Open Wide Modernizes Unifrance's Information System

Talend Open Studio for Data Integration implements a tight deadline migration performed with no data loss.
Ramp up on this tool is fast, easy, and doesn't raise major problems for people like us who specialize in open source technologies and Java. Because it is based on standards, we are never locked - we always keep control of our developments. For an integrator like Open Wide, this offers an independence that has positive end-effects on the customer.
David Robin, Project Leader, Open Wide

Promoting French cinema around the world

Founded in 1949, Unifrance is a 600-member non-profit organization that promotes French cinema around the world. The company sets up tools to analyze the evolution of international movie markets for producers, directors, exporters, comedians, authors, agents, etc. Unifrance's web site gives its members economic information (such as cinema attendance worldwide) as well as details on the movies, actors, and directors. The company also organizes international events promoting the French cinema.

Open Wide, open source integrator

Open Wide, the open source technologies integration specialist, is a Gold partner in the Talend Alliance Program. As such, the company offers its customers specialized expertise during the deployment of their solutions as well as support throughout the course of their projects. Open Wide has deployed different projects for Unifrance databases (e.g., data migration) based on Talend technologies.

Toward Web 2.0

In 2006, Unifrance decided to modernize its unifrance.org web site and to offer cinematographic professionals a new generation Internet platform, integrating the technologies of Web 2.0 in French, English, Spanish, and Japanese. Unifrance asked Open Wide to implement this new web site with open source technologies.

"€œUntil 2006, Unifrance managed an information system based on proprietary architecture, and a database that used information provided by the Allo-Ciné company. Information collection and input were mostly performed manually,"€ explained David Robin, Project Leader at Open Wide. "The database didn't quite meet our needs, its structure wasn't optimized and that impacted performance. Therefore, we implemented a new PostgreSQL database as well as a new data model."€

This database contains approximately 600 MB-around 20,000 films, 70,000 individuals, 16,000 business contacts and other information on festivals, prize-winners, nominations or judge panels. The data had to be migrated to the new PostgreSQL database, containing around 150 tables.

Talend Open Studio for Data Integration - under the spotlight

Respecting Unifrance's preference for open source solutions for both cost and productivity reasons, Open Wide chose Talend Open Studio for Data Integration.

"The choice of Talend met several major requirements. First, the integration processes are easy to maintain, the product is easy to use, and provides significant time savings. We had a very tight timeline,"€ explained David Robin, Project Manager at Open Wide. "€œThanks to the solution's graphical interface, we were able to develop several jobs simultaneously using some copy/paste operations with a few finishing touches. In addition, the fact that Talend Open Studio for Data Integration generates Java code was very important for us, even if that meant that we used this version very early in its maturity circle - we were, indeed, one of the very first users of the 2.0 version."

After a training session and a few days of consultation with a Talend expert, the Open Wide team quickly became more self-sufficient.

"€œRamping up on this tool is fast, easy, and doesn't raise major problems for people like us who specialize in open source technologies and Java,"€ added David Robin. "€œBecause it is based on standards, we are never locked - we always keep control of our developments. For an integrator like Open Wide, this offers an independence that has positive end-effects on the customer."€

Adaptable and evolutionary

The project was implemented in 4 months, taking 35 days for the migration itself, including fine-tuning and debugging. "We mostly came up against functional problems because of the complexity of the existing data structure. However, we only had minor technical issues, linked to data encoding formats. We were able to test the Talend R&D team's ability to react and to take our comments into account, quickly correcting some bugs in the new version of Talend Open Studio for Data Integration. This is one of the main advantages of open source - the continuous dialog within the community,"€ explains David Robin.

The user experience was greatly improved. As David Robin put it, "€œUnifrance and its members benefit today from a much faster web site, viewed by 200,000 visitors, or 1 million pages per month. For instance, the load time of some pages is now less than 1 second, as opposed to 10 seconds previously. Deployed on several Linux servers, the solution's redundancy features guarantee the security and the availability of the data. For certain transactional elements, it relies on the open standards that are characteristic of Web 2.0-HTML 4.0/XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, XML, RSS, SOAP, and AJAX - which make it possible to develop new services."

With the collaborative view supported by the Web 2.0 technologies, professionals consulting unifrance.org can now edit and manage their profiles, receive special access privileges to some numbers, and receive newsletters and alerts on specific films.

"€œUnifrance now has a more open - but still fully secured - web site, allowing members and partners to easily access its information system, and to reinforce collaboration between professionals,"€ added Boris Quinchon, Sales Manager of the Information System Business Unit at Open Wide. "€œThe result is efficient support for French movie productions around the world. We are now looking at ways to collect videos from other web sites to expand the services offered by the consortium. This sort of improvement ensures Unifrance member loyalty. At the same time, we are also implementing projects for other customers using Talend's solutions - from data migration projects to ETL for Business Intelligence."