Question! What is the value in participating in industry interoperability efforts? Does one only consider existing value such as message standards, or potential future value as well?
Our thoughts: Through community efforts, organizations such as OpenTravel, have defined message standards and provided message examples for all the mainline travel functions across nearly every sector. Work continues to be done to extend XML messages to accommodate edge cases and newer needs, such as amenity-based pricing. While other work is focused on producing object models and tooling to better support OO programming languages like Java, and message protocols like JSON.
There is a lot of interest in the latter, but many companies are looking for JSON definitions that are as complete as the XML body of work, and not necessarily looking to do the work needed to reach the goal. As a result, many feel that the XML messages have immediate value because they are “done” and free. The JSON definitions done to date are also free, and companies will add what they need internally.
But is that the right way to look at value of community efforts?
OpenTravel, with help from OpenAPI and HTNG, is looking beyond message definitions to how a community-based effort can attack many of the drivers of the costs to develop, deploy, maintain, and especially, consume APIs. The overall goal to bring consistency and predictability to how travel APIs work without affecting what they sell.
The diversity in how APIs work, the workflow, the access to rules and more is so chaotic that some basic steps to clean this up can have a large payback. This would be a future value approach which in the short-term can result in cost avoidance more than investment, and in the long term, net new revenue.
In future posts we will outline how this can happen. But our question to you now is should one consider community efforts based only on immediate value or to consider it an investment with future value based on a sound business case?