SOA: The Missing Piece of the Puzzle


At the second Forum in Rome, FastTrack and CISAC Business and Technical Liaisons focused on the newly delivered ‘Services Oriented Architecture’ (SOA) tool. We took this opportunity to meet with three key executives highly involved in the implementation of the SOA in their societies and to get their feedback. The interview below is extracted from our conversation with SACEM’s Laurent Lemasson, GEMA’s Jürgen Röhr and SIAE’s Fabrizio Zavagli.

FastTrack: Laurent, you told us SACEM is planning to move forward with its Works Identification (MIPS)1 and with its Logs Management (ULYSS)2 systems supported by SOA services in September. Where and what is the link between this project and CIS-Net applications?

Laurent Lemasson: The link between MIPS and CIS-Net is based on the new facility for our users to search directly for works from our internal system into CIS-Net nodes. As ULYSS relies on the Works Identification System, it will de facto inherit this functionality.

FT: Did you get feedback from your users at the stage of testing?

LL: As the CIS-Net search facility is fully integrated in the daily operational tool, our users will not need to change from our internal environment to the CIS-Net search engine; we consequently expect significant productivity gains. In addition, it means CIS-Net network must answer users’ requests as quickly as possible. Furthermore, they like the improvements in the interface as they follow the highly appreciated SACEM design and “look and feel.”

FT: Are you considering the possible integration of SOA services with other internal business applications?

LL: In general, we intend to integrate CIS-Net services as much as possible in our internal applications for productivity gain and user friendliness. The September delivery of our documentation system will use the Musical Works services (MWI), and we are already anticipating the integration of other CIS-Net services, such as CIS-Net AVI, in our internal applications. We are also considering the integration of an automatic identification system that would enable pre-identification of works in CIS-Net whose results would be proposed to the users. But such a facility would need to be considered on a larger scale, as the impact on other services would imply some consequences in terms of volume of requests on the network.

FT: Fabrizio, you are one of the key people involved in the integration of what you called ‘the missing piece of the puzzle’ in SIAE’s daily business. We know your users already can check work details from both SIAE’s proprietary system and CIS-Net applications without moving from one screen to another. Could you share your experience with this integration of the SOA?

Fabrizio Zavagli: Since the beginning of the FastTrack network, the concept of modeling the architecture around a layer of web services was at the root of the vision. This means a number of services have always been available for the Societies to exploit, although limited in comparison to the new SOA capabilities.

Due to the effort already required to integrate FastTrack tools into our technical and business processes, the available web services have initially been used mainly by the “official” FastTrack tools (i.e. the Search Engine), but we knew the capability was there.

Over the last few years our IT department has focused its efforts on building web services capabilities into all its internal systems, including SIAE proprietary systems. This allowed for an unprecedented level of flexibility and independence in the development and connection of different environments, while also opening up doors for integration to and from the proprietary systems.

FastTrack services were a natural source of data to integrate into this constantly evolving architecture.

We started with integration of the Tracking Functionalities (RTF), and then connected our proprietary system directly to our Local Node, which gave our users a “taste” of the SOA concept by allowing them to monitor data quality on the works SIAE is publishing on CIS-Net. What was born more as a proof-of-concept to demonstrate possible integrations immediately became a useful operational tool.

FT: How did SIAE’s users welcome this new tool?

FZ: When we discuss further integration of the SOA with our users, we take the currently available works information functionality as an example, and we describe how the SOA would allow us not only to monitor our own data but also to access the whole CIS-Net network. Aside from improving the users’ experience and making the use of the operational tools much easier, our users immediately recognized it would open up for other processes that were simply not feasible in the recent past. The numerous possibilities to extend SOA to other services are highly anticipated by all our users.

FT: As soon as the SOA was made available, GEMA took the opportunity to integrate allocation of ISWC to its works documentation system (DIDAS). Jürgen, could you explain to our readers how this works?

Jürgen Röhr: The allocation of ISWC is an integral step in the process of registering domestic works, which finishes up with automatic notifications sent to our members. GEMA has already also registered more than 175.000 preferred ISWC from foreign societies in which GEMA sub-publishers are involved. Our processes integrate ISWC dissemination because the use of this identification number makes the identification of works much easier: The more ISWC are allocated and made available to the worldwide repertoire through CIS-Net, the more efficiently works can be identified. Our works information is therefore uploaded both to CIS-Net and to the GEMA website. In addition, ISWC information would also be taken into consideration in the processes in which we are involved; that is to say providing/receiving works information to/from other parties.

SOA, which means connecting GEMA internal systems with CIS-Net, will ease this task, improving users efficiency, increasing registration of foreign ISWC and launching new functionalities.

For the time being, we have developed the ability to connect our internal system to the Common Search Index (CSI) in order to proceed with the verification of ISWC already allocated by another eligible society. It will also allow the posting of new GEMA-ISWC to the CSI. This will be the starting point, which will be extended to other business areas such as receiving ISWC information from other parties, for instance, incoming distributions from other societies.

FT: You already identified several advantages brought by this new service, not only in terms of business benefits for GEMA but also in terms of ergonomics and user-friendliness.

JR: I must say ergonomics and user friendliness are also business benefits: Our users are already familiar with GEMA’s internal documentation system, which means it is increasing their motivation, thereby improving efficiency and resulting in a decrease in the number of errors.

Let’s take a concrete example: If there is a missing ISWC in the registration of a mixed work3 we must make sure by investigating in CIS-Net that another society did not previ-ously allocate an ISWC to the same work. Without automatic access from our internal system to the CSI (Common Search Index) the verification of the existing ISWC is a wasteful process. We were therefore more than happy to be able to connect our documentation system to the CSI.

Our system automatically ‘decides’ whether the work is a pure domestic work, a mixed work or an international work, then initiates the right process. For mixed works, we have created two following additional buttons for the allocation of ISWC: “Check for ISWC” and (once the ISWC has been retrieved by the system) “Accept retrieved ISWC”. In addition, ISWC newly created by GEMA will automatically be pushed to the CSI.

This shows the efficiency of the integration of the SOA: It takes a few seconds for our users to proceed and it reduces the risk of errors as our system integrates internal documentation rules, which means nothing needs to be typed again.

1Works Identification System: application enabling users to search for works and to validate corresponding works

2Logs Management system: application enabling the management of all the programs notified by clients and the manual identification of remain¬ing titles, which have not been identified through automated process

3Work in which creators are affiliated to several societies, i.e. these societies are eligible to allocate an ISWC to this work

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