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Success Story - TNS Media Intelligence/CMR's Web Ad Tracking System

TNS Media Intelligence/Competitive Media Reporting

One of the earliest commercial grid computing applications supporting a web site

CMR's Web Ad Tracking System - AdNetTrackUS - is one of the first successful examples of a large-scale commercial web site based on a grid computing solution. AdNetTrackUS demonstrates the speed of implementing a highly scalable and secure application with Base One's grid architecture and middleware.

Background

CMR is the leading provider of marketing communication and advertising expenditure information to advertising agencies, advertisers, broadcasters and publishers. In 1999 competition was intense, and ongoing negotiations for the company's acquisition made it critical for CMR to develop a commercial web site that established a commanding lead... and they needed it quickly.


Web-based commercial grid application results in significant competitive advantage... Implementation speed, scalability, and security enhance company's value in market place


The company selected Base One's programming tools and distributed computing middleware. These were used to develop both their database-driven, income producing web site and the extensive back-office processing to support it.

In just seven months, the new fee-based web site was designed, the back-office database application was developed, and the new system was put into production. Using Base One's shrink-wrapped programming tools and batch processing facilities, CMR maximized its development productivity while minimizing its investment in the new system... and more importantly, it achieved a significant "time to market" advantage.


Web ad tracking system

CMR clients use the AdNetTrackUS web site to monitor Internet ad occurrences and expenditures, and to hone their budgeting. They query millions of banner ads and tens of thousands of companies and brands, with a hierarchical classification system that includes over a thousand industry categories.

Advertisers use the web site to create custom reports, to see where their competitors are placing banners and how much they are spending on each of their products. Similarly, publishers (commercial web sites) use the facility to find out which companies are advertising on their competitor's sites.

The CMR web site supports multiple ways of searching for companies, brands, web sites, and industry categories, which also are used to create selection criteria for report specifications. All reports have a drill-down feature, leading to further detail. In addition to producing useful tables for viewing, users can create high-quality printed reports. Because of the web site's unique printing capabilities, CMR is well on the way to achieving its goal of phasing out sales of paper based reports and books, in favor of high-end, Internet-based content delivery.

Dramatic system performance and scalability

CMR achieved major performance and scalability benefits by using distributed processing to implement the back-office processing application. Long-running tasks were split up so they could run in parallel on systems with spare capacity, resulting in faster completion. In one situation, for example, simply adding another machine reduced application run time from 6 to 3.5 hours.

Full-featured security, flexibility, ease of learning and development

Using Base One's standard, pre-built User Administration facility, CMR built a highly secure back-office application. They can assign security privileges and set security rules, so that multiple logons for the same (paying) user are automatically detected and prevented. Users can also create their own reports and securely share them (read-only) with other pre-identified users. Base One distributed computing provides fault-tolerant job scheduling and sequencing, and easy application restart, all without additional programming. CMR's grid application resembles a typical client/server database application - an application structure familiar to the in-house IT staff. As a result, they found the system easy to maintain and enhance.

 Speed to market and a significant company asset

The CMR web site and back-office application received enthusiastic reviews from some of its best customers. In early 2000, shortly after the new web site's successful introduction, CMR was sold to UK-based Taylor Nelson Sofres, a worldwide marketing information company. The development speed, performance, scalability and security achieved through Base One's distributed computing software resulted in a clear competitive advantage and "speed to market", enhancing CMR's value in the market place.

Competitive Media Reporting Case Study - Technical Details

Visual Studio | Database Technology | Distributed Computing | BFC


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