Open Travel Development Experience Extended

About DEx

Open Travel 2.0 moved the focus from messages to objects. OTA 1.0 defined directly the on-the-wire format for a message which left it detached from the code and data needed to act on a request. That is, the XML messages created are a real pain to program to. By defining the business objects (ex: reservation) up front, we can better align with business functions needing exposure. This is not only developer friendly but in alignment REST type functions also known as microservices. We wanted to use tooling to take the business object and service descriptions in a domain level model and dynamically create the on-the-wire message. We wanted to be flexible in the protocol such as supporting XML or JSON from the same model.
As a team we looked at various UML tools that could generate XML but none sufficed. All allowed modelers to create structures not conducive for programing and they generated poor XML. Hence the DE or developer experience effort was started. From that open source community effort a modeling tool and matching complier was created. More recently the DE was updated, extended, and DEx was created.

Steve Livezey and Dave Hollander were the principal architect/engineers that created the collection of DE, now DEx tools. View the following video where Steve will walk you though and overview of the DEx environment. There is a second video by Sandy Angel of AHLA who runs the hospitality workgroups. Sandy provided and example of how members use the DEx tool to look at messages. Then come back here if you with to download the tool.

DEx Introduction by Steve
Sandy provides the basics on how to view the model and generate messages.

The OpenTravel Modeling tool is now in its second iteration. OTM-DEx is a Java-based modeler that works in conjunction with the OTA 2.0 repository to allow you to quickly interact and modify the 2.0 models. To use this tool you will need to have Java 8 installed and will need to register for access to the repository. In late 2023, users were increasingly having issues with DEx and access to the OTA 2.0 libraries. This was because both the tool and website used HTTP versus HTTPS. We were not encrypting the messages which became a red flag for some browsers and firewalls. In early 2024 the tool and website were updated to use HTTPS. For DEx users this means downloading and installing the current DEx version. For those using the browser to look at the libraries, it is usually transparent. In some cases it means clearing the browser cache. If you have any issues, start with the suggestions posted here.

You can try DEx in the cloud, in your own EC2 instance! Click here to try it!

Update to the update!

We will soon post how to use DEx and other development tools using an AWS Workspace.

Please watch this short video on how to download and install the tool.

Click the button below to register for access to the 2.0 repository

Click the button below to download the OTM-DEx tool