Digital Asset Input/Output

Flickr Photo by jenny downingIn the early days of Merlin, we primarily worked with photo files. Over the years, as our digital asset management market evolved, we added the capacity to process text, PDF files, graphics of many types and some video formats. The ability to injest all of these different digital assets was achieved with one software component, called MIO. MIO stands for Merlin Input/Output and that was its sole purpose in life – to process files in and out of our digital asset management system.

As we looked to expand our offerings, first by adding enhanced video asset processing, and then by moving into the e-Discovery market, we knew we were going to need to make changes to the process of how we were importing objects into our database. The specialized processing required to perform the speech-to-text conversion, the creation of web-ready video files and the handling of a wide variety of file types involved in e-Discovery, meant that we needed expand our processing capabilities. The addition of these new digital assets meant that we would be processing a much larger volume of data than in our existing digital asset management market. It was for that reason that we needed a solution that could expand as needed to meet our customers’ needs.

Our solution to these additional requirements is MIMSY – the Merlin Input Management System. MIMSY can process video assets, Microsoft® Office documents, PST files from Outlook, PDFs and many other digital assets. During input, MIMSY routes files, as needed, to other engines for processing. This means that we can add nearly any processing necessary by adding routes to additional processing engines. Currently MIMSY handles speech-to-text, video encoding, OCR and other processes.

MIMSY is built onto a database structure, so instead of storing processes and jobs in memory, the data is written to database tables that can be read by multiple MIMSY servers. This allows multiple servers to process a single data load as needed, with one master server overseeing the entire process. The master server is there to make sure that all of the servers behave and that none step on any other servers’ files or jobs. That flexibility means that we can expand or shrink the servers that are working on a particular load as needed, allowing us to do more with fewer servers while being responsive to all of our customers’ needs.

Posted by Jennifer Cox
Flickr photo by jenny downing

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