All posts in category: Software development

Updates to the OrbitSoft Ad Server

As you may be aware, the OrbitSoft ad server has recently experienced some updates. One of the main reasons we decided to update the product was the high costs we were continuously incurring. Our team also constantly ran into the problem of lack of flexibility when scaling, which was a result of a rigid, unbending architecture of the ad server. We were additionally struggling to put out updates due to the necessity of creating many copies of the product each time, since these copies serve the demands of different clients.

As it stood before, the ad server was split into several separate services which were completely rewritten in the Go programming language. Making this update helped us greatly increase effectiveness, while cutting costs. This new architecture allows for much more flexible scaling of our system, which supports us serving our clients better. It’s a win-win!

While creating these new services, we also generated the ability of fulfilling several requests from numerous clients simultaneously. In the future, this will simplify the updates process, facilitating the release of new versions of the product more frequently.

It’s important to note that while testing the product, we replaced a part of the NoSQL repositories on Aerospike. The system became more efficient and the number of servers which were being used in data storage was reduced.

Furthermore, our innovative team changed the subsystems of collecting and storing statistics and began using the ClickHouse data storage for gathering and processing statistical data. This will help save time for delivering collected data for end-users, and will allow the end-users to promptly react to any changes. In the future, we plan to offer our valued users the possibility of receiving reports in any sections desired.

Phew! We’ve been busy!

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Cookies, DMPs and Is “Big Brother” Watching You?

By now, most people have noticed how a specific advertisement can follow them from one website to another. It’s a strange feeling: the first time you’re “remarketed” to. The remarketing ad is based on something you looked at on a previous website, but now it’s following you on other sites trying to get you to buy it.

How is this happening? It’s simple: You have a cookie in your browser.

The developers of the online shop placed JavaScript code (or an image on the site URL) in your browser that requests an advertisement management system show you something specific. The cookie identifies you for that system. It acts as your personal marker. When you visit another website connected to the same advertising network, that website identifies you by that cookie and makes a decision to show you an advertisement, too—something that corresponds to the interests you showed on previous sites.

This process is called remarketing (or, “retargeting”). But beyond particular individual sales and identifying cookies, the value of remarketing might have much higher potential in terms of how a DMP system work.

big_brotherSo what exactly is a DMP?
DMP stands for Data Management Platform. Imagine that instead of a cookie from an advertising network, the code of a DMP from the shop who’s site you visited was put in your browser. And all other sites you’ve visited also used that DMP code. All the information would accumulate, rather than remain specific to one cookie.

For example:

  • Say you visited a sports website and looked at bicycle accessories.
  • Then you visited a shoe website and searched for women’s shoes, size 35.
  • Finally, you read an article on a forum for young mothers.

This entire sequence of selections is collected by a DMP, classified by demographics and analyzed to identify your likely personality type. DMPs could deduce the person looking at bicycles, shoes and mother articles is:

  • Female
  • Interested in sports
  • Foot size 34—36
  • Age 25—35

“Wait a minute!” you might say.
“Those general categories could be applied to any one who surfed those sites. But not all of those people will match those demographics.”

And you’re partly right, but with DMP data, we’re dealing in the accuracy of assumptions. And believe me, as the sequence of selections on the list grows beyond three sites—to four, five, ten, twenty—the accuracy of the assumptions gets greater and greater, exponentially.

It’s scary to imagine, but when DMP systems operate on social networks, imagine the full picture they can paint using only statistical assumptions. After all, any social media account will likely have much more than three to six data points contained within it. And sometimes the information is extremely specific, personal, and unique to individual users.

So why do DMP systems need that personal information?
DMPs use it to help other systems explore specific user groups for data trends. For example, advertising networks can use data provided by DMPs to help advertisers find their target audience. For big sites and big systems, it’s an opportunity to analyze user groups interested in content in order to make the right decisions about what other content to show.

And Demand-Side Platforms (DSP) have a special interest in this data, because they don’t have publishers like advertisement networks do, and they don’t get straightforward requests from browsers, either. DSPs get requests from SSP systems, which don’t have much information about specific visitors. The DSP gets all kinds of user data from a DMP, which helps make a decision on prices and bids at ad auctions.

Orbit DSP works the same way. It uses DMPs like Aidata and VisualDNA—and soon it will be integrated with one of the top players in the market, BlueKai. This will create better and better pricing for our advertisers, plain and simple.

Big Brother
Beyond using data for commerce and bidding, society must decide about the limits and rights of individual privacy in our online lives.

But it’s not really “big brother” watching us. Instead, we create data profiles ourselves—and on social networks, we do it very willingly. Those profiles are based on a list of choices and assumptions that can be figured out, not by individual surveillance, but by statistical sorting.

In a counter-intuitive way, we identify ourselves through a series of choices that can only be unique to us, not by individual observation of our individual actions.

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We’v Added a lot of DMP Providers and Increased Your Odds for Advertising Success

In a previous blog, we talked about our plans for Orbit DSP’s evolving product development. A major initiative includes more integration with Data Suppliers and Data Management Platforms (DMPs).

Data Suppliers
Data Suppliers segment user data from website traffic, aggregating large amounts of information and creating segments from it based on certain market demographics and criteria.

There are two main kinds of Data Suppliers:

  • The first kind supplies a wide range of data about the user, such as their social status and demographic data with general interests and needs. (ex: Pluso, Aidata)
  • The second kind supplies only a defined range of data. This still may include social status and demographic data, but it would probably be linked to payment history or more narrowed interests in a specific area.

Data Management Platforms
A DMP is a multifunctional platform for data management. Data management includes:

  • storage and post-processing,
  • segmenting different user types, and
  • tag management (which controls and manages the data that’s shown in segments and passed to third parties, like demand-side platforms).

dmp_suppliersDMPs for online ad servers allow each side involved in a sale or transfer to manage data, use third-party data, and export data to a real-time bidding (RTB) platform. Usage of data from a DMP as the ad is shown in an RTB significantly increases the effectiveness of an advertising campaign. That’s because the DMP usually has all major data suppliers connected, which allows advertisers and publishers to create segments using both first-party and third-party data together.

Basic DMP platforms provide visitor data such as gender, age, social status, income, interests, and more.

Integration DMP providers allow you to customize your targeting more—like segmenting by brand of car owned, for example—which defines a target audience as specifically as possible.

Putting Data Together from Data Suppliers and DMPs
The market for both Data Suppliers and first-party DMPs has developed rapidly in recent years, but the reliability and quality of the data they supply are far from ideal, especially if used separately.

On the other hand, third-party DMP platforms use optimization methods along with predictions, resulting in the most successful advertising campaigns from the available data.

Cookie Matching
Full integration of Data Supplier and DMP requires a cookie-matching module to work properly and synchronize users. For cookie matching, an ad is shown which includes a tracking pixel from a DMP provider. The DMP provider can then call this pixel from our ad servers to see who has viewed it and match user behaviors across different platforms to the same individual.

Currently, our system uses Aidata, VisualDNA, and Targetix DMPs in the European market.

For the worldwide market, we’ve signed an initial agreement with Lotame and BlueKai.

Our plan at OrbitScripts is to go after as many major DMP providers as possible to supply our advertisers with the greatest variety of audience segments and the greatest odds for advertising success.
This is just the beginning!

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We’ve added a lot of Ad Exchanges and SSPs, and we’re set to enter the global market

Earlier we talked about the development of our new product Orbit DSP, launched under test environment in February. Now, we’re focused on the following tasks:

  • adding new features,
  • increasing performance,
  • increasing connection to more advertising exchange systems. and
  • increasing connection to more user data providers.

Connection to more advertising exchange systems and more user data providers will produce the maximum possible traffic and—theoretically—access to any target audience imaginable.

The main traffic providers today are SSPs and Ad Exchanges.

An SSP is a platform that represents advertisers in the real-time bidding (RTB) ecosystem. The SSP aggregates offers from many sites, “collecting” residual traffic and showing the minimum price at which the site is willing to sell an ad impression.

The SSP then arranges auctions through a DSP, trying to sell available ad space for a maximum price. The SSP can provide sellers a bigger price by using third-party data, integrated into the platform via DMP.

The SSP also protects user data and brand reputations with a transparent control system for ad placements.

Ad Exchanges
Ad Exchanges are where ad sales traffic occurs and where ads are priced and bought in the RTB ecosystem. Ad Exchange allows communication between sites and advertisers, giving thousands of connected platforms the opportunity to sell ads.

Specialization and Integration
Almost all SSPs and Ad Exchanges work with Open RTB protocol, or something similar. But each has its own special qualities. Some SSPs and Ad Exchanges focus on display advertising. There are also SSPs and Ad Exchanges that only work with mobile sites and applications. Some work solely with video ads.

Integration with SSPs and Ad Exchanges allows advertisers to get the maximum audience exposure and targeting. They work with huge amounts of data and many platforms to allow a wide range of user group access.

Integration consists of two main request-handling actions—gathering and processing—for auctions and visitor synchronization (with the help of a cookie-matching process).

The integration process includes:

  1. conclusion of a contract with the ad exchange,
  2. integration of exchange protocols,
  3. integration of the user synchronization mechanism, and
  4. conducting test auctions.

Orbit DSP: Set to Go Global
Originally, we entered the Russian market only, and waited to enter the worldwide market after platform testing of Orbit DSP. We took on major ad exchanges that account for 95% of all Russian Internet traffic: Google, Yandex, Between Digital, Nexage, Begun, AdFox, AdRiver, and Republer.

Now, we’re ready to expand.

Our near-term plans are to enter the worldwide market and integrate with even more ad exchanges (many of whom we’re already negotiating with): OpenX, MoPub, RightMedia, Facebook.

These are exciting times, and we’re excited to expand, bringing our ad server technology improvements to our current clients—and to new clients across the globe, those who are ready to use the market-leading technology of Orbit DSP and partner with us for global success.

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Orbit DSP

The online advertising market is rapidly evolving, and so are the technologies and tools of the trade. Clients have become more demanding of advertising companies’ results, meaning advertisers now need to buy specific user groups, not just advertising space.

The fast growth of social networks and the improvement of data processing methods have allowed advertisers to get high-quality information about all website visitors—age, gender, interests, search terms, etc. Technology can now easily define which user-groups advertisers should target and determine how much each advertising impression should cost.

The Rise RTBs and DSPs
All of this has caused the emergence of real-time bidding (RTB) systems to facilitate the sale and purchase of ad impressions based on real-time auctions. RTBs dominate the current ad market.

Demand-side platforms (DSPs) are gaining popularity, because they allow advertising decisions to be more transparent. Advertisers know where their ads are shown and what data will be used to target their customers, easily calculating traffic to websites and sales conversions.

Orbit DSP Today
We announced the launch of our DSP platform development in June of 2013.


Orbit DSP passed rigorous functional and stress testing made for high-load, scalable, fault-tolerant performance in facilitating RTB auctions. The results have been amazing.

Orbit DSP conducts ad auctions in real-time: A visitor downloads a webpage, the RTB system prices different ad displays, and requests for the ads are sent to bidders.

In just a few milliseconds, our system calculates all the bids and determines the fair prices. The highest bidder not only gets the ad space, he also knows the price paid was the lowest possible—just enough to win the bid!

We also developed a powerful prediction system based on mathematical statistics like Bayes’ theorem, Shannon’s theorem, and Poisson Law—to use entropy and conditional probability for classification, to identify the probability of user conversions, and to calculate the fair price for the ads.

The Orbit DSP Future
Orbit DSP currently works with these advertising exchange systems:

  • Between Digital,
  • Yandex,
  • Google,
  • Nexage,
  • AdFox,
  • AdRiver,
  • Begun,
  • Republer.

We plan to expand this list of exchange systems soon.

Orbit DSP works with third-party Data Providers, like Aidata and VisualDNA, to gather visitor information, count conversions and implement re-marketing lists. We plan to expand our list of data providers, too.

And we will empower our system even more, increasing the effectiveness of our predictions and increasing system performance, in general.

As the advertising market continues to evolve, so will Orbit DSP.

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Automate Your Affiliate Network With Orbit Affiliate Software

We’ve got great news! The Orbitscripts innovative technology your business trusts now builds and manages affiliate networks. We’ve released a new product, Orbit Affiliate Software, to help your web business earn more money through affiliate network marketing — a mainstay in Internet revenue streams.

Orbit Affiliate Software’s monetization model uses Cost Per Action (CPA) to provide a user action gateway that benefits both web publishers (affiliates) and merchants. CPA offers can include any type of user generated action defined as valuable by merchants: email subscriptions, registrations, pay per sale, pay per lead, clicks, impressions. You decide! With Orbitscripts Affiliate Software sales and lead generation just keeps getting easier.

Let’s look at how affiliate networks operate.

Network Owners – A network owner is sort of like the wizard behind the curtain. An affiliate network owner manages and maintains control over their network of web publishers/affiliate marketers and merchants. When you license your copy of Orbit Affiliate Software, YOU can become an affiliate network owner!

As you are on top of the heap — so to speak — you earn the most money from actions performed by users on your affiliate websites, but you also have certain responsibilities. That’s where we come in. Orbitscripts’ affiliate program software automates everything and brings it all under your control on one easy to use, fully customizable dashboard.

As an affiliate network owner you are responsible for CPA offer payouts to the affiliate websites in your network. With Orbitscripts’ Affiliate Software everything is tracked and managed for you – so no worries there. Our affiliate program software allows you to configure tracking settings, offer fraud protection and maximize ROI using our intelligent reporting tools. There are no limits to the number of merchants or affiliate websites available in your system. Even yourself! If you like, you can also run your own merchant marketing campaigns!

Orbit Affiliate Software

Merchants – Each merchant can set their own fee structures, dates of feeds for promotions and rules for affiliate websites promoting their products. Merchants can set a fixed price or a percentage of system purchases or actions. Orbit Affiliate Software’s merchant panels make it easy to configure and track everything.

Merchants are responsible for paying commissions to their network owner for CPA offers on their affiliates’ websites and for providing marketing materials and handling the business of the transaction; such as product shipping, money collection and customer service – just like any store owner would. What they don’t have to worry about is finding customers, marketing and promoting their product. That’s the affiliate marketers’ job. Merchants simply make their products available, handle their business and sit back while the customers come to them.

Orbit Affiliate Software’s wide variety of innovative ad formats and banner templates make provision and deployment of affiliate marketing materials a snap for both merchant and affiliate.

Affiliates – The bread and butter of the whole shebang, affiliate websites make the online affiliate marketing world go round. They do the work to promote products offered by merchants and/or the network owner. They receive their piece of the pie from the network owner out of the commission paid to them by the merchants. See how that works? Have a look at the diagram below for some visuals on the affiliate marketing ecosystem.

Affiliates entice their website traffic with targeted promotional campaigns offering products of interest to their visitors. Visitors perform actions which generate revenue via CPA offers (subscription, lead generation, sales, registration). Commission on those CPA offers goes to the merchants who pay the network owners who, in turn, pay the affiliates. Got it?

Like everything else, you get back what you put into it. A quality affiliate marketing network takes care of its relationships. With Orbitscripts Affiliate Software, the work is done for you. Our affiliate program software allows you to offer your merchants and publishers smart reporting tools that facilitate strategic promotional campaigns. Quality statistics guide both the affiliate and the merchant in making effective choices. Fee payment is reliable; as it is easily managed and tracked from our customizable owner, merchant and affiliate panels. A variety of user-friendly and engaging promotion formats puts a wide range of affiliate marketing tools in the hands of your marketers and merchants. The rest is gravy!

Stay Tuned for More with Orbitscripts!

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Orbit Web Spider

Today you can find hundreds of millions different search engines on-line. It’s a well known fact that search system is one of the most effective ways to attract visitors to any website. The objective pursued by search engine is to provide visitors with the most relevant information on what they are searching for.

Orbit Web Spider

OrbitScripts created Orbit Web Spider that lets you to design your search system with its own database and you can easily manage search results that will be delivered to your site’s visitors. Orbit Web Spider – is a search robot with defined set of rules and algorithms. It consists of 4 main elements:

  • Crawler
  • Parser
  • Indexer
  • Search Query Processor

Below is the overview of Orbit Web Spider system.

Crawler and parser are search robots that work together. The main task of the crawler is to scan the Internet at a specified time, find websites and collect links. Orbit Web Spider technology allows you to be very specific on what websites should be stored into the database. You have two options to add pages to your database: make crawler find it or you can manually input URLs.

Parser is responsible for the saved pages analysis. Page analysis includes: content, structure, codes, links analysis etc. Indexer creates an index for every page and stores it into database of your search engine. Database is an information bank, that search query processor uses to provide visitors with the most relevant results on their search requests. You can not only manage your search engine database but you can also expand it at any time.

With the help of Orbit Web Spider system you can build a high performance search engine that allows your visitors get accurate results in a matter of milliseconds.

Orbit Web Spider is a new way to create a system of any complexity – from vertical search engine to a big internet portal.

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Names Generation Algorithm

In the new SmartPPC 7 you won’t be made to give names to campaigns. So you wont see this again:
No names

Instead names are going to be created automatically.

There is a slight problem with that. If you are an untidy person (like I am) It may happen that you will never give sensible names to your campaigns. In that case you’ll get a situation that you might meet in Google AdWords:

Yeah, a lot of campaigns and all of them have name “Campaign #N”. And it is really tricky to distinguish them.

To overcome this problem, but still don’t make you fill names, we are planning to implement a curious Names Generation Algorithm which will invent still useless but not so similar names.

This means that if you ara an untidy person, in SmartPPC 7 you will have you campaigns list look something like that:

Angle brackets tells you that name was generated automatically.

As on one hand most of our customers are Americans and on the other hand American culture is wide spread, Names Generation Algorithm will use words and phrases from American films, show etc.

Making an interesting dictionary of well known for Americans phrases is quite complicated task for us, Europeans, so we would appreciate your help and ideas of how this could be done.

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Tutorial wizard

One of the cool features that we are planning to implement in the new SmartPPC 7 is, how we have called it, a “Tuturial wizard”.

Wizard is a quite common interface pattern that is used for guiding user through a number of steps. I’m sure you have seen one when installing programs in Windows.

One of the steps of Windows Live setup wizard

In advertising software wizards are frequently used to guide user through a campaign creation process, ‘cause it can be tricky when you face it for the first time. Google, Yahoo, Microsoft do have such wizards as well as SmartPPC 6.
SmartPPC 6 cost per click campaign creation wizard

Besides campaign creation advertising software must provide a way to edit already created campaigns which is usually implemented with the use of different kinds of small (e.g. in-place) editors.
Edition of already created Ad Group in Google Adwords

This practice, when you have one way to create something and another way to edit it, isn’t perfect. It leads to an inconsistent user experience which in turn ends up with a bad habits getting and double user interface complexity.

It would be much better to have one interface for both creation and edition of campaigns. This would help new users to become extended ones faster. But how can one interface be used if we need to guide new users and give fast edition tools to experienced ones?

We have found a solution — it is a “Tutorial wizard”. So, SmartPPC 7 will have one interface for both creation and edition of campaigns which is pretty cool.

We haven’t invented anything new, we have just adopted a very common idea that has been used for years in computer games, especially strategic ones.
In such games you are often offered to start playing with a tutorial campaign in which you are being guided through the game interface and features.

Total War Empire tutorial campaign

SmartPPC 7 will use exactly the same idea of guiding. It will have an interface for edition and it will guide you through the same interface while creation campaigns.

This is a very raw prototype of how it may look like. The list of campaign ad groups in edition mode:


Group selection step in the campaign creation wizard:

As you see a wizard is just a semitransparent layer which guides you through the campaign edition interface.

There are some problems in program implementation of the Tutorial wizard, but I’m sure our programmers will handle them and, with our soft, advertisers will have an opportunity to fulfill their every everyday tasks fast and consistent.

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SmartPPC 7 — interface revolution

Hello dear readers of Orbitscripts blog!

My name is Nick Toverovskiy and I’m a new Orbitscripts interface designer. This means that from now on Orbitscripts products will have not only the unique and outstanding functionality but also a powerful but extremely easy-to-use user interface which I hope you’ll love.

SmartPPC 7 — is a new big version that we have started developing about a month ago. And it is going to be some kind of a revolution ‘cause interface will be totally redesigned in order to make our products simpler, faster and even more powerful.

So, in my notes here I’ll tell you about interesting ideas we get, complicated problems we face and amusing decisions we make developing SmartPPC 7.

Long story short, you’ll be able to peep at our development process.

See you soon, best regards,
Nick Toverovskiy

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