2016 has been another booming year at Transloadit. Our team is now larger than it has ever been before and all those extra hands have made sure that we got a lot done these past twelve months. Much of our time was, of course, spent maintaining and upgrading the Transloadit service, but we were also able to give some much deserved love to our various open source side projects.

Indoor Fireworks on New Year's Eve in Amsterdam @ Awakenings, Gashouder Indoor Fireworks on New Year's Eve in Amsterdam @ Awakenings, Gashouder

Let’s take a look back at some of the things we accomplished during the year and talk a little about what we have in store for you next.

Robot Reinforcements

Our versatile family of Robots lies at the core of the Transloadit service. As such, a lot of our time goes into maintaining these Robots and – more importantly – adding new features for you to enjoy! Only a few months ago, we released a beta version of our brand new /video/adaptive Robot, which not only brought long-awaited support for MPEG-Dash to our service, but also offers a re-imagined way to do HTTP Live Streaming. We also added another cool new Robot, whose sole purpose in life is to detect faces in the pictures you provide. Pretty cool, right?

Other than these new additions to the family, a lot of work was done to our existing Robots as well. We improved our /audio/artwork Robot to now also support inserting cover artwork into your audio files. Behind the scenes, meanwhile, we have been applying countless minor fixes and other fine-tunings to almost all of our Robots, to ensure that integration and use of our service is as straightforward and smooth as it can be.

API Upgrades & Major SDK Overhaul

The amount of data we are processing for our customers per month is growing all the time. While that is certainly wonderful news all around, it can, however, sometimes put us in unfamiliar territory as well. In May of last year, we ran into some puzzling issues with our Redis cluster, as a result of which we ended up drawing the somewhat counterintuitive conclusion that we had to scale down, in order to handle more traffic. After that hotfix, we moved to a decentralized Redis architecture to relieve any bandwidth bottle-necks for good.

In addition to this we have also made considerable performance upgrades to our API and improved the way our scaling works. All this should ensure that your Assemblies will continue to run as quick as ever, regardless of our traffic patterns!

We are also currently in the process of overhauling almost all of our SDKs, some of which were really in need of some love and attention. Many of our SDKs have recently received considerable upgrades, including our Node.js, Ruby, and Rails SDKs. We also implemented a new major version of the jQuery SDK (v3.0.0), which is now in beta. Furthermore, we have an all new Java SDK in the works, which is currently still pre-alpha. Lastly, we contracted Mark Masterson, core author of the tus client for iOS, to redo our iOS SDK, and that is also nearing completion. You can expect some more news on these projects over the coming months!

Improved Security

We care a great deal about making sure that using the Transloadit service is as safe and secure as it can possibly be. 100% security is unattainable, but we’ll keep trying our hardest to get as close to that mark as we can. While our website encryption on Transloadit.com – for some time already – had the coveted “A+” rating from SSL Labs, our API was yet to reach that standard. This summer, by utilizing a clever hack, we were finally able to make that happen!. As a result, we can now run the highest grade of encryption on recent platforms that are capable of supporting it, while, with the enterprise in mind, still retaining the ability to serve the same 44 different platforms out there to the best of their capabilities.

Open Source Projects

Our love for open source is hardly a secret and we try, whenever we can, to free up time and resources in order to get some work done on our steadily growing list of projects. In 2016, the majority of our team members spent most of their time working directly on open source. As a direct result of all this activity, there have been a lot of interesting developments over the past months. Allow us to refresh your memory!

The thing we were probably most excited about was the release of a pre-alpha version of Uppy earlier this year. Uppy is our new open source JavaScript file uploader that allows you to fetch files, not only from your local disk, but also from places like Dropbox, Instagram, Google Drive, webcams and remote URLs. It has a modular, plugin-based design, making it lightweight and customizable. After its initial release back in July, Uppy has since received a steady stream of updates and more progress is made each day. Uppy was also warmly welcomed by the open source community, who helped to make the project rank among the most popular JavaScript repositories on GitHub.

In addition to that, we also recently launched a beta version of transloadify.io. Transloadify is a command line interface to the Transloadit API that allows you to make full use of our encoding power without having to type a single line of code, offering a way for non-programmers to access the Transloadit service as well.

Some of our other projects also continued to receive attention. One of our open source pet projects, BASH3 Boilerplate, suddenly got a considerable amount of traction last year, and is now being worked on by a vibrant community. BASH3 Boilerplate offers dense templates and recommendations that allow you to create safer Bash scripts, quicker.

tus, our open protocol for resumable file uploads, even received its fifteen minutes of mainstream fame when it was featured in the Dutch edition of Linux Magazine. And even more surprisingly, we recently learned that tus is being used in firefighting rescue operations, where it helps to ensure reliable communication between the teams in the field and their headquarters. We’ll be able to tell you a lot more about that soon!

Teambuilding

Transloadit has come a long way from the early days, when it was just the three founding developers trying to keep all the plates spinning. Last year, especially, saw a big rise in new additions to the team, as we were fortunate to welcome a whopping six new Transloadians to our ranks! Combined with the growing amount of traffic, it soon became apparent that we could really use some extra hands in basically every department. Thus began our great hiring spree of 2016!

During the summer, we took a big step forward in terms of customer support quality, when we hired Abdel and Dan as our first ever dedicated support engineers. We also lawyered up by asking Maarten van Vegten to join the Transloadit team. Maarten will be helping us out with our legal matters, making sure that everyone plays by the rules. :smile: Rooshy, Adrian and Ife then joined us in September as the three latest additions to our ranks, helping us tend to our open source projects and static websites. Apart from this lineup of new faces, we also would like to give some credit to an old friend of ours, Erwin Bleeker, who has occasionally been helping us out with deeper and more complex engineering problems, such as OCR.

Our globally distributed team, and machines Our globally distributed team, and machines

The Transloadit team is now spread across the better part of the world. It is, therefore, not that often that we all get to see each other. For this reason, we make sure to get together at least once a year, to get to know each other better and also to have the opportunity to work together in a more traditional office setting. Last year’s meetup took place in Amsterdam, and great times were had all around!

What’s next?

2016 was a great year for Transloadit and it is awesome to look back on the progress we made. That being said, we are certainly not about to rest on our laurels now. There are always lines of code to be improved, sources to be opened, odd kinks to be straightened out, customers to be satisfied, conferences to be sponsored, processes to be sped up, designs to be reimagined and, of course, new features to be released.

A new year has begun and we have got a lot of exciting stuff in the pipeline for you. For starters, we are planning to integrate tus into the Transloadit service as soon as possible, which will allow us to offer full support for resumable uploads. This will be available once our new jQuery SDK version 3.0.0 goes out of beta, and later on find its way into Uppy as well. We are also in the early stages of another complete redesign of our website – more on that later! Other than that, we are working on a complete overhaul of the way Templates work in our API, so that you can re-use credentials across Templates from a single secure vault. We also have plans for account-sharing, white-labeling our service and offering deep analytics and auditing, to further accommodate the enterprise.

If there is anything else you would like to see added to the Transloadit service this year, just shoot us an email!

That’s about it from us. We would like to thank you for helping us make 2016 another great year at Transloadit. Here’s to an even more outstanding 2017!

If you’d like to receive more regular updates than just this yearly newsletter, you can subscribe to our blog feed or follow us on Twitter.

A happy 2017 from the entire team at Transloadit!