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A smartphone lock-screen app using a real-time database

 

Photo of two Mediba employees in their officeMediba produced an app using GCP to display professional baseball match scores on smartphone lock screens.

In addition to operating AU-related services such as 'au Smart Pass', Mediba, part of the KDDI Group, develops services for smartphones in a wide range of fields, both at home and abroad, covering areas such as culture, games and childcare.

We talked with Mr. Toshifumi Tsukada from Mediba’s Infrastructure Division and Mr. Michinori Sugimoto, Director of their Global Development Division about developing the Live Pro Baseball Score Android app, the beta version of which was released in July last year. From defining requirement stage through to the  development stage, the app was produced using Google Cloud Platform by their Vietnam development team within the short time frame of around two and a half months.

 

Realising  'realtime' - an essential feature of 'Live Pro Baseball Scores' 

LIVE Pro Baseball Scores is an app for Android smartphones (version 5.0 and above) that displays pro baseball game reports on the lock screen. On registering your favourite team, the app displays details of matches so fans can keep in touch with how their game is going just by glancing at their phone.

Bulletins for each game are acquired and disseminated via the GCP server. The app crawls for data and feeds it back once every 12 seconds.  According to Mr. Sugimoto, after the captured batch is processed, it takes less than 15 seconds for the data to be displayed on the lock screen. "We'd wondered about how to guarantee real-time  capabilities since the app’s inception, and so we focused on the Firebase Realtime Database and Firebase Cloud Messaging to achieve that goal. We put Viet Link Advertising in charge of the development to  make use of their engineers’ GCP know-how."

Viet Link Advertising, who developed the application, runs operations with Mediba and has just under 20 engineers. Two people worked on the OS, and three on the Android system. The actual development work began in April and the app was released in a surprisingly short time frame of two and a half months.

“We managed the development by combining document templates and reporting methods with an established communication flow which simplified acquiring and displaying bulletin information, and performing test verifications,” said Mr. Sugimoto. “We had concerns about whether onsite staff were up to the task even with their Google Cloud expertise so we carried on with testing while the development was in process to ensure that Firebase was the right tool for the job. We reworked parts later on, such as log reporting methods, but overall they were able to meet our demands,” he added.

Mr. Sugimoto also described the difference between Google Cloud and  AWS functional capabilities. “In order to display AWS in real-time, we had to set up Event Triggers ourselves, however, the advantage of using Firebase Realtime Database on GCP meant we didn’t have to do that.”

 

GCP can respond  flexibly even with AWS as the main system

Mr. Tsukada said, “It really helped us that Cloud Ace joined us from the design stage. It was our first time to use Google Cloud Platform in Japan, therefore this support was important to us. The result was that we were able to create the app in as quickly as 2.5 months.”

“Furthermore, Cloud Ace also responded flexibly to our back office project requirements. There are many vendors with basic customisations where the speed often doesn’t align with client schedules. However, Cloud Ace have created a good collection of packages, so it was good that we could just hop on to one of those”.

Currently Mediba Inc uses AWS as their main system.

“We want to integrate it gradually.” says Mr. Sugimoto.  “I feel that Google Cloud Platform is continuing to grow, as I hear more and more about companies who have started using it.”

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It seems that future commercial uses for Google Cloud Platform are coming into his field of vision.

“Actually, we’re building and running the CI/CD platform on AWS, but if for whatever reason that environment were suspended, then Mediba’s development work would also come to a stop. Therefore, discussions are progressing about also creating a mirrored environment with GCP as a BCP strategy.”

Cloud Ace are now providing consultation as discussions progress on building a multi-cloud environment that uses both AWS and GCP.

 

This is a translation of an article published by Cloud Ace, Inc.
Available online: http://www.cloud-ace.jp/case/detail24/

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