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The Basics of MusicMaster Nexus | by Drew Bennett

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We get a lot of questions about MusicMaster Nexus. It seems to have a mysterious cloak around it for some but it’s actually a very simple, yet powerful application and a great companion to your MusicMaster software because it can assist in automating tasks, farming information from your database and much, much more. Plus, anyone with experience in writing software can use the Nexus API to write third party applications to use with a MusicMaster database. So, let’s run down all you need to know to get started with MusicMaster Nexus.

What exactly is Nexus?

MusicMaster Nexus is an application that creates a connection to a MusicMaster database from a third party’s service or software. It allows for commands and requests to be passed through to a MusicMaster database.

How does Nexus Work?

Think of Nexus as a doorway. You can send and receive things through the doorway. In the case of Nexus, you are sending commands and requests from a service or software through Nexus, to MusicMaster. You receive the results of that request or command through Nexus to the service or software that requested it. This can prove to be very helpful because it allows software such an automation system to reconcile the logs in real time, export music and import it into the database and many more tasks that can become automated using Nexus.

What is the Nexus API?

“API,” is short for Application Programming Interface. API is defined as a specification intended to be used as an interface by software components to communicate with each other. When a programmer writes software that uses the Nexus API, the programmer is simply using the commands and requests afforded to the programmer by the Nexus API. Put simply, the Nexus API is a list of commands and requests that can be made to a MusicMaster database through Nexus.

How can I set up Nexus?

A connection between the third party vendor software and the MusicMaster database needs to be defined using a file called MMServer.ini. It is an initialization file that is used when Nexus is launched. Nexus uses MMServer.ini to establish the connection between the MusicMaster database and the third party vendor software or service.

Here’s an example of what MMServer.ini might look like:

[Settings]
Port=8080
[Interface01]
ID=DATABASE_CONNECTION
System=Big Time Automation
Data=\\192.168.0.101\musicmaster\database.mmd
CutID=101
ServerAddress=192.168.0.102
ServerStation=DATABASE_CONNECTION
LogDesign=Big Time Automation Export Design

This .ini file defines the connection between database.mmd and the Big Time Automation system. We need to know the name of the connection, the location of the MusicMaster database, the location of Nexus and the export design we’re using to send the log. Once that is established, Nexas can be launched and the connection can be made. MMServer.ini file can hold multiple station interfaces so multiple database connections can be defined in one file. You will also have steps to setup your Nexus connection with your third party vendor. Please see any documentation your automation system company may provide for details on connecting Nexus to their system or software.

How can I add Nexus to my station?

Nexus requires a dedicated MusicMaster license to run. If you have an extra license or an extra key in your building, you may be able to set Nexus up and begin using it, assuming you have a third party vendor with which to interface. If you require an extra license to use Nexus, you may contact your assigned MusicMaster Music Scheduling Consultant. They can assist you with obtaining a key to run Nexus.

Nexus is an excellent way to connect your MusicMaster data to an automation system but its uses are vast. Several automation systems already offer Nexus interfaces and others are working to release their own interfaces. Nexus isn’t limited to just automation systems, though, any third-party software that wants to send or receive information from the MusicMaster data, like a research company with testing scores, would benefit from creating an interface. It is already a powerful companion to MusicMaster and stands to become an invaluable tool in your day-to-day music scheduling tasks.

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