Pegasus Solutions, Inc. today announced it is nearing completion of an XML (eXtensible Markup Language) version of its interface to its Electronic Distribution Switch for the processing of hotel reservations transactions.
Dallas-based Pegasus Solutions is a leading provider of hotel industry transaction processing solutions and electronic commerce services.
Tagged HotelMLTM, Pegasus` XML technology is an emerging standard that will eventually replace AMF (ASCII Messaging Format) as the preferred means used by Pegasus for connecting to hotels and processing hotel transactions. Pegasus will soon announce a few of its HotelML XML beta customers. The company is scheduled to begin beta testing Pegasus` HotelML in first quarter 2001, soon to be followed by a formal launch.
Steve Reynolds, Pegasus Solutions` senior vice president of information technology, said, “The majority of the world`s electronic hotel transactions are being facilitated by Pegasus, and we are committed to continuing to use the most effective technologies as the foundation of our service offerings. We rethought the entire process of handling hotel-oriented data to allow for optimum functionality, ease-of-use and efficiency and created a data model utilizing XML that interfaces with hotels` CRSs and our own Online Distribution Database of static property data.”
XML is creating a buzz in the hotel industry with its potential to be widely adopted as a standard format for processing and distributing data, such as traveler profiles and reservations. XML is the next generation Internet technology, poised not only to replace HTML with a more robust equivalent, but also to add a variety of new functionality to the Web. XML is an open-source software technology developed and maintained by the W3C, a worldwide organization that has also developed and maintained HTML over the years. XML provides a technology-independent foundation on which vendors can base products and solutions, allowing for the seamless exchange of data across different software platforms. XML and its associated suite of technologies, such as parsers, transformations and validation, can be leveraged and reused in a wide variety of applications including authoring, browsing and content analysis. XML has been recognized as especially applicable for travel-related e-commerce, because it can allow online services to set up dynamic and flexible Web sites without the need for complex database programming.
A sampling of some of the positive aspects associated with XML include:
-Free parsers. Necessary for software to get a complete view of data, parsers can be downloaded off the Internet for free with XML, versus having to write a parser.
-Standard APIs. Several APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), such as SAX, DOM and JDOM, are readily available in many programming languages, allowing developers freedom of choice when accessing information structured in XML.
-Being extensible saves development time. Using XML, Pegasus can create its own “dictionary” of elements and define rules for how to arrange elements into a “sentence,” such as those required to interface with its Electronic Distribution Switch. The dictionary of elements can then be extended and reused to define new sentences, such as those used to interface to a property management system or to a hotel central reservations system.
-Cost efficient validation. Validation is a part of the suite of technologies available with XML. It has been estimated that up to 60 percent of application code is validation, thus a significant amount of overhead can be eliminated at almost no cost.