Rules and Tags

Note that Rules and Tags is an Enterprise-only feature.

Rules and tags are an alternative to our existing calendar-based scheduling. They allow the same playlist to behave differently from screen to screen, depending on the conditions you set. This speeds up workflow as you don't need to manage multiple playlists and scheduling.

Rules are formulas that can be added to playlists to dynamically evaluate depending on when and where content should play. Rules make this evaluation by comparing data from 2 sources. Sources can be things like the current day of the week, or a tag on a playlist, presentation, or ScreenRay. The comparing can be to see if they match, or if they don't, or if one's a lesser or greater value than the other, and so on.

It's easiest to understand Rules and Tags with an example: let's say you've got a restaurant in New York, one in San Francisco, and Another in Chicago. You have 2 presentations that you want to play at all locations, and then also 3 unique presentations that are each meant to play in only one city.

First, we'll assign a tag of type "City:" to the appropriate screens, and give them a value of the city's name. Go to the Screens page and click the gear icon beside the screen’s name to open the Settings pane, and scroll down until you see the TAGS section.


Now add a tag of type "City".Screens___Settings___TAGS_adding_City.png

And with the tag added, give it a value of "New York". The process is the same for the San Francisco and Chicago screens, with the only difference being the city name.


With our Screens tagged it's time to tag playlist items and add a Rule. Note that Screens, Presentations, and Playlists can be tagged, but only Playlists can have Rules applied to them. This is why the content we want on specific cities is all in the same nested playlist.

In order to add corresponding tags to our playlist content, we will select the content we want to tag, in this case, the New York presentation, and click the ellipses (the "···") and then select 'TAGS'.


Add a tag of type City and give it a value of New York, just like we did for the screen, then hit 'Done'. The process is the same for San Francisco and Chicago content.


Now we're going to make a rule that basically says that if the value of the City tag on the screen matches the value of the City tag on a playlist item, play that item on that screen.

Click the ellipses and select 'RULES'.

Builder___Playlist___Action_Strip-_Adding_Rule.pngThis will open the Rule Builder, which at this point is empty.


RULE EVALUATION: this sets whether the Rule is applied to the playlist itself, or to the individual items in the playlist. For this example we want it to apply to playlist items.


SOURCE 1: Rules compare 2 things, and if the comparison is true it plays the content. So we must tell it what to compare, these are the SOURCES. For SOURCE 1 We've selected "This ScreenRay", which means "The ScreenRay this playlist is assigned to and upon which this Rule is currently being evaluated". And we've selected the tag of type City on "This ScreenRay".


So this first part of the Rule says "whatever device I'm playing on, check to see if there is a City tag and if so what its value is". You'll note the yellow highlighted Helper Text, which will continually guide you in building a valid rule.


COMPARE: Now we specify how we want to compare Source 1 and Source 2. In this case, we're looking for a match, so choose Equals. Note again the yellow highlighted Helper Text is letting you know what is needed next, which is Source 2.


SOURCE 2: You will notice that for Source 2 our only option is a tag of type City on "This item". "This item" means "the playlist item that is currently being evaluated on this screen". The reason the only option is This item City tag is because Source 1 already chose "This ScreenRay", and we can't compare "This ScreenRay" to "This ScreenRay", because that would make no sense, it's being evaluated on 1 ScreenRay. Likewise, we can only compare a tag of type City to another tag of the same type. If we tried to compare a City tag to a Building tag it wouldn't make sense, they're different things that cannot be logically compared.


The Rule is complete and valid. You can now hit 'Done' and then hit 'Save'.


We now have our screens and playlist items tagged and a valid rule built. But to see your Rule in action it must be published to a screen(s), as that is where the rule is evaluated.

Untitled__1_.pngIf you've followed along, including tagging your San Francisco and Chicago Screens/Content, you will see that the same playlist plays different content on each screen.

This is just a basic example of what Rules & Tags can do, but the best way to understand the power of this feature is to try it out yourself- play around with it, try different tags, combinations, Sources, and Comparators. As you begin to understand the logic you will start to recognize how they can greatly streamline your workflow as well as empower more sophisticated playback behaviors on your screens.

Multi-Value Tags

Tags don't have to be limited to one value. You can set as many as you like using the pipe separator (|). If you have a playlist you'd like to show in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia you'd set its "Country" tag to "US|UK|AU".


To ensure that devices tagged as being in the US, UK or Australia play this content, you'll need to create a rule which, rather than using the "Equals" comparator as was the case for single value tags, will use the "Contains" comparator. Set your rule's SOURCE 1 to This Item -> Location -> Country and proceed to selecting the "Contains" comparator. Set SOURCE 2 to This ScreenRay -> Location -> Country. This rule will determine if any of the "Country" values set on the ScreenRay are contained within any of the "Country" values set on the playlist.


Voila! Only screens in the US, UK and Australia will play your playlist.


"Contains" is not the only comparator you can use to evaluate multi-value tags. The list below outlines the remaining comparators.

  • "Does not contain" makes sure that none of a tag's values are contained in another tag.
  • "Equals" checks to make sure that all of a tag's values are equal to that of another tag.
  • "Does not equal" checks to make sure that all of a tag's values are different from another tag.
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