axle ai Offers connectr As Open Source Workflow Automation Tool

Launch of connectr, an open, visual programming system for which axle is seeking multi-vendor support. The software includes a graphical front end, connectr Designer, which makes constructing a workflow a simple drag-and-drop process.

axle describes connectr, as a “revolutionary new software” which lets media teams automate workflows via a drag-and-drop UI; no programming skills required.

“These teams are typically at broadcasters, post production houses, corporate settings, universities and houses of worship,” says Sam Bogoch, axle ai’s CEO. “Typically, they have a need to automate a combination of ingest, transcode, web publishing and archiving steps to reduce the amount of manual labor required in the face of increasing amounts of media being handled.”

The software is available for MacOS and Linux, and is shipping immediately. Pricing is $1,195/€995 for a MacOS version aimed at editors, DITs (digital intermediate technicians), and others seeking power to automate media workflows; $2,995/€2,495 for MacOS and Linux VM versions for workgroups, and an enterprise version for $11,995/€9,995. The workgroup and enterprise versions can be deployed either on-premise (as a virtual machine running on Windows or Linux hardware), or in the cloud. 

“Our goal is to create a common industry wide capability to build and deploy media workflows,” said Bogoch. “Our industry has lacked a truly open, cross-platform workflow tool priced affordably enough to be broadly adopted. Instead, customers have had to either hire programmers to write custom code, or buy more expensive and proprietary solutions tied to a specific application such as Telestream’s Vantage (transcoding) or IBM’s Aspera Orchestrator (file transfer). With connectr, axle ai is putting a powerful workflow solution into the market at an affordable price, and opening it up to resellers and integrators as well as end users. We’re even offering it to OEM partners to license and relabel under their own brands.”

The video industry has dozens, even hundreds of highly capable specialist vendors and a handful of larger companies with vertically integrated product lines. Typically, integrating an automated workflow involving two or more of these vendors is beyond reach for most customers, blocking access to greater efficiencies across the entire media creation process. Connectr is intended to break this deadlock, allowing multi-way connectivity and integration to propagate over time, well beyond the footprint of single-vendor solutions.

The software includes a graphical front end, connectr Designer, which makes constructing a workflow a simple drag-and-drop process. Software and hardware vendors, integrators and other technically advanced customers are able to build their own Modules that can be plugged into connectr and become part of larger workflows. Modules can either be shared for free on open source code repositories, or compiled and sold commercially by vendors. axle ai hopes to offer an “App Store” style business model for connectr partners in 2019.

axle ai is encouraging development of connectr modules from third parties and at launch has the following available: for Archiware’s P5 archiving software and ToolsOnAir’s ingest applications, as well as axle ai’s own axle media management solution. These modules are priced at $1,995 (for Archiware P5) and $995 (ToolsOnAir and axle ai). 

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