Introduction

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We have spent years building products for Digital Signage operators. Over that time, we think we’ve learned a lot about what really matters. There’s a lot of functionality in your new product and we hope that we’ve managed to include everything you need to effectively manage your digital signage and audio network.


Six Digital Signage Software Fundamentals

At the very least, software to manage a digital signage network should

  1. Allow you to publish and schedule content to remote players
  2. Provide information on the status of your network
  3. Provide the tools to manage physical assets remotely
  4. Protect your network from unauthorised access
  5. Keep your network up and on
  6. Help you keep costs down


The CampaignManager System

CampaignManager is a software system designed to operate a set of digital displays or audio devices often referred to as a ‘Digital Signage’ or ‘Digital Audio’. On a day-to-day basis, most users will only ever use, or interact with CampaignManager. The system comprises three core elements:

The CampaignManager System

Another way of thinking about these elements is to consider TV. TV can be thought to consist of the same three elements; the studio, where content is prepared for broadcast, the broadcast tower, which distributes the content and the TV in your home, which plays back whatever is broadcast to it.

The TV analogy must quickly be left behind however, because although CampaignManager essentially provides those same three elements, in reality, the challenges and requirements for operating any size network are far greater.

You may notice that the arrows connecting the three elements above are indicating information flow in both directions. Unlike broadcast, where information flows outward only, Digital Networks require information from the remote sites to be accessible. Examples include monitoring and reporting as well as routine maintenance. A TV network has no way of knowing when a TV set is turned off. In Digital Signage, knowing this kind of information becomes critical. In fact, without such information running even very small networks can become difficult.

Ways the system works together

  • The system operates by means of synchronising data between the three elements. Create, read, update and delete actions all occur on CampaignManager before being synchronized to the CM Service.
  • CampaignManager publishes content to the CM Service and the CM Player receives these changes by synchronizing with the CM Service.
  • Changes made on CampaignManager are synchronized to the CM Service. Other users in your domain receive these changes as synchronization occurs
  • The CM Service is the repository for all the information, media, history and business rules for your domain.
  • CampaignManager and the CM Player retain local databases so that they can work, even when offline.

For additional information about CampaignManager concepts, please refer to Concepts.

Campaigns

A Campaign is the main unit of work within the system. A Campaign is to CampaignManager what an email is to your email application. Campaigns can be thought of simply as: ‘What? When? Where?’

Campaigns

Before you publish something to a screen you answer these three questions. A campaign then, encapsulates the act of publishing one or more pieces of content to a certain screen or screens at a certain time or times.

The ‘What’ part

Each Campaign contains a playlist. A playlist is simply one or more pieces of media which constitute the media contents of the Campaign.

The ‘When’ part

Each Campaign also has a schedule. A schedule can be simple, with a start and end date, or more complex, such as with repeating patterns or ‘day-parts’.

The ‘Where’ part

Each Campaign has a list of targeted channels. A channel represents one or more physical devices on your network, usually connected to one or more displays.

Channels

Channels in CampaignManager represent one or more physical display or audio devices on your network. Because more than one machine can tune to the same Channel, the relationship between physical devices and channels can be described as n:1.


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