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Today a new tool is announced in the toolbox called Scissor which focuses on combining live streams and static video files into one or multiple live output streams. Similarly to Clamp it allows you to control and program the content of the live stream dynamically using JSON instructions in an ad-hoc way or based on a predefined schedule. The functionality provided allows you to insert advertisements or arbitrary vod content into your streaming events on demand by simply editing a control file. Scissor immediately picks up and processes the changes.

The reason for not doing any public Wrench releases in 2015Q4 was not the lack of development. Behind the scenes a brand new user interface was being shaped which can dramatically simplify Wrench configuration. Previously people had to browse the reference guide, do inconventient edits in the Application.xml, then restart Wowza (or just the application being tweaked). This was a slow and error prone process.

Now that Wrench has its own configuration screens you can see all the options and the related documentation side by side and you can change any value and apply the changes to the running Wowza application immediately. You can completely reconfigure Wrench without time consuming restart cycles. The plan is to make the UI more and more intuitive with various validations and checks.

Here are some teaser screenshots of the new user interface:

wrench user interface 2

The management tab of the UI currently (as of 2016.01.01) provides you with two features. One is immediately kicking off any user by username. The other is an overview table of all currently connected sessions with username, IP address, stream name and connection/elapsed time.

wrench user interface 3

Some insider information from behind the scenes: this summer significant development efforts have been invested into a brand new web interface for Wrench. This will significantly simplify all the configuration that is currently going on in the Application.xml files, and will add validation to the parameters, as well as direct connection to the documentation for each parameter. The estimated release of the first version is end of September.

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A new version of Wrench has been released, that comes with the new major feature of detaching and clearing configuration from the application instance. This addresses a possible security issue, that has been analyzed and discussed here..

Wrench was particularly sensitive to this, due to the JDBC details and other key details stored in the Application.xml. Now this is gone, the configuration is read once upon startup, and all properties are cleared off and detached immediately. This also aligns strategically with the on-the-fly (re-)configuration and web UI that is being worked on behind the scenes.