Lock screen display app using real-time database

Mediba provides an app that utilizes GCP to display pro baseball match scores over smartphone lock screens.

In addition to operating AU-related services such as “au Smart Pass” as part of KDDI Group, Mediba Inc. develops services for smartphones in a wide range of fields at home and abroad, such as culture, games, child care, etc.

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 SCORES” android app, the beta version of which was released in July this year. From definition of requirements to development, the app was realized using GCP from their Vietnam development base within a short time frame of about two and a half months.

Realizing “realtime”: an essential features 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 your lock screen. On registering your favorite team, the app displays details of their matches on the lock screen, so you can keep in touch with how their game’s going just by glancing at your phone.

Details of the bulletin report 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. They had wondered about how to guarantee real-time since the app’s inception, and so in order to realize it, they focused on Firebase Realtime Database and Firebase Cloud Messaging. In addition, they had put Viet Link Advertising in charge of its development so they could make use of their engineers’ GCP know-how.

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

“We managed it in this time frame through combining use of pre-prepared document formats and reporting methods with recognition of the communication flow and so could prepare clear requirements definition forms and also by simply acquiring and displaying bulletin information, as well as test verifications,” said Mr. Sugimoto. “We had concerns about whether onsite staff had what it takes, even once they got accustomed to GCP, and progressed testing while wondering whether we could really use Firebase for it. We filled in parts afterwards, such as how to use GCP or how to churn out logs, but they were able to meet our demands,” he added.

Also he described the good compatibility of its functional capabilities: “in order to display AWS 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 if AWS is the main system used

Mr. Tsukada said, “It really helped us that Cloud Ace joined us from the design stage. It was our first time adapting GCP for use in Japan, therefore this support was important to us from the psychological point of view. 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, with regard to older mechanisms still in use for B2B dealings. “There are many vendors with basic customizations, you know, where the speed often doesn’t align with clients’ schedules. However, Cloud Ace have created a certain number of packages, so it was good that we could just hop on to one of those.” (Mr. Tsukada).

Currently Mediba Inc uses AWS as their main system.

“We are thinking about adopting it gradually.” says Mr. Sugimoto. “I get the feeling that GCP is expanding little by little, as various companies are telling me that they’ve begun using it.”

It appears that future possibilities for using GCP for commercial purposes are coming into his field of vision.

“Actually, we’re building and running CI/CD foundation 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.”

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

“LIVE Pro Baseball Scores”: aiming to establish a business model

After the app’s July release, we brushed up the service, by performing fixes on the bulletins’ accuracy, wording, etc.

Though on the one hand there are functions that we’d like to add with the aim of providing a better user experience, the current situation is that the business model is yet to take shape. With that in mind, they’d like to consider the issues that the same time. And on that forward-thinking note, the interview ended.

This is a translation of an article published by Cloud Ace, Inc.

Available online: https://www.cloud-ace.jp/case/detail24/

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