Interview (March 31, 2016)

Opening Up to Integration: A Chat with Mattias Shamlo
March 31, 2016 Kristofer

Opening Up to Integration: A Chat with Mattias Shamlo

2016 is already shaping up to be a busy year for Griffeye’s CTO Mattias Shamlo – and it’s only March! While Analyze 16.1 (Griffeye Analyze DI’s most recent version) was just announced in February, The Griffeye team is already hard at work perfecting the next release. However, we were able to catch up with Mattias to discuss Analyze 16.1 and learn more about one of its central features – an open API.

Thank you for letting us have this time, we know you have a really busy schedule – so let us start at once! First off, the open API is one of the most important new features in the latest release of Griffeye Analyze DI? Why is an open API so exciting?

MS: *Laugh* Well, I like being busy, and right now we do so much that I am really proud of, so of course my schedule is full, but it is also a lot of fun. Now, this release had a number of really important news, but one of the most exciting features is the open API.

I have ongoing discussions with Johann Hofmann and Pelle Garå on what to do next and where we are going. We identified really early on that we wanted to have an open platform, so an open API was a logical step. It ties in well with our core strengths and what we stand for – interoperability and “state of the art.”

The Analyze platform has been up and running for a couple of years now, but up until now all our integration efforts have been done in collaboration with our partners. We will of course continue to collaborate with our valued partners, but the new API enables users to integrate the Analyze platform with other tools they use in their investigations without establishing a formal partnership.

We don’t want to lock in our customers into an application that makes their work harder, we want to provide our customers with a platform where it’s possible to seamlessly exchange data from application to application. In the end, we’re all about making our customers’ jobs more efficient and streamlined.

Speaking of the customers – can you tell us more about how users can work with the API?

MS: Through an open API, users can develop their own functionality, i.e. plugins, which can be added to the platform to solve a challenge specific to their investigation. The open API can be used in a range of ways including performing a deep analysis such as image classification in an external tool, running clustering operations on ingested data and opening up images in another program’s processing.

The open API is a really important part of the puzzle and helps create a modularized platform. It gives both our users and partners the opportunity to use the full capacity of all of their tools, not just Analyze. It is exciting to hear when our customers share that they are able to extract more information from their data than ever before.

That’s sounds great. Can you expand on how exactly this affects customers’ work?

MS: Not only does the open API give customers the ability to tailor make solutions that work for them – or even for a whole industry or market – but it also gives them limitless possibilities to create a much faster and more effective workflow. With the open API, investigations can become more streamlined.

In the future, one of our goals is to be able to include new modules or API projects that meet the necessary quality and usability requirements of Griffeye. We could include them in standard deliveries of Analyze DI or sell them through our Analyze Forensic Market (AFM).

Basically, what you are saying is that anyone can develop modules that function with Analyze?

MS: Exactly! We will of course continue to develop modules ourselves, but users are now able to develop their own modules, which means more people bringing new ideas to the table.

We actually had a great example of how the API can be used the other day. One of our customers contacted our support team asking if there was a way to isolate and export the sound from video to MP3 file to be provided as court evidence. Senior Software Developer Andreas Eriksson found an easy solution and was able to quickly build a new app that did exactly what the customer asked for. Next time it can be another user doing that!

I encourage everyone to share what modules they are building – we love to hear our users’ innovative ideas! However, if users aren’t looking to share the module with others, they can build and use their own script without our involvement.

What is your vision for the future with the open API?

MS: We want investigators to have access to the fastest and most effective workflows, and the open API is a crucial step towards that vision.

Even though we will never have all available technology integrated into the platform, we can make all that technology and functionality accessible. That is why collaboration with other vendors, partners, users and developers has become so important to us.

I want to encourage all of our users to work with us, give us feedback and develop modules themselves. Now, the sky is the limit with Analyze’s open API functionality.

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