RTBkit is now a Beeswax company.

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Frequently Asked Questions


Posted on 01/01/2018 - 12:00

What is Beeswax?Read more

Beeswax is the industry's only scalable, completely customizable, cloud-based programmatic demand-side platform. Powered by its groundbreaking Bidder-as-a-Service (BaaS), the Beeswax Programmatic Cloud further extends the impact of its offering by providing sophisticated advertisers the ability to combine and customize best-in-breed solutions from the programmatic ecosystem into a seamless whole without writing code.


Posted on 01/01/2018 - 12:00

Why did Beeswax buy RTBkit?Read more

Beeswax has long admired the work of Datacratic and the open source community in bringing RTBkit to market. We wholeheartedly believe in and support the transparency and openness the RTBkit provided to the programmatic ecosystem. While we will not be dedicating resources or providing updates or enhancements to RTBkit, we are confident that Beeswax provides an exceptional solution to those who find value in its source code.


Posted on 01/01/2018 - 12:00

What's the difference between RTBkit and Beeswax?Read more

RTBkit is an open-source software framework for real-time bidding. RTBkit was developed for and supported by a community of sophisticated developers and engineers to enable sophisticated media buyers to build their own RTB platform.

Beeswax, on the other hand, is a fully supported SaaS platform that provides both the engineering community and sophisticated marketers alike, the ability to leverage a fully customizable programmatic bidding stack. Customers of Beeswax benefit from a bespoke bidding solution designed for their unique business needs without incurring the costs and resources associated with building, maintaining and supporting a homegrown DSP.


Posted on 01/01/2018 - 12:00

Will Beeswax support RTBkit?Read more

While Beeswax will not provide additional resources or technical support to RTBkit's source code, we will support the same goals that made RTBkit so important to the programmatic community. Beeswax will continue to provide a programmatic ecosystem a technology rooted in unparalleled transparency, complete flexibility and customization and ultimate control of data.


Posted on 02/06/2013 - 18:54

What is RTBkit?Read more

RTBkit is an open-source software framework that takes much of the hard engineering work out of creating a Real-Time Bidder for online advertising. Its open, service-oriented architecture can be used to assemble a bidder as simple or complex as desired. The RTBkit core connects to ad exchanges via Exchange Connectors and routes bid requests and data through a configurable set of components which can be extended to implement a customized bidder.

More details


Posted on 02/18/2013 - 19:29

Who can use RTBkit?Read more

Anyone can use RTBkit to build a real-time bidder. RTBkit is open-source software, so it is free to use within the bounds of the Apache License.


Posted on 02/18/2013 - 19:58

How much does RTBkit cost?Read more

RTBkit is open-source software, it is feely available within the bounds of the Apache License.


Posted on 02/18/2013 - 19:37

How can I get started with RTBkit?Read more

RTBkit is software framework which developers can use to build real-time bidders. The first step is to download and explore the code and design your bidder around the RTBkit core and plugin architecture. If you need help, don't hesitate to join our Google Group or find a member of the RTBkit ecosystem to help you.


Posted on 09/13/2013 - 17:17

What is needed to build a bidder using RTBkit?Read more

Building, deploying and operating a real-time bidder is a complex project. RTBkit can help you with only part of it. RTBkit is not a solution in itself, only a framework, and it doesn't help you with any of the following, all of which you will probably need to complete your project:

•   Develop the GUI to manage your RTB campaigns and to offer reporting to your users

•   Implement the logic that decides how much to bid for each campaign

•   Launch, configure and monitor your bidding agents

•   Launch, configure and monitor your RTBkit installation

•   Handle billing

•   Serve the ads

•   Upload the creatives

•   Find the right servers to host your services on

•   Develop and maintain relationships with the ad exchanges

In terms of skills, keep in mind that working around RTBkit requires a fair understanding of Linux, C++ and make.


Posted on 02/19/2013 - 09:03

How can I get involved?Read more

The best way to get involved is to download the code and start playing with it, join the Google Group to ask/answer questions, and eventually contribute some code back to the project.


Posted on 02/18/2013 - 19:28

Which software language is RTBkit built with? Read more

RTBkit is written in high-performance C++11 and runs on Linux (Ubuntu 12.04).

Plugins extend C++ classes and plugin bindings currently exist for Javascript (V8/NodeJS). Bindings for other languages (Java, Python etc) should be reasonably straight-forward to build.

RTBkit services and components communicate with each other via ZeroMQ and HTTP. RTBkit uses Graphite to record statistics and Apache ZooKeeper for service discovery.


Posted on 02/18/2013 - 19:32

What license is RTBkit released under?Read more

RTBkit is released under the Apache License, v2.0.


Posted on 02/18/2013 - 19:40

Who is behind RTBkit and why?Read more

RTBkit was developed and released by Datacratic and was intended to become a community-led open-source project.

Beeswax recognized the same need that this community was built around, the need for customization and control in the real-time bidding ecosystem. It has built its platform to support those sophisticated media buyers and offers the ability to leverage fully extensible API's to develop a custom bidding stack, in the language of your choice.


Posted on 02/18/2013 - 19:52

Is RTBkit secure?Read more

RTBkit is a collection of components which are meant to run behind a firewall which permits connections only to authorized users and exchanges. It is not intended to exposed to the open internet. RTBkit is open-source software, which encourages open collaboration, especially around issues such as security.


Posted on 02/18/2013 - 19:57

Is RTBkit scalable?Read more

The RTBkit core is horizontally scalable and was designed to support 20,000 queries per second per high-end commodity server.


Posted on 09/12/2013 - 09:41

Is RTBkit stable/production ready?Read more

RTBkit is stable. The 0.9 release has a stable API. RTBkit is also production ready.


Posted on 02/18/2013 - 19:43

Does RTBkit have a user interface?Read more

RTBkit does not include a user interface. The RTBkit core is a collection of software components which expose HTTP and ZeroMQ API's, which can be used as a back-end for an external user interface.


Posted on 02/18/2013 - 19:47

Which Ad Servers is RTBkit compatible with?Read more

RTBkit is ad-server agnostic and is designed to work with any ad-server. RTBkit bidding agents specify which ad-server tags to bid with via a configuration message to the RTBkit core. 


Posted on 02/18/2013 - 19:49

Which advertising exchanges can RTBkit connect to?Read more

RTBkit is an exchange-agnostic framework and is meant to be compatible with any ad exchange. The RTBkit Core communicates with exchanges via Exchange Connector plugins. A connector for The Rubicon Project and for Gum Gum are currently available.


Posted on 02/19/2013 - 00:37

Is RTBkit OpenRTB-compatible?Read more

RTBkit is an exchange-agnostic framework and is meant to be compatible with any ad exchange. The RTBkit Core communicates with exchanges via Exchange Connector plugins and these plugins depend on bid-request parsers. RTBkit's internal representation of a bid request is similar to OpenRTB's representation, with full round-trip serialization as a goal. This means that OpenRTB-formatted bid requests are easy to parse, although exchange-specific connectors or parser extensions may be required, depending on the specifics of each exchange's use of OpenRTB.


Posted on 02/19/2013 - 08:36

Does RTBkit support Video/Mobile exchanges?Read more

RTBkit is an exchange-agnostic framework and is meant to be compatible with any ad exchange, including video and mobile. The RTBkit Core communicates with exchanges via Exchange Connector plugins, and it is easy to write such plugins for OpenRTB-compatible exchanges.


Posted on 09/12/2013 - 09:30

What is an augmenter?Read more

An augmentor is an optional component responsible for augmenting a bid request with data as it goes through the router. This data is delivered to each agent that asked for the augmentation and can also be used by the router to apply custom filtering on the bid requests destined for a given agent.

A frequency cap augmentor for example could add the frequency count (the number won bids by an agent for a given user) to the bid request so the router can decide whether the bid request should make it to the agent.


Posted on 08/29/2014 - 13:07

Is there support for languages other than C++? Read more

Currently there is support for building Bidding Agents in Javascript or Coffeescript. There is also an HTTP Bidder Interface which allows you to write a bidding agent in any language that can accept and respond to HTTP (so, basically, any language).

The core of RTBkit is written in C++ and many of the components (i.e. exchange connectors) can only be written in C++. Therefore, it is highly recommended that developers working on RTBkit have C++ experience.


Posted on 08/29/2014 - 13:20

What are some of the key operational considerations when thinking about RTB?Read more

Running an RTB system is not trivial. You need to consider the following areas:
Cloud vs. buying and hosting your own hardware (i.e. lease vs buy)


•   Hosting - in the cloud or dedicated data center

•   24-hour logging, monitoring and support

•   Supporting a high-volume distributed system, running on commodity hardware and using basic protocols, connected to other partners on the public Internet. You want ops people with this kind of experience.

Operating Costs

•   Don't overspend on handling more bid requests then you need. Think about your planned spend, and the number of impressions you want to buy. A good rule of thumb is that you will win about 1 out of 100 bid requests you see incoming, so if you assume a CPM typical for your campaigns you can calculate a rough number for the expected volume you will need to support.

•   From that you will want to prototype your system architecture and load test to understand how many hosts you project you will need to run.

•   From that you can calculate a rough monthly operating cost for hosting.

•   You should target 5% of media spend as the limit of what you spend on hosting

If you are considering building, supporting and maintaining a homegrown programmatic solution to accomplish your unique business goals, we strongly suggest considering Beeswax. Our infrastructure was developed to absorb the commoditized and exhaustive work of building a custom bidder, while still providing the benefits of complete customization.