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Manifest Base URL

This document describes a purely behavioural extension to AMWA IS-04 to provide redundant locators for an NMOS sender’s transport file, using the above device control ‘type’.

Introduction

Since AMWA IS-04 v1.0, updates to the specification have endeavoured to facilitate redundant access to a node and its resources. For example, the v1.1 update added the ‘api’ property to the node resource with an array of ‘endpoints’, deprecating the ‘href’ property. Other URL properties in the model were introduced as arrays, including node ‘services’ and device ‘controls’.

This extension affects the interpretation of the sender ‘manifest_href’.

Using the Manifest Base URL

The following actions SHOULD be taken by an IS-04 API client in order to construct redundant URLs to retrieve a sender’s transport file.

  1. Identify the associated device resource via the sender ‘device_id’.
  2. From that device resource, retrieve the list of Manifest Base URLs, that is the ‘href’ values of the controls of the above type.
  3. Establish which base URL value to use to relativize the sender ‘manifest_href’.
  4. Construct additional URLs by combining each advertised base URL with the relative URL.

API clients which do not implement this extension simply use the ‘manifest_href’ directly.

Example

Note: There is no mandated format for transport file URLs. The ‘href’ values below are just examples. Implementations are free to use the NMOS sender and/or device identifiers somewhere in the URLs, or to use some other strategy.

Sender resource

{
  "id": "d7aa5a30-681d-4e72-92fb-f0ba0f6f4c3e",
  "device_id": "9126cc2f-4c26-4c9b-a6cd-93c4381c9be5",
  "manifest_href": "http://172.29.80.65/x-manufacturer/senders/d7aa5a30-681d-4e72-92fb-f0ba0f6f4c3e/stream.sdp",
  ...
}

Device resource

{
  "id": "9126cc2f-4c26-4c9b-a6cd-93c4381c9be5",
  "controls": [
    {
      "type": "urn:x-nmos:control:manifest-base/v1.0",
      "href": "http://172.29.80.65/x-manufacturer/senders/"
    },
    {
      "type": "urn:x-nmos:control:manifest-base/v1.0",
      "href": "http://172.29.180.65/x-manufacturer/senders/"
    },
    ...
  ],
  ...
}

Redundant URLs

Establishing the Base URL and Resolving the Relative URL

RFC 3986 specifies the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) Generic Syntax.

RFC 3986 Section 5.2 describes how relative URIs are resolved once a base URI is established. It is expected that all web-development platforms provide the construction of absolute URLs from a base URL and a relative URL.

The “relativize” operation seems to be widely available too (e.g. URI.js / relativeTo) or there are public domain algorithms available for this (such as getRelativeURL.js).

Using normalized URLs is strongly RECOMMENDED, in order that simple string comparison (Section 6.2.1) between the ‘manifest_href’ value and the base URL values is sufficient, to identify the appropriate one, and to generate the relative URL. The resulting relative URL SHOULD NOT have the scheme or authority component defined, and the path component SHOULD NOT contain any “..” segments. API clients MAY choose not to implement normalization as described in Section 6.2.2 and subsequent sections, and to simply use the ‘manifest_href’ directly if they cannot establish which base URL value to use.

Rationale

Several other possible solutions to the single point of failure presented by ‘manifest_href’ were identified and have been rejected.

  1. Use a DNS name in the ‘manifest_href’ property
    This approach would provide redundancy by indirection in the style of DNS load balancing. However, this would require independent configuration of a separate system and goes against the explicit redundancy now familiar in the rest of IS-04.
  2. Use the AMWA IS-05 Connection API /transportfile endpoint
    This has several issues:
    • It would effectively mandate IS-04 Nodes also implement IS-05. While implementation of both specifications is attractive in many cases, it makes incremental adoption of the NMOS specifications harder; IS-05 is a richer API than required to resolve this issue. In some cases, device connection management may (also) be provided by other means.
    • This endpoint itself does not in any case on its own provide redundant locators for the transport file; this endpoint only provides a one-to-one association between Connection API and transport file. Redundant Connection APIs must be advertised via the IS-04 device ‘controls’ array.
  3. Deprecate the ‘manifest_href’ in favour of a sender array-property, e.g. ‘manifest_hrefs’
    This is the approach that matches the existing revisions that have been made to IS-04. However, it would necessitate waiting for e.g. IS-04 v1.3. Deployments into the market are going ahead now with v1.2, and require a solution imminently.
  4. Simplify the current solution a little, directly using a relative URL as the ‘manifest_href’ value
    This has been rejected as likely to be misinterpreted by existing IS-04 clients.
  5. Use different ‘manifest_href’ values in different renditions of the Node API
    This is the approach IS-04 v1.0 used for node ‘href’. It is rejected since it violates the unique resource hash of ‘id’ + ‘version’ required by IS-04.
  6. Advertise multiple sender resources that are otherwise equivalent
    This seems to introduce more problems than it solves.