All posts in category: Orbit Ad Server

Automatic Foreign Currency Conversion Updates

Per the request of one of our clients, our team created the ability to automatically update foreign currency conversions, including such currencies as the Malaysian ringgit and the Vietnamese dong. We are even able to keep up with such foreign currencies that most people have never heard of!

After doing research on all the existing options of maintaining the ever-changing foreign currency rates, we selected Yahoo Finance due to its ability to offer the widest selection of currencies. Then we created our own algorithm of keeping the latest currency rates.

In order to do this properly, our team utilized CRON software. Yahoo Finance updates its currency rates so frequently that we were able to set our settings to update every minute, in order to allow our users to see the latest rates.

Currency Conversion

Additionally, we explored the possibility of being able to customize the currency rates by the administrator. We fashioned the interface in such a way so as to allow the administrator to see the current rates, as well as to be able to enter a customized value. The administrator is able to see both values for each currency and to switch back and forth between them.

All currency values are set in System Settings. For example, on the screenshot, you can see the value of the Hong Kong dollar.

This project required us to push our own boundaries and to familiarize ourselves with the existing methods of receiving data in the area of foreign currencies, as well as to expand our vocabulary and knowledge of this subject overall. Our developers are now considering an opportunity to invest in some ringgits or dongs for themselves!

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Orbit Ad Server

Statistics show advertisers already spend more on online ads than print media. And this difference will become bigger every year. According to latest estimates by eMarketer, worldwide spending on Internet advertising will top $137 billion in 2014.

That means advertisers have also begun to place higher demands on the quality of online advertising and its effectiveness. That demand puts a premium on improvement of advertising management systems and their functionality.

At OrbitScripts, we constantly monitor this market and add new features to our products to meet the growing needs of all our consumers. We believe the demand for systems development and advertising management consists of three main parts:

  1. Performance,
  2. Functionality and
  3. Usability.

Ad-Server-new-features-of-the-advertising-management_angWe recently put our performance, functionality and usability design and development into our innovative new product Orbit DSP, a demand-side platform technology built from scratch by OrbitScripts as an enterprise-level, real-time ad auction, purchase and data management system.

To create Orbit DSP, we also increased the capabilities of our core product Orbit Ad Server. Orbit Ad Server simplifies ad management, working with Video Ads, Mobile Ads, In-Text and other modules to create an integrated package that handles all your online advertising growth, in all directions.

We made several important changes to Orbit Ad Server, including:

  1. More Tags and XML feeds support;
  2. Weighting for different companies, groups and ads;
  3. Security against fraudulent clicks;
  4. New targeting types, like provider and connection speed;
  5. Improved user-permission system;
  6. New formats for desktop and mobile ads, like full-screen and interstitial;
  7. And auto-optimization by CTR and ROI.

We’re so happy about these new features. Perhaps most exciting is our new and improved Campaign Creation and Management process, made more universal with additional features and an improved interface for better user interaction.

Our next few blogs will cover in more detail Orbit Ad Server’s new system performance and interface-design features. The feedback from our customers—both Ad Server and Orbit DSP, existing and new—has been encouraging, as we to continue to expand and grow with these amazing advertising market trends.

Check out our Self-Serve and Hosted pricing and tell us how we can serve your needs, too!

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Happy New Year 2014!

We’re so happy to be able to put the wraps on another wonderful year!

First of all, this is the 14th New Year we get to celebrate together here at OrbitScripts! So much progress has been made, and this year was one of our best.

In anticipation of the holiday, let me recap the most significant events:

  • We created the Orbit DSP platform—the best demand-side platform and Trading Desk turnkey solution on the market!
  • We launched the new version of Orbit Ad Server—with greater performance, modern new user interface and a wide range of new features.
  • We expanded our team, to add more experience in both technology development and customer account management.
  • We signed several strategic partnerships with leading companies in online advertising.
  • And finally, we participated in the huge conference and expo Ad:Tech San Francisco, where we mingled, wined, dined, met some great cohorts, networked, and hosted the OrbitScripts booth as members at the event.

Farewell to 2013. You will be remembered in the history of our company as one of the most successful years ever—and the continued support from our customers and partners is a huge part of that success.

And welcome to 2014. We wish you all the prosperity, happiness, health and successful projects this year has to offer.

Happy New Year!

new_year_2014

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Using NoSQL Databases for High-Load Ad Systems at OrbitScripts

We always look for ways to improve performance and usability for our clients and our software, which is why OrbitScripts now offers NoSQL databases for our ad systems.

Classical relational databases—or SQL (Structured Querey Language) databases—have been used since the 1970s to manage data. Although as programmers we have used SQL for years, we have also seen the problems SQL can have with very large amounts of data under high-load requirements.

Sooner or later we knew there would be a need for distributed computing and the need to use NoSQL for high availability and more stability.

Why NoSQL?

NoSQL databases—or “not only” Structured Query Language databases—are a broad class of newer database management systems that do not use SQL’s classical relational database management model.

Companies like Google and Amazon (and OrbitScripts!) have developed their own NoSQL database systems to address several common concerns with the SQL model, primarily:

1. Speed: SQL databases can slow systems down to a crawl, especially when millions of users are doing lookups against tables with millions of rows of data.

2. Mapping: SQL’s relational data doesn’t map well to programming structures with complex data types or hierarchical data like XML. Complex objects that contain other objects and lists do not usually map to a single row in a single table.

3. Programming Ease: Because SQL data doesn’t map as well, writing the software code becomes more difficult using SQL, and we don’t want to drive our programmers crazy!

(Read more on the SQL vs. NoSQL debate here.)

The Tradeoffs of NoSQL

NoSQL databases are not built primarily on tables and generally do not use SQL for data manipulation. As such, they are highly optimized for retrieval and appending operations, but usually offer limited functionality beyond record storage (key–value stores, for example).

That limitation reduces the run-time flexibility compared to full SQL systems, but it also gives NoSQL better scalability and performance for certain data models.

NoSQL database management systems work better when what really matters is the ability to store and retrieve great quantities of data, not the relationships between the data elements.

Ad Serving Systems and Their Data

Heavy-load ad management systems have a lot of data, primarily:

  • Balance sheets of users (advertisers, publishers, agencies, etc.)
  • Advertising budgets and limits
  • Targeting information for the ads themselves

The speed ??of access to this information as it updates and the integrity and reliability of the data play an important role in the ad system as a whole. Ad systems also require fault tolerance, scalability, and support for atomic operations like simultaneous read and write.

Because the emphasis in our business is on data storage and retrieval, the NoSQL model works best for us, and we are excited to provide those benefits to our customers.

What Are the Best NoSQL Storage Systems?

In developing our NoSQL databases, we tested and used a lot of NoSQL storage services. We found some services to be better than others at different tasks.

The “best” service depends on what you need, of course, but here’s a summary of the different NoSQL companies we used:

Company

Average speed

for write/read on node on the first key

Search on second key?

Scalability vs. Replication

Atomic Operations/

Transactions

Cassandra

15,000 / 10,000

Yes

Scalable

Yes / No

MongoDB

10,000 / 10,000

Yes

Scalable

Yes / No

Redis

50,000 / 100,000

No

Replication

Yes / Yes

Aerospike

100,000 / 200,000

No

Replication

Yes / No

CouchBase

10,000 / 15,000

Yes

Scalable

Yes / No

HyperDex

10,000 / 10,000

Yes

Scalable

Yes / No

Tarantool

100,000/ 150,000

No

Replication

Yes / No

(Our testing was done with utility YCSB on Amazon AWS.)

The following services ranked best for handling the balance of NoSQL database users (advertisers, partners and agencies):

Aerospike, Redis and Tarantool

Best for creating the most expedient NoSQL database:

Redis or Tarantool

The services with the highest efficiency in storing information about targeting:

MongoDB, CouchBase and HyperDex

And the best NoSQL services for handling clicks and statistics:

Cassandra and MongoDB

We hope you find this information useful, not only to explain why we developed NoSQL database systems for our products, but also as a reference for your own NoSQL development.

Have you used any of these NoSQL services before?

Do you agree with our assessments?

Do you disagree?

Let us hear from you!

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There’s No Such Thing as Turnkey Anymore

 

The ad management industry has failed up to this point.

The large players in online ad management systems have not met all the requirements customers have, and we think the “turnkey” approach is to blame.

Why does turnkey not work?
Because every customer is different.

They each put forward different but clear conditions, and most ad management companies have been simply too big and too clumsy to adapt.

That’s why OrbitScripts is throwing away the turnkey approach.

We don’t think it works. Our experience shows clients want to modify their network for extremely specific needs, and turnkey solutions cannot take that into account.

The market for innovation is not static, either. It’s growing by leaps and bounds, and large ad management companies are having an impossible time developing enough features to keep up.

Where does that leave you, the customer?
Usually, switching from one application to another seeking some kind of makeshift combination that will work best.

We have a better idea:

Custom development for every customer.

OrbitScripts has been involved in Internet advertising for 12 years.

Before 2007, we specialized in PPC and affiliate-marketing systems. In 2008, we introduced Orbit Ad Server and Ad Market, a new line of ad serving products.

Now, our main focus is the development of online advertising control systems.

We can develop a custom software solution to meet all your requirements. Not some of your requirements. Not many. All.

And we can change and re-work the software over time as your needs change.

100% Custom Built—That’s the future we see.

  1. We use NDA agreements to guarantee confidentiality and security for your unique technology.
  2. All of our customers get the highest quality attention-to-detail when we develop products for them.
  3. And our development process meets international standards used at the largest companies in the world.

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So stop buying off-the-rack software from the big behemoths!
None of their turnkey solutions will work as well as something built just for you.

After all, aren’t you ready for a custom fit?
Don’t you think the days of turnkey software are finally over?

We do. Tell us what you think.

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Orbit Ad Server: You Don’t Have To Know How To Fly To Get On The Airplane

A question keeps popping up:

Do people need to know how the cloud works in order to use it?

My short answer is, I sure hope not! Most people and businesses already use the cloud, and most don’t even realize it.

Cloud Survey

Citrix and Wakefield Research recently completed an online “Cloud Survey” using 1,000 representative adults aged 18 and older in the US.

  • 29% said “the cloud” is either the sky, an actual cloud (a “fluffy white thing”), or something related to the weather
  • Only 16% said it was a computer network to store, access and share data from Internet devices
  • Other responses included: toilet paper, pillow, smoke, outer space, cyberspace, mysterious network, unreliable, security, sadness, relaxed, overused, and “oh goody a hacker’s dream”

Even more interestingly, 54% of Americans claim to NEVER use cloud computing—when, in reality, 95% of those people already use the cloud!

  • 65% of them bank online
  • 63% shop online
  • 58% use social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter
  • 45% have played online games
  • 29% percent store photos online
  • 22% store music or videos online, and
  • 19% use online file sharing.

(Read the full article on the Citrix Survey here.)

The “I don’t use it” phenomenon found in personal lives pops up in business, too.

A survey reported by CNBC found that over 80% of businesses currently use cloud computing. And that’s not big companies alone. More than half of micro businesses and small businesses (firms with less than 99 employees) use cloud-based business productivity applications.

Cloudability, a provider of cost-management tools for cloud services, looked at data from 3,200 customers in 80 different countries, and derived a more precise number:

86% of companies not only use the cloud, but they use more than one type of cloud service.

As VentureBeat.com reports, that fact is somewhat surprising, considering the typical concerns expressed by high-level CIOs and chief security officers, who often say the cloud is not yet a safe place to store proprietary information.

So the gap in cloud use exists in both cases. People don’t necessarily understand what the cloud is, but 97% of individuals—and 86% of businesses from big to small—use it.

We Understand the Cloud So You Don’t Have To

With all this cloud-based Internet use exploding, we saw the need at OrbitScripts to use the cloud more than ever for our ad serving systems.

It’s a circular, network effect. The more people who use the cloud, the more it increases the load on ad systems, which means we need more power from the cloud to serve the cloud.

Before the invention of these cloud-computing systems, we used dedicated servers and infrastructure expansion to meet the storage and capacity loads of our ad servers. It was expensive, and connecting and setting up all those servers took a considerable amount of time!

We had to modernize and adapt our software to run on cloud systems to allow more flexible and scalable network infrastructure. And we’re happy to give that power to our customers going forward.

The Real Definition of The Cloud

The cloud is a computing system you don’t have to maintain, and it comes with high reliability, high security, and fast speeds of deployment whenever and wherever you need it.

It’s a system of distributed power with much less risk.

cloud based

So tell me:

When did you realize the cloud meant new possibilities?
Was it Facebook or something in your personal life?
And have you tried to implement those new possibilities in your business, too?

One thing’s for sure: It’s time for everyone to think about the cloud as more than a “fluffy white thing”…and yet you don’t have to know much more than that to benefit and use it.

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OrbitScripts SaaS: One-Year Report on Customer Feedback

Over a year ago, we started offering our ad serving platform as SaaS—software that’s hosted in the cloud through Internet service, rather than traditional software installed on customer computers and servers.

Most of our customers had already used SaaS through other software providers, which gave us a good benchmark to compare our offering with other companies’ offerings.

We’ve received a lot of valuable feedback.
Customer surveys point to the following advantages of OrbitScripts SaaS, all of which we are pleased to report.

  1. Increased Capacity—Our infrastructure uses CDN (content delivery network), cloud solutions and dedicated servers, which means we’ve been able to increase the capacity of our system to handle big traffic increases on our customers’ sites.
  2. 65 Billion Queries Per Month—Our software is built to allow the system to scale horizontally, distributing and handling high-capacity loads that are climbing toward 100 Billion per month.
  3. Modular Is Better—We offer a modular solution, which means our customers have been able to create a unique set of features for each of their individual clients. From the basic functions on up, this has allowed superior customization and service.
  4. Custom Programming—In addition to basic features and an extensive list of modules, we also provide custom programming to meet each client’s unique needs when those ready-made solutions need to be developed further.
  5. Continuous Development—We have been vigilant in extending the functionality of our system to make sure our customers receive the most current, updated versions of our product on a permanent basis. That has helped them capitalize on the most profitable market opportunities, without worrying about their ad system maintenance.
  6. Round-the-Globe Service—Many companies promise “round-the-clock” service, and it rarely lives up to its 24/7 claims. We have offices in the U.S. and Russia, so we are actively working 24-hours-a-day—not as a third-party call center, but as the real company ready to help you.
  7. Lower Prices—Because most of our developers live in Russia, we can use our lower cost-of-living to provide the most competitive prices across the U.S. and Europe. Our customers benefit from our mix of superior products and lower costs of production.

The results are in. You are happy. And we are happy!

Saas Orbit Ad Serving

Simply put:

OrbitScripts SaaS provides a reliable, modern product with continual improvement and features that evolve with market opportunities. We’ve been able to provide a high level of support with global coverage at a price that’s extremely competitive.

And looking ahead, I hope we can make the next year even better!

So if you didn’t get a chance to provide feedback yet, I’ll ask you now:

Do you have any feedback similar to what I’ve listed here?
Do you have any feedback that differs?

Either way, leave us a comment. We’re here to listen, learn, and help in any way we can.

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OrbitScripts Mobile Apps: Advertising For A World On The Move

Years ago, analysts said this would happen, and they were right: The market for computer desktops and notebooks has collapsed under the pressure of competition and convenience of tablets and mobile devices.

Just look around—in the home, in the office, in stores, in schools and on the sidewalks—people have embraced mobile devices. Our mobile phones are always with us, at all times of day and night.

And businesses are rushing to respond.

Advertising in mobile applications gives instant access to consumers and makes it possible for advertisers to better implement and quickly change their campaigns for better results.

Problem: How To Monetize Mobile Traffic?
Solution: Display ads on mobile websites and mobile apps, of course!

It’s a new media market, and the response of the mobile audience to advertising messages is significantly more positive compared to traditional advertising in print or online media.

And competition between advertisers in this area is not yet saturated, so your brand has a great chance to beat the competition, if you act now.

mobile platform

Huge Revenue Potential
Developers of mobile applications can make money from both selling applications and advertising in them, which means big sources of new revenues for webmasters.

This business opportunity creates high demand for software that can help you build a mobile network that connects advertisers with application developers.

And OrbitScripts Ad Network Does That.
Based on our past experience, we built OrbitScripts Mobile Ad Server on a modern mobile platform that we developed through years of traditional ad server network development.

Devices: The main objective of the Mobile Ad Server is to display and manage advertising on the major devices in use today: Android phone, iPhone, and Windows phone.

User Types: Our system allows you to mange the three main types of users: administrators, advertisers, and application developers

Targeting: The audience for mobile advertising is more focused and less scattered, and thus the ability to get ads successfully in front of specific consumers is much higher than in traditional media placement. In OrbitScripts Mobile Ad Server, you can target based on these factors (and a whole lot more):

  • geography (exact location)
  • gender
  • age
  • phone model
  • mobile operator
  • expansion of the screen

Formats: Our mobile advertising can take many forms:

  • Banner
  • App wall (ad on entire screen)
  • Notification tray
  • Icon
  • Dialog

which can then trigger actions after clicking on the ad:

  • Go to the App Market
  • Go to the website
  • Send SMS
  • Call

Reports: Statistics and analytics are important to our system. Our customers can use geo-reports and specific reports for advertisers and developers to verify the effectiveness of ad campaigns and optimize them for the best returns.

We’re All Moving To Mobile.
And Orbit Mobile Ads combines your ads with massive third-party mobile ad networks like Google and AdMob. If you have questions not covered in this post, leave us a comment or contact OrbitScripts sales directly.

We’re here to help you get started in mobile!

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OrbitScirpt’s Third Party Administrator: A Key Tool For Growing Your Network

Ad network and website owners face two opposing forces when they try to monetize their traffic for the first time:

  1. They realize have a network that’s too small. Beginning networks are usually not large enough to make money on a small circle of advertisers.
  2. And they realize they can’t expand their network, because they can’t offer specific enough targeting. Advertisers almost always want to reach a narrow target audience. For example, they may want to limit their ads to web visitors coming from one specific country. With a small network, that kind of targeting is tough to accomplish.

It’s a Catch-22.

To expand a network requires specialization, but it’s hard to specialize if you don’t expand your network. How do you get around this?

You advertise through third-party networks.

At OrbitScripts, we’ve seen this problem many times. That’s why we built an advanced Third Party Administrator feature into our Ad Server system, making it much easier for beginners to offer the kind of advertising third-party networks want to buy.

And to avoid confusion, we added two tools to handle two pricing models, so our customers can manage and satisfy third-party ad networks in a professional way.

CPM vs. CPC

Ability to add third-party networks 1

Pricing models based on CPM—cost-per-thousand impression—use a feed that counts impressions and serves ads using HTML code (JavaScript, iFrame).

Ability to add third-party networks 2

Pricing models based on CPC—cost-per-clicks—use a feed to count user clicks and serves ads in XML format.

These two management tools allow our customers to:

  • add unlimited numbers of third-party ad networks,
  • display according to different priorities,
  • control the distribution of ads,
  • establish commissions,
  • target visitors with preferred sites and countries
  • add tags to the status of the third party,
  • limit the display of the status to certain publishers only.

Ability to add third-party networks 3

The Orbit Ad Server system allows a flexible, functional blending mode of advertising, so you can easily combine your own network with third-part advertising networks. It’s an easy way to unlock the huge potential renvenues in the third-party ad market.

Have you considered using third-party networks but been unsure how to manage them?

Leave a comment or a question, and we’ll help you get started.

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