Couple of days back I watched demonstration of the next version of Microsoft Interactive Media Manager (IMM) and felt it was brilliant integration of Sharepoint, Silverlight and AJAX  to create a rich digital asset management solution.

Some of the features of IMM such as Media repository, workflow and search are good, but not ground breaking as they are out of box capabilities for any content management within Sharepoint 2007. What really caught my attention was tight integration of Silverlight 2 to play back video files and ability to comment per frame or range of frame.

Lets walkthrough a scenario here for better understanding: A user in a media company uploads a video file to IMM for publishing. As soon a file is uploaded, parallel approval workflow kicks off that sends review notifications to multiple approvers. Until this point we are within Sharepoint capabilties. Now the approver plays the video, which is played using Silverlight video playback - no downloading of any file on local computer. Fun begins when approver wants to comment on certain section(s) of the video. To do this, approver selects the frame on Silverlight video playback and enters her comment. Similar approach is taken by all the approvers. When the user who initiated the approval checks the video he sent for approval, she could see all the comments sent by approvers and by clicking on a comment, she could play back the frame for which the approver had commented. Note that all these activities are performed only within browser. No client side tool installation and no download of media files. Since we are using Silverlight, solution is supported in MAC as well as Windows.

Although the solution is built on Sharpeoint 2007, metadata and media files are stored outside Sharepoint 2007 repository. This is due to performance and other architectural requirements which I do not intend to cover.

Check out the demonstation on Channel 9. Here is a screenshot of IMM

 MOSS IMM

Cheers,

Arbindo