The IBM Web Service Streaming Engine
is a multi-media streaming server, able to stream audio, video, images, and text (closed captioning). It can serve both live and stored content. The streaming protocols are standards-based, such as the IETF RTSP protocol, and the streamed content itself also adheres to standards such as MPEG-4 video and MP3 audio. In stored applications the server streams the content from a standard QuickTime/MPEG-4 file that does not require so-called "hint tracks."
Loading stored content into the server to make it available for streaming is done by putting the content, such as an MPEG-4 file, into a configurable directory or sub-directory. The server does not keep track of the content and only accesses it when it is asked to serve it, thus externalizing content management.
The Streaming Engine explicitly implements only the streaming functions. Non-streaming functions such as authentication, load balancing, installation, and content management are expected to be handled by the environment in which the server runs. The currently-implemented environment that allows control and access to the server is to run the server as a Web Service. The server has been tested to run on the Apache Axis and WebSphere Web service hosts.
Various functions are available via the Web service to Web service client applications. Two such sample applications are the Administrative client and the Viewer client, both of which are Web-based applications accessible through a browser. The Administrative client lets the user start and stop the server, configure various settings, add or remove live sources, and dynamically monitor connected clients. The Viewer client lets a user see the live channels, browse the stored content directory and sub-directories, and view the available live and stored assets. The WSDL of the Web service can be used by developers to tailor existing Web service clients to specific styles and environments or to write completely new streaming applications.