Building a Books-as-a-Service Platform: Challenges and Opportunities. BiB 2013

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Presentation given at Books In Browsers, October 2013, at San Francisco, CA.
The topic is the opportunity at 24symbols to build a Books-as-a-Service platform

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Building a Books-as-a-Service Platform: Challenges and Opportunities. BiB 2013

  1. 1. BUILDING A BOOKS-AS-A-SERVICE PLATFORM (IN A QUITE PRAGMATIC AND UNEXPECTED WAY FOR US) Justo Hidalgo
  2. 2. @justohidalgo
  3. 3. A "platform" is a system that can be programmed and therefore customized by outside developers and in that way, adapted to countless needs and niches that the platform's original developers could not have possibly contemplated, much less had time to accommodate. Marc Andreessen @justohidalgo
  4. 4. APPLICATIONS APPLICATIONS APPLICATIONS PLATFORM PLATFORM PLATFORM INFRASTRUCTURE INFRASTRUCTURE INFRASTRUCTURE IaaS PaaS SaaS IaaS: Information as a Service PaaS: Platform as a Service SaaS: Software as a Service Service-managed Developer-managed Source: https://www.engineyard.com
  5. 5. APPLICATIONS PLATFORM INFRASTRUCTURE
  6. 6. @justohidalgo
  7. 7. @justohidalgo
  8. 8. Content Technology Reading experience Marketing Customer access Branding @justohidalgo
  9. 9. CLUB FREEMIUM MOBILE CARRIERS 24SYMBOLS.COM PAY PER BOOK TO PUBLISHERS PAY PER PAGE TO PUBLISHERS
  10. 10. YOUR LIBRARY HERE
  11. 11. YOUR LIBRARY HERE
  12. 12. YOUR LIBRARY HERE
  13. 13. @justohidalgo
  14. 14. API Multichannel view Analytics& Reporting Billing Subscription Models Content Streaming & DRM User Authorization Search & Recommendatio n Discovery Collaboration & Sharing Content and Metadata Management Sandbox Cloud Reader l10n & i18n Cloud Instance Management Marketing & User Engagement User, Edition and Behavioural Data
  15. 15. RESTful/HTTP/jSON HTML5/iOS/Android Hadoop/Druid/... Carriers/SaaS y/Paypal Freemium/Premium/Bo okClub /Libraries Content Streaming & DRM User Authorization Colbenson Discovery FB/Twitter/G+/Pi nterest ONIX/Dilve/... Sandbox Cloud Reader l10n & i18n Gigas Mailchimp/ZenDesk/... User, Edition and Behavioural Data
  16. 16. Platform Levels • Level 1: “Access API” • Platform provided in the form of a web services API • Level 2: “Plug-in API” • New functions can be injected, “plugged in” to the core system and its user interface • Level 3: “Runtime environment” • Apps run inside the platform itself @justohidalgo
  17. 17. • The lingua franca for clouds • Using canonical URLs at different levels • Stateless calls -> quite efficient and performant • Ruby has some useful gems for this • Compatible with OAuth, OAuth2 • Using it already
  18. 18. Resources and Operations • Users • Public information (public comments, highlights, etc.) • Public bookshelves • Public books read • (async) User status change • Readings • Book stats (page views, regions, time, ...) • Content mining functions • n-grams@justohidalgo
  19. 19. Resources and Operations• Editions • (Async) Edition updates • Favorites • Readings (avg % read, #users per page, ...) • Bookshelves it belongs to • Categories it belongs to • Highlights, public comments, bookmarks • Content (where determined by geographical/legal constraints) • Search • Related books (by content, by user, by bookshelf, by reference, ...) @justohidalgo
  20. 20. Resources and Operations • Bookshelves • Per service/user • List of/Most shared editions • List of/Most shared publishers, authors, etc. • List of/Most commented editions, ... • Recommendations • (Async) Bookshelf updates • ...
  21. 21. Resources and Operations • l10n • Set/get l18n content for service • Billing • Per publisher • Per author • Per service (carrier- region) • Per business model
  22. 22. Examples • For service #1 (e.g. 24symbols.com), find the average percentage read by user 2456 of book 3156. Output in jSON • GET api.24symbols.com/json/service/1/user/2456/edition/3156/pctg_read • For service #2 (e.g. country X with carrier Y), find the number of users per page of book 3156. Output in jSON • GET api.24symbols.com/json/service/2/edition/3156/users_per_page • For service #3, find the number of users of page 4 in book 3156. Output in jSON • GET api.24symbols.com/json/service/3/edition/3156/page/4/users_per_page • Find books most read among all services. Output in jSON • GET api.24symbols.com/json/books_most_read • Obtain billing info for publisher X on service 4 from April to June 2013 • GET api.24symbols.com/json/service/4/publisher/X/daterange/2013/04_2013/06/ get_billing_info @justohidalgo
  23. 23. Challenge s • Technical • Reporting/billing • Legal/rights • Business • Competition
  24. 24. Next steps • First launches in 3-4 countries before EOY • Partnership with Master’s Degree in Big Data and PaaS/IaaS • Prototypes and research projects with anonymized data from 24symbols • Decision
  25. 25. Conclusions • We’re building the basis of a potential BaaS Platform • Regardless of whether we actually build it or not • Does it make sense to do it? @justohidalgo
  26. 26. Justo Hidalgo: Co-founder, Chief Product Officer www.24symbols.com jhidalgo@24symbols.com @justohidalgo THANK YOU

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