With Restlet Cloud, Canal+ Overseas adopts an API-first approach for MyCanal mobile app

Canal+ Overseas uses Restlet Cloud to manage and serve technical data for the MyCanal mobile application. Web APIs built and exposed with Restlet Cloud provide configuration parameters to over a million users of the streaming/replay application in 31 different geographies.

When a subscriber to a Canal+ premium pay TV service starts the MyCanal app on their mobile phone or tablet, or navigates to the MyCanal HTML 5 site on their browser, the application needs first to load a series of initialization parameters that authenticate the user, the region they are based in, the programs and options they are permitted to view. The Services & Platforms team, led by Fabien Poletti, is responsible for managing these parameters and ensure that the correct data is delivered to the correct user, with minimal latency and high reliability.

As the number of geographies where the TV service is deployed keeps increasing, and the richness of the mobile app improves, manually maintaining JSON configuration files on a Web server was not only cumbersome but also error-prone - requiring that all systems be restarted and caches flushed every time a change was made. “We needed to streamline the management of this configuration data,” said Fabien Poletti, Manager of Information Technology for Canal+ Overseas. “We are an agile organization with short deployment cycles, and we adhere to the ‘API first’ philosophy when designing interactions between our front-end and back-end. It was important for us to identify a platform that would enable us to reliably deliver data to our subscribers and easily maintain this data.”

The Canal+ Overseas Services & Platform team selected Restlet Cloud, a Platform as a Service dedicated to Web APIs, and was able to quickly put it to use. All parameters required by the MyCanal app are stored in Restlet Cloud’s Entity Stores - backed by a Cassandra NoSQL database - and maintained through Restlet Cloud’s Entity Browser which provide simple access to this data for non-technical users. Web APIs have been deployed to expose these Entity Stores as RESTful APIs, they automatically serialize the records into JSON files that are served when the APIs are called.

“The configuration files we are sending to the MyCanal app are 100% compliant with the API contract and look exactly the same as they were before we implemented Restlet Cloud,” explained Poletti. “This means that we did not need to make any change in the app, but were still able to greatly optimize the way we are creating and updating the data that is exchanged via our APIs.”

After deploying these APIs, Poletti’s team is looking at leveraging their expertise on Restlet Cloud for other API-centric projects, including in-app purchases, special offers, programs catalog, etc.

Benefits

  • API-first approach
  • Faster and error-free maintenance of configuration data
  • Reduced time-to-market of new features

Advantages

  • Restlet Cloud is easy to use, short learning curve
  • Decreased cost of development
  • Deep API expertise of Restlet’s team
  • Reactivity of support