Supply-Side Platform (SSP), Ad Exchange and Prebid Adapter Development

FatTail partnered with Clearcode to design and build their AdBookPSP solution — the first SSP designed specifically for deal-based programmatic transactions.

Below is an overview of our partnership with FatTail and details about the AdTech platform, components, and integrations we created during the project.

Key points:

  • FatTail partnered with us to help them build a new platform, called AdBookPSP (Premium Supply Platform).
  • In combination with FatTail’s AdBook+ platform, the AdBookPSP solution represents the first SSP designed specifically for deal-based programmatic transactions.
  • The various components of the solution included an ad exchange, FatTail’s official Prebid adapter, the programmatic lab environment for demand simulation and business testing, a reporting service, customized creative JavaScript, and integrations with DSPs, Google Ad Manager, and FatTail’s AdBook+ platform.
  • The main challenges were adjusting the Prebid adapter to send all the bids from the demand sources to Google Ad Manager instead of the default of 3 and learning about the integration process with Google Ad Manager.
  • The main technologies we used were Node.js, Nest.js, GO, React.js, Material UI, Azure (DataBricks and Blob), Kubernetes, Terraform, and Grafana.
FatTail SSP, Ad Exchange, and Prebid adapter Development project

We chose Clearcode for their experience with header bidding technology and that expertise proved valuable in the implementation of our system.

Fattail

Gerry Bates
CTO at FatTail

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What We Did

Below are the main details about the SSP, ad exchange, and Prebid wrapper.




AdBookPSP

AdBookPSP is an exchange where the impressions from the Prebid adapter are matched with deals from AdBook+ and passed along as bid requests to the integrated DSPs. The exchange then processes responses and sends them via Prebid to GAM.

In a traditional setup, an SSP issues bid requests, an auction is held, and the winning bid is chosen. With FatTail’s AdBookPSP, there could be multiple deal types at play, including programmatic guaranteed, preferred deal, and private action deals all competing alongside open market programmatic and direct deals in a publisher’s ad server.

This created complexities for passing data back to Prebid & GAM as well as for retrieving the winning creative (downstream) from one of any number of bids received (upstream). The challenge here was to process bid responses and send back a batch of signals which appropriately reflect the demand engagement across multiple deals to GAM for final decisioning.

We solved this challenge by taking deal instructions from AdBook+, running real-time processing, integrating with the DSPs, performing decisioning, and then facilitating post-RTB processing.

Prebid

By default, Prebid only collects the highest bid from the connected SSPs.

Since AdBookPSP supports running multiple simultaneous deals of different deal types and varying priority levels, the auction clearing process cannot be performed on price alone. Following some post-processing after bid responses are collected, AdBookPSP must pass signals to GAM reflecting the demand received from DSPs for final decisioning.

The challenge then became about how AdBookPSP works through Prebid as a header bidding layer to deliver those signals to GAM. We solved this by conducting research and applying problem-solving methods to craft an appropriate key-value signaling strategy and use the “sendAllBids” method in Prebid to send all relevant bids from the various deals to GAM.

Programmatic lab environment

We built the programmatic lab environment for business and performance testing.

FatTail can set up all the same components that they have in the production environment but with mock DSPs and websites.

FatTail can also create their own deal files, scenarios, and upload creatives — everything that you would have in the live environment.

Private auction workflow (aka private marketplace)

This was very similar to the programmatic guarantee setup that we created. It was just essentially another auction, but instead of sending all bids, we just sent the highest bid across all deals assigned to this workflow.

Reporting services

The reporting service runs via APIs. We didn’t build a UI for this, we just exposed an endpoint. In the future it will be integrated with AdBook+.

The Tech Stack We Used in the FatTail Project