Introduction to the Feed System
Posted by Casey Trauer on 04 April 2013 11:38 PM

Every time an XML Team client receives a sports data document, that document has been retrieved from a publisher, processed into SportsML, stored in a file system and made available via an HTTP query. The current architectures that encompass this process are generally referred to as the Feed System 4 API, XML Team's feed system for delivering the latest data to our clients.

Pretty much every distribution method we support — be it FeedFetcher or our hosted web service — uses this Feed System API at its base. If you are a FeedFetcher user, understand that the software manages the feed retrieval process for you. However, it is still useful to understand how files are being retrieved. There is still useful information in this documentation that will pertain to the FeedFetcher user. (Some clients choose their own custom solution for retrieving documents from the Feed System API.)

The latest version of this system, installed in August 2012, has several features that should help XML Team deliver even better service to its customers:

  • Over the years, the volume and complexity of the feeds we offer has grown dramatically. Feed System 4 scales better to the demands of these feeds. We believe that we can offer more data at a lower latency.
  • The client-facing aspects of this system are largely backward compatible. For example, users of our FeedFetcher software will not require any changes to move over to the new system. Customers who have their own custom software for retrieving files from our system will not need major changes but will want to do some testing to ensure compatibility.
  • Feed System 4 will offer new ways to query for data, giving clients more flexibility to do such things as targeted queries based on file name. Only want to pull boxscores from a folder full of game-related data? No problem.
  • One place to access live and archival data, simplifying retrieval of archival data.

This documents in this section of the Knowledgebase will explain the document retrieval system in general and detail the changes and improvements to querying for documents under the feed system.

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