to iPod

  • Adding bookmark on audio content on pause which allows the user to listen to a title from where he had stopped previously

  • Integration with the payment gateway

  • Handling and managing sensitive data such as credit card information

  • Allow streaming of content data so that the user cannot download or re-distribute the titles to others for free

  • Multi-part audio content with dynamic switching across web/mobile channels allowing the user to listen to the various titles from different channels, even when the user has listened to first part on web and wants to continue the remaining part over phone channel or vice versa

  • Build administrative reports that can send out payments to authors based on various categories like

  • Category of title

  • Number of users listening to the author’s titles

  • Number of titles listened for an author.

  • Payment cycle for the authors (1 or 3 months)

  • Allow user to listen to titles based on the plans chosen and encourage him to buy premium plans

  • Provide cross selling & up selling of various titles by putting in advertisements within the title being heard

  • Build plans based on various categories of titles

XORIANT’S CONTRIBUTIONS IN THE ENGAGEMENT

Our client was seeking to work with partners who had experience in full spectrum of product development, maintenance, and iterative execution model for roll-outs. The client was looking for a robust system and more importantly a very scalable system. The short time to market, coupled with the cost effectiveness pre-condition necessitated the need for perfect planning plus very good project management and implementation approach. Xoriant’s track record of successfully delivering high class software applications with multiple technologies and multiple domains, in addition to the combination of customer intimacy and cost-effectiveness offered by Xoriant’s global delivery model influenced the client to award this project to Xoriant.

Working closely with our client, Xoriant’s product architecture team delivered a requirement document and product architecture blueprint. Reviewing the client requirements, available technologies, potential growth plans, and budgets, the Xoriant team then created a modular design/ development framework, which included the following:

  • Administrative facilities and tools as an independent component

  • Thin-client web-services driven architecture for sound streaming that was enabled using voiceXML, Adobe Flash, and RMTP protocols

  • User-driven components like bookmarks, file-accesses, review-and-ranking capabilities

  • Payment gateways to capitalize on all revenue opportunities, including the up-and-cross sell capabilities of advertising

Using the product roadmap as a guideline, Xoriant leveraged an iterative methodology to build out individual components of the product, iteratively enhancing and developing functionalities and features that eventually would be integrated into the product itself.

Xoriant’s offshore solution gave the client greater flexibility in planning the site launch with a set of immediately-usable features for customers, followed by a series of phased enhancements and capabilities. The company saw immediate improvements in traffic and revenues.

CONCEPTUAL DIAGRAM

Some key aspects of the design and implementation phase were:

  • Content copyright protection - To protect the audio content, Xoriant recommended user of Flash media server (the only paid licensed product used for portal development) to stream the audio on the web

  • Use of custom audio player developed in flash not only enabled to implement custom functionalities like bookmarking but also helped in protecting media

  • Multi-part audio content streaming - Web services driven architecture was used to enable all the three channels to interact with the application. This allowed application to provide uniform interface for web and phone to perform various operations such as choosing the title/segment, bookmarking the segment on pause, adding titles to plan, upgrade the plan etc.

  • Multi-channel support- Xoriant recommended third party libraries for on the fly audio format conversion to other channels without losing the audio quality

  • Podcasting technique was used to serve the audio content to iPod via Apple iTunes

  • Integration with the third party payment gateway was done using the REST based services provided by them

  • For handling sensitive user data such as credit card info, encryption algorithms were used. On the top of that the mechanism of credit card verification was also added

  • Almost all the database transactions were designed to occur through the web services to reduce the network traffic and improve the performance

  • In the architecture, the Apache web server was installed on a separate physical machine to keep the presentation layer and business layer isolated. In this case, the web server acts as a proxy for each transaction and does not expose the Tomcat related URLs to end-users. This helped in distributing load.

Significant contributions of Xoriant included:

  • An end-to-end solution in open source technologies that would work best for its implementation and provide short release times & faster time-to-market

  • Suggested a Test Driven Approach (TDD) due to which the entire development process was done at a quicker pace

  • A performance criterion of a max of 4 seconds for any page to load was achieved

  • Implemented digital certificate for secure transactions

  • Provided a streaming solution for audio files via the web channel using flash streaming server

  • Provided real time conversion of MP3 to WAV file using ffmpeg tool. For streaming on phone, voiceXML was used to produce the dynamic voice menu and stream the audio segment to phone accordingly

  • Report creation for compensation to authors depending on complex ratios of audio content listened by the users.

  • Created full-fledged audio player using Flash with all the properties of audio player built in it including book marking of audio titles

  • Quality control and quality assurance were handled by experienced members from Xoriant’s centre of excellence for quality, thereby reducing the testing cycle

  • Support provided for production release and post-production

TOOLS & TECHNOLOGIES

Java JDK v1.5, JUnit

Apache Web server v2.2

Apache Tomcat v5.5

Axis v1.4

MySQL Server v5.0

Eclipse 3.

Macromedia Flash Media Server v2.0

Web services

CVSNT v2.5

BENEFITS

Working closely with the client, Xoriant helped ensure a successful launch. The client experienced high-availability and robust capabilities from our multi-streaming engineering solution. Xoriant also added enhancements to the product range, and built out ad-delivery vehicles for the system. Since the entire project was delivered from our offshore delivery centers, the client has achieved:

  • 20% cost savings in the development process due to designing of core components in the 1st iteration of an engagement with 3 iterations (ROI)

  • Due to the iterative model, client started getting revenues after the first iteration

  • Xoriant provided a robust, highly scalable solution which can supporting 500 concurrent users

  • Addition of new functionalities/features helped in providing seamless customer experience and increasing customer base in terms of both new authors/titles & user

  • Xoriant provided simple and highly cost effective solution to our client by incorporating open-source technologies

  • Xoriant provided a highly secure solution to the client by the use of Flash media server to stream the audio on web in an encrypted format

Client Testimonial

Xoriant’s highly proficient team helped us ensure a successful launch of our product which was extremely robust and highly scalable. Their technical competence in audio streaming and working on various audio formats enabled them to meet our stringent timelines. They have been a very good offshore software development partner in our journey to success.

- Project Director 

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Download Case Study

Online Self Help Audio Portal Case Study

Online Self Help Audio Portal Case Study

Increased the customer base by creating an online version of the self-help audio portal also made available on multiple platforms like iOS, Android, etc. with streaming functionality.

Key Requirements

  • Support for multiple channels such as web, phone and iPod to listen to audio

  • Achieving performance benchmarks - Supporting 500 concurrent users with the total user base of 20000 in 8 months

  • On the fly conversion of audio file formats like MP3, WAV. Know More >>

Key Contribution

  • Administrative facilities and tools as an independent component.

  • Thin-client web-services driven architecture for sound streaming that was enabled using voiceXML, Adobe Flash, and RMTP protocols.

  • User-driven components like bookmarks, file-accesses, review-and-ranking capabilities. Know More >>

Benefits

  • 20% cost savings in the development process due to designing of core components in the 1st iteration of an engagement with 3 iterations (ROI)

  • Due to the iterative model, client started getting revenues after the first iteration. Know More >>

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