Last week, the open-source Prebid.js project finally crossed over the 1.0 milestone, representing the first major version increase in its history spanning more than two years and 48 releases.
Over the last few years, the Prebid.js team has spent a great deal of time and effort pushing for an open-source solution to provide consistency, fairness and transparency to header bidding setups. When we first released Prebid.js, we knew that we didn't get everything right, but we were confident in the vision, and trusted that we would be able to iterate -- with a great deal of community input -- to achieve it.
Reflecting on what we've learned along the way, we started designing Prebid's next iteration, and, a few months ago, we felt that the time was right to push towards 1.0.
Prebid 1.0 Vision
Header bidding wrappers have a very straightforward mandate: retrieve demand from a list of partners and enable this demand to compete fairly in real-time for ad impressions. Beyond this, however, Prebid 1.0 represents a fundamental paradigm shift, whereby we have decided that Prebid has a responsibility to the page on which it sits; the regulation of adapter behavior, security, and page performance should be in-scope.
In designing Prebid 1.0, we focused on a few high-level themes: standardization of formal adapter requirements, recommendations, and behavior; improving user experience by reducing Prebid's impact to page latency and page performance; and improving page security, eliminating the potential for data leakage and enforcing best practices.
Benefits of Prebid 1.0
Other Prebid 1.0 improvements include module-based support for additional functionalities like currency conversion, DigiTrust integration, and Server-to-server testing, allowing Prebid builds to be easily customized to suit specific use-cases. Additionally, Prebid 1.0 contains enhanced support for single-page applications / sites, support for concurrent auctions, and enhanced support for size-mapping and responsive pages.
Adapters that have updated to comply with Prebid 1.0 guidelines will enjoy easier integrations with additional Prebid formats like video and native, as well as modularized functionality, making adapters easier to integrate, test, and maintain. For a full list of requirements and conventions for Prebid 1.0 eligibility, adapter maintainers may refer to Prebid 1.0 Adapter Guidelines.
Updating to Prebid 1.0
Over the past several months, we have been working with adapter maintainers to try to ensure maximum continuity of functionality and demand availability between Prebid versions. The initial release of Prebid 1.0 included support for 46 demand adapters, 10 analytics adapters, Prebid Server, as well as video and native formats. We are continuing to work with demand partners that do not yet have Prebid 1.0 adapters, and are confident that demand adoption will continue growing quickly over the next few months.
Of course, as with any major release iteration, a few breaking changes should be expected when migrating from a pre-1.0 version of Prebid to Prebid 1.0. Please refer to our Publisher API Reference for a complete list of Publisher API functions and deprecation notices for functions removed in Prebid 1.0, and Prebid 1.0 Publisher API Changes for a complete list of all Prebid 1.0 API changes.
To begin testing Prebid 1.0, the Prebid.org Download Page has been updated to enable users to create Prebid 1.0 builds with their choice of bidder adapters, analytics adapters, and modules.
What's up Next for Prebid.js?
We will continue supporting both pre-and-post-1.0 prebid.js for a period of time no less than 30 days. During this time, we will continue to apply bug fixes and critical patches in parallel to both Prebid.js versions. After this period, legacy Prebid.js will be officially deprecated and will no longer be supported.
Over the coming few months, we will be looking to broaden Prebid's reach and to coordinate across channels to reduce implementation overhead and friction.
First, we will be formalizing Prebid.js support for multi-format adUnits, enabling any combination of banner, video and / or native demand to compete within a single auction. In doing so, we will be updating adUnit size definitions to be more intuitive and less-error prone -- especially for non-banner media types.
Second, we will be developing and open-sourcing a universal Prebid creative, greatly reducing the maintenance cost for Publishers using Prebid across multiple formats and channels. Such a creative should be standardized across web, mobile web, mobile app, AMP and SafeFrame environments, across multiple ad servers, and across banner, outstream video, and native formats.
Contributing to Prebid
As always, we strongly encourage community participation in driving Prebid's design and development (and we love Pull Requests). Prebid is an open-source project, and the Prebid.js repository is available on GitHub.
Matt Jacobson is a Product Manager at AppNexus