On Thursday 12th of June 2014 TTI’s Project Management Working Group held a conference call to assess whether there would be interest in resurrecting TTI’s RESCON (Reservation Confirmation) standard into a new XML Web Services RESCON2 format.
Attending the call were:
- Peter Dennis, TTI Chairman
- Tony Williams, TTI Consultant
- Rebecca White, CAA
- Chuck Richardson, Dolphin Dynamics
- Jeff Rhodes, Eurocamp
- Paul Richer, Genesys
- Gordon Tucker, Vertical Systems
RESCON was originally published as an EDIFACT standard way back in the late 1980’s by Cosmos, Thomas Cook and Co-op to help them bring confirmed bookings into their own back-office systems via an automated booking capture mechanism; the idea being that at the end of the booking confirmation an EDI message would be invoked.
Originally there was a lot of enthusiasm around the project, but it was really only Cosmos and Co-op that actually implemented the EDIFACT standard. In essence it was probably way ahead of its time in those days.
Again there was a lot of interest shown during the late 90’s by various Tour Operators and Travel Agencies around Viewdata bookings, yet despite the standard being around for fifteen years it has never been further developed into an XML Web Services format.
However, in 2004 Thomas Cook as well as many other Tour Operators did implement an XML standard that was created by TTI working parties: TORIX (Tour Operator Reservations In XML): messages that were created by a working party of major Tour Operators.
These messages are aimed at providing a structured alternative to the legacy Viewdata distribution channel for booking package holidays. Whilst capable of supporting B2C, these messages are aimed at the B2B market with the specific aim of providing an alternative to the Viewdata standard.
The conference call went on for one hour and a great discussion took place with all sharing ideas and many explaining what they had already in place in terms of XML processes and why they thought the development of RESCON2 was a good idea.
Rebecca works within the ATOL division at the CAA and explained her requirement following new regulations that came into force in January 2012, that in an ATOL failure they need to get hold of XML versions of bookings. Yet despite the CAA requesting such information from agents they currently get it in all types of formats. They are therefore developing their own schemas at present.
Tony Williams (TTI’s IT consultant) went on to explain that the project will be about identifying common datasets from all confirmation transactions required to record a booking and that within the OpenTravel Alliance’s specifications there are objects already in use among most travel industry sectors (airlines, hotels, rail etc.) and that could be re-used as the basis for these datasets. He further went on to explain that TORIX is already compatible with OTA message sets and therefore would be the right place to start.
As part of the project, Tony Williams created a series of data model diagrams for REScon2 which are available in the Downloads area of the website.