SDL Media Manager Bootcamps 2014

Back from my fourth knowledge transfer trip in Amsterdam*, I wanted to share the following three points.

1. SDL Media Manager: Good news for Tridionauts
2. Planning Technical Bootcamps
3. Starting a New Community

SDL Media Manager

Arranged by Media Manager Founder Wouter Maagdenberg, the Bootcamp included presentations by Menno BoltJan Horsman, and Nuno Mendes. In addition to "rich" client-side multimedia examples, we looked at custom events, analytics, and the Media Manager API.

Good News and Familiar Technology for Tridionauts

Here's the good news for Tridion consultants and customers:
  • The back-end  Media Manager API is exposed as a W3C SOAP service, which means you can use WCF, like you would with Tridion's Core Service
  • Custom Events help you with analytics and have three parts:
    • Users set calls-to-action. Media Managers optionally set custom times and key/value settings for assets (e.g. show a call-to-action from 0:05 to 0:10 seconds. The setup is flexible and simple, using key-value pairs (what to use and what the keys mean is up to your setup).
    • Client-side script captures analytics. Built-in and custom client-side code captures default and custom events and calls-to-actions
    • Results show in a dashboard. Results show in Media Manager in line graphs but more details are available over the Media Manager OData Web Service
So the API is just for the back-end like Tridoin's Core Service, but MediaManager's OData is for analytical results rather than SDL Tridion's Web Service. When working with Media Manager and Tridion, remember your terminology.

Terminology

  • OData is a standardized protocol. Avoid calling Tridion's web service or MediaManager's analytics APIs as "OData." That's like saying, "we will put the search box in the HTML5" or "the dynamic component presentations are called by the C#."
  • SDL is the company. Although I normally understand what you mean when you say, "we will store that in SDL," what does this mean if you have both SDL Tridion and SDL Media Manager?

Organization

Media Manager's structure is organized by accounts, clients, folder, and subfolders in the following arrangement:

(Environment or Instance)
Account
Client
Folder
Subfolder

Each item can contain one or more subitems and the interface hints at these relationships.
Select an Account to see its Clients in the next drop-down. Select a client to see its folders. Easy.
Inside these "organizing elements," you'll find the actual Media Manager items, which are focused on rich media. You'll find familiar CMS concepts here as well.

Content Model

Folder and Subfolders can contain the following managed items:
Assets, the actual image, file, audio, or video files, which are used in...
Programs, as a collection of assets in a certain order, which are used in...
Distributions, which present their included Programs (rendered by Outlets) and map to:
Preview and/or…
Live URLs



We were lucky enough to get some top Tridion sharers in the Bootcamp, so expect more examples, posts, and code in the next few weeks.

Bootcamps

This part is cheat sheet of sorts on what to consider when hosting your own knowledge transfer events.

Before planning your next bootcamp, be sure to confirm:
  • Why: Objectives (internal, external, partners, community, etc)
  • What:
    • Agenda (sent before and ready on site)
    • Examples (code, markup, royalty free assets)
  • Who:
    • External: Invitee list, being practical on the number of people that can follow in hands-on sessions (10-12 works for training, though fewer is better for even more knowledge transfer)
    • Internal: Speakers, presenters, and any subject matter experts
  • Where:
    • Location logistics (WiFi, arrival times, preferred hotel, reimbursement policy, food, etc)
    • Environment details (code repositories, locations, virtual machines and/or cloud instances)
  • When: Preparation time for exercises and updates
  • How much: Pricing, if any

Also see the Tridion Developer Summit as an example of just how far you can extend knowledge sharing and workshops within the community. Though the first summit wasn't as hands-on as a Bootcamp, it shared the same considerations and even had workshops in parallel with presentations. I expect to see similar events and perhaps even a hack-a-thon of sorts (possibly mentioned in a California Tridion user presentation two years ago). 

These are the things on my mind as we plan the US versions of the Media Manager Bootcamps. Let me know if you have any good tips or practices for Bootcamps in the comments below.

Starting a new community

In the last bootcamp we agreed SDL Tridion World would work for sharing Media Manager information in a centralized location. This is available, but taking lessons learned from the SDL Tridion Technical Community, I realize it's hard to effectively coordinate voluntary contributions because posts are unpredictable, deadlines are hard, and few posts are actually exactly the same.

So by Midas Rule, I started a new SDL Media Manager Google group to collect and gather posts and more importantly, the people working on active Media Manager implementations.

Why Google Groups? The old community forum is in read-only mode and Media Manager's community isn't big enough to start a Stack Exchange site. There are a other Tridion-related Google Groups including PowerTools and DD4T.

Let's start something new... again.

*Previously in Amsterdam:
  1. Experience Manager (then SiteEdit) Bootcamp in 2012, which was my first post on yet-to-be-released product
  2. Media Manager Bootcamp last November (2013)
  3. 2013 SP1 knowledge sharing session in April (2014)
Oh and one more post on preparing to attend a Bootcamp (this was a pitch for the previous SDL Tridion 2013 Bootcamps).

Got Bootcamps on your mind? Tell me about it in a comment.

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