Data feed management for digital signage applications

Data feed management for digital signage applications

Easily integrate real-time data feeds into your content

Looking for ways to improve the appeal and engagement generated by your digital signage content? Look no further than real-time data feeds. Live and constantly updated data is the simplest and most effective way to attract and retain the viewer’s attention. 

For example, in corporate environments you should consider adding real-time data like weather forecasts, traffic reports and business news to your digital signage templates. Doing so gives people more reasons to look at your digital displays every day, which makes them far more likely to consume the corporate messaging you want them to.

Navori makes it easier than ever to integrate live data sources directly into your digital signage content. Data Feed Manager is an intuitive and built-in tool that comes standard with the Navori Digital Signage Platform. With Data Feed Manager, you can easily ingest and display the following types of data feeds: RSS, Media RSS, XML, Server Feed, Google Calendar, Microsoft Exchange Calendar, Facebook, Twitter and more…

QL’s Template and Ticker designer apps apps let you easily integrate any type of data into your template layouts using intuitive drag and drop tools. Use them to display real-time content such as company news, meeting room schedules, upcoming events and business dashboards. You can even create digital menu boards that display information stored in external databases, or delivered from QL Server itself.

Live Departure Template

Real-time data feeds

In Digital Signage, real-time data feeds are considered to be external sources of information and graphics that are stored in your company’s databases, or from third-party data providers. QL Templates can display data in two formats. Individual cells show each record sequentially with customizable transition effects. Data can also be shown in table formats organized in columns and rows. You specify the format and QL does the rest. Information is continuously updated which means your screens will display fresh data without the need for human intervention.

QL Data Feed Manager

How to use media rss, xml, social media and calendar data feeds?

Traditional use of real-time data feeds in digital signage involves adding live data elements into content templates. Today, content managers using QL Digital Signage Software are also able to leverage their data feeds in order to automate their digital signage workflows and content decisions:

You can use data feeds to activate any content based on live events using stored values and rules you create.

You can also use data feeds to trigger one or multiple media items based on live events using stored values and rules you create.

QL GUI Play If

QL supported data feeds

  • RSS, media RSS, and XML. Typically news and weather but can also be data extracted from an ERP, CRM, or any software capable of interacting with a database. Common alerting protocol (CAP) is also supported. Content must be available as alphanumeric data or links to images and videos
  • Social media feeds from Twitter or Facebook that can be filtered by region or by language.
  • Microsoft 365, and Google Calendar data.
  • QL hosted data feeds in table format with cells containing alphanumeric data and images.

Live data feed refresh protocols and architecture

Data Pull: Users set QL Player’s data refresh rate for all RSS, XML, social media, and calendar feeds.
Data Push: QL Players receive QL server data feed updates whenever a user modifies the data using the QL Data Feed Manager or when a third-party application modifies the data via the QL API.

Why use QL server feeds?

  • QL Server feeds are safer because they don’t require your digital signage players to make calls to third-party data providers, especially if they are outside your system’s network. Also, changes are broadcast instantly to all your players.
  • Users can take advantage of QL Mobile to publish photos and post messages to any QL Player instantly. This is great for retail stores and QSRs.
  • Data is pushed out to your players whenever there is a change. The server sends these updates in real-time, but only to the players who require the data.

How to personalize a data feed on the fly, from one site or player to another?

Let’s say you have QL Players deployed across the country and you want to personalize the information displayed at each location but you don’t want to create and manage individual templates and data feeds for each one. To achieve your goals, you will use QL’s dynamic data feed feature so you can show the current weather conditions and forecasts based on each player’s physical location using a single template.

Here’s how this works… You start by assigning variables to each location and enter each player’s latitude and longitude. Users can also assign other variables if you want to show the temperature in Celsius in some locations and show Fahrenheit in others. You could even specify different languages for each location.

player variables

You assign variables to each player via a unique technical profile and enter the information that QL’s Data Feed Manager will use to recreate the data source’s URL. So, if variable 1 assigned to a player contains the location’s longitude data, that information will appear in the URL where the [1] variable appears.

The Data Feed Manager will reconstitute each location’s full URL using each variable’s content, creating a unique URL for each location. This is a fully dynamic process. You only need to write the URL with each variable replacing the data for each location. For example, [1] for longitude, [2] for latitude, [3] for the temperature scale, and so on.

The data source, which can be any web service or server, must generate XML feeds that match the variables you created so each QL Player can reconstitute their own unique URL.

How to display content based on feed rules and values?

Users can define rules that determine if specific content can be shown on screen based on values retrieved from external data feeds. QL’s rule-based programming feature supports multiple operators that can be used to create sophisticated content playback scenarios and multiple rules can be combined.

When the content is part of a scheduled playlist and the scenario is true, the content will appear on screen with the other scheduled content. When the scenario is false it will stop playing while the other items in the playlist continue to play.

Users can define rules that determine if specific content can be shown on screen based on values retrieved from external data feeds. QL’s rule-based programming feature supports multiple operators that can be used to create sophisticated content playback scenarios and multiple rules can be combined.

When the content is part of a scheduled playlist and the scenario is true, the content will appear on screen with the other scheduled content. When the scenario is false it will stop playing while the other items in the playlist continue to play.

How to trigger content based on data value?

You can trigger content using the same technique as when displaying content in a playlist. When you assign content to QL’s Trigger folder, the rule-based programming feature behaves as a trigger. If the rule is true, the content will override any scheduled playlist and immediately appear on your screens. The content will continue to play as long as the scenario is true. When the scenario is false, the content will disappear and the scheduled playlist will resume.

An example would be when a data feed driven by a fire alarm system includes an alert, QL Player triggers an evacuation notice on its screen. You could have different alert messages assigned to different scenarios, such as fire, flooding, wind damage, etc.

Using API vs. user interface to update a QL server feed?

Users who write their code for more advanced digital signage applications can take advantage of the QL API. This is especially useful for complex scenarios that can’t be handled by QL’s rule-based logic.

The QL API is also useful when managing large data sets or for bypassing the QL Content Manager user interface to automate various processes. You can find out more here: QL Server API Documentation