ClickView Online offers a very high level of customisation to schools regarding how to setup the various components. There is often a lot of confusion about this - From a user's point of view, everything appears in a web-browser and as long as it works, and works well, that's all that matters. In the background though, there are a number of layers of technology in place that allow for each school to configure everything from what they see in their library, to how they manage the content. This article will go over three different layers of technology and how they operate in ClickView Online, and how to identify what technology your school is using. These layers are what we call Hosted Collections, Synced Libraries, and Local Cache, and it is possible that a school can use all 3 at the same time.
Hosted Collections are what they sound like. They are collections of videos that are hosted and managed by ClickView. Customers who use our Hosted Collections see them in ClickView Online as they are. They are curated and organised by our talented content team according to subject. Every month when new videos are added, these collections are updated automatically - there is no need to worry about downloading videos into your library - we handle that all for you. You cannot make any changes to the library or update the collections in any way, however. They are provided as is.
To identify whether you are using a Hosted Collection, sign into ClickView Online, and head over to the Libraries tab. You should see collapsed trees that are named according to the collection they contain. For example, the following screenshot shows this account has "Plus and VET Collections", "Primary Library" and "Secondary Library" on their account:
Your account may be different, but if you see something other than, or in addition to, "Library," then you know that you are currently using a Hosted Collection. You can rest assured that those collections will be updated automatically for you each month and that you don't need to worry about organising or downloading anything. Those emails you receive from us indicating that there are new videos available are just telling you of new content that is already available in your library.
Customers who wish to have more control over their library or wish to add their own material to it from the Exchange, TV, or Workspace, manage what we call a Synced Library. Using the Publisher software, customers have a great deal more power over their library - but with great power, comes great responsibility. Every month, you receive content updates via Publisher, which are pushed by our content team for your ClickView admins to organise. This process requires them to download the videos into Publisher, and then Sync the Publisher library into their ClickView Online library so that everyone else can see those videos. Publisher also allows you to add your own audio and video files, add resources, and create your own custom folder structure so that you can put content when you know you can find it. The following image shows a Synced Library:
You know you've got a Synced Library when the Library tab in ClickView Online has a section titled "Library", while Hosted collections are named according to what subscription they belong to, whereas with a Synced Library, it is possible that content from may different subscription libraries can be mixed together. If you subscribe to our Secondary and Plus library, it is possible to incorporate both libraries together into one group using Publisher. When it is time for library updates, our content team will send out push notifications to your Publisher:
To throw a spanner in...
It is possible and very common to have a Synced Library and use Hosted Collections at the same time. Doing so allows you to add content to your own Library as you see fit, but also removes any obligation for you to have to manage so many videos. It can be a daunting process to catalogue a large number of videos, so some customers opt to use a mixed system of both Synced Libraries and Hosted Collections at the same time.
As you can see from this screenshot, there are 112 videos in the Synced Library, and the rest are hosted collections. When it comes to our monthly content updates, if you are setup to use both a Synced Library and Hosted Collections, this can get a little confusing. Customers who use Hosted Collections for one or more of our libraries will not receive push notifications in Publisher for those libraries. So if you are subscribed to Secondary and Plus, but use Plus as a Hosted Collection, you'll only get the Secondary videos pushed to publisher - you get all the other stuff automatically!
Local Cache is a technology that ClickView uses to substantially reduce the bandwidth requirements for ClickView. Even though you watch videos in a web browser, the videos will be delivered over the local network from the cache, rather than from the internet. This means you can get the highest quality videos without buffering associated with other internet video providers.
Local cache is currently only available to videos in your Synced Library via http, however we're working to update how cache functions, such that we can do things like dynamic caching over https.
How it works:
When you setup Publisher the first time, it configures a series of shares on the machine that are available for users on your internal network. Each time you add a video into Publisher, it adds a "Local Cache" copy of the video into that share directory. When a user access a video through ClickView Online, our systems will recognise that your system has Local Cache enabled and will check those shares first for the video file, and only reach out to the internet if the object cannot be found.