Hotel chains and channels need technology innovations that enable lighter and faster flow of information between systems in near real time -- enter the REST API.
Leonardo will release the first version of our REST API in 2017, and we sat down with our Head of Product Management, Michael Ulch, to learn a little more about it and how it can help you as a Leonardo customer.
First let’s start with the basics: what is an API?
Michael: An API, short for Application Programming Interface, is a set of requirements for building software and applications that govern how one application can talk to another. Today APIs make possible much of the connectivity we’ve come to rely upon.
APIs aren’t new, but they’ve become increasingly relevant to all of us because they make it possible for technology providers to open up or expose some of a program's internal functions to the outside world, making it easier for developers to enable two systems to “talk to each other" (i.e. share data), by improving how information is moved between the two programs.
So why an API? What are the benefits of connecting to VScape through an API?
Michael: Like any API, Leonardo’s REST API will make it easier for two systems to interact, and it allows for lighter and faster integrations in real-time. As a customer this means your system will be able to interact with VScape in real-time allowing for the seamless flow of your visual content.
You’re likely currently using inbound and outbound media synchronization to send and receive content to VScape, which are both batch processes that run on a schedule offline. If someone wants to add or retrieve an image to VScape, or make changes to a room type, they’re working with data that follows a schedule (for example, inbound media synchronization happens overnight). With the API, you’ll be able to add and retrieve images immediately, which means you’d no longer need to wait for the update schedule; images are updated in real-time.
This means that we can also provide you with feedback in real-time. So if an image fails to load, you will know immediately. If you’re trying to retrieve an image that has already been deleted, you will also know this immediately. Working with your images will be more sophisticated than ever, as you’ll have immediate knowledge.
Ok, so as a customer, if I wanted to move to connectivity to VScape through the API what would be required?
Michael: The API will be applicable to anyone who is interacting with our systems, without needing to use VScape directly. To connect via an API users can write a connection to our VScape backend directly, so they’re able to update and retrieve images from their own systems.
Sabre Hospitality Solutions is currently using our API today. They have a CRS where users can operate on images; through our API, they can ask us directly about the images from this CRS instead of going through VScape. This also means that they don’t have to go to VScape to manage their properties – they can do this right through their CRS, which is connected to VScape through our API.
If you’re interested in gaining access to our API, you can reach out to your Account Manager to learn more about getting started.