by Ian Hamilton, CTO
I’m sure many of you are tuned in to the buzz surrounding Signiant’s next-generation cloud architecture, but in this post I wanted to take some time to write about investments and enhancements we continue to make in our on-premises software solutions.
With that, I’m happy to announce that we have released version 10.6 of Managers+Agents, which includes some enhancements that I think you’ll find very useful. Below are just two of highlights from this release. If you’d like to learn more about what’s new for 10.6, view our recorded webcast where we discuss the release in more detail.
Stateful Workflow Restarts
In this release the automation engine has been enhanced to perform stateful workflow restarts. This functionality permits workflows that fail due to a correctable error condition to restart from the point of failure once the error condition is resolved. For example, if a transfer performed after a transcode needs more disk space, the workflow can be restarted at the transfer step without rerunning the transcode step. This feature recovers scarce time and resources for workflows with business critical timelines.
Although our checkpoint restart mechanism makes file transfers inherently stateful and restart-able, prior to this new functionality, developers of more complex workflows had to add their own stateful restart logic. Because media workflows are typically long running and consist of many resource intensive tasks, restart logic was often a required element of the workflow. The new stateful restart capability also makes workflows simpler by moving restart logic into the underlying framework.
RESTful FIMS Transfer Service Interface
Also in this release we have added a RESTful FIMS Transfer Service Interface. The Framework for Interoperable Medias Services (FIMS) applies Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) to media processes to improve business agility. The common service interfaces defined by FIMS dramatically reduce the effort required to build new media workflows and integrate products from different vendors. Signiant is an enthusiastic supporter of FIMS and has led an effort to develop a FIMS Test Harness under the FIMS technical board. Signiant most recently worked as part of the team that defined the new FIMS Representational State Transition (REST) interfaces.
The FIMS REST interface specifications were completed last fall as part of the FIMS 1.1 specification. Signiant has included support for the REST Transfer interface, in addition to the existing SOAP Transfer interface, in Managers+Agents 10.6. While proponents of REST and SOAP debate relative merits, FIMS and Signiant now support both. The main benefit of the REST interface is that it is conceptually simpler and allows services to be exercised through lighter weight tools. For example, the new REST interface can be exercised directly with native browser capabilities and doesn’t require expensive and complex SOA framework products from large enterprise software vendors.