The five-part flow of an interactive application

All along the lifecycle of an EBIF app—from creation to fulfillment—support mechanisms exist to help developers, programmers, advertisers, and MSOs.

That's important, because even though EBIF is designed to comprehensively run over a wide range of digital set-tops, "integration issues" never seem to go away completely. To put this in context, understand that the cable industry, as a whole, evolved organically and individually—town by town, system by system—over the past 60+ years. Even digital video is more than a decade old.

Consolidation among service problems gave cause to unify technologies across most of the major operators, but, interoperability is never a guarantee, particularly considering the many variables and potential "drop points" an EBIF app encounters along the way, from creation to screen.

CableLabs is very focused on developer support, and is gathering a comprehensive diagnostics database for troubleshooting EBIF problems. CableLabs, Canoe and the MSOs are evaluating any additional requirements for integration, compliance and certification for EBIF apps moving forward.

CableLabs also built an ETV test suite consisting of over 150 EBIF apps, which can be run across all types of EBIF User Agents. And, it conducts regular "interop" events at its laboratories located in Louisville, CO, between Denver and Boulder.