One of the Largest GDS product & services provider’s projects is executed from different geographical locations including GDS product & services provider ODC setup at Coforge, Manila (Philippines), Krakow (Poland), and Dallas (U.S). Coforge was involved in architecture, development, regression testing (manual/automation), performance testing, maintenance, activation, migration, support, and enhancements deliveries to the eCommerce platform.
About the client
The largest GDS product & services provider offers flexible solutions for airlines wanting to take advantage of the tremendous growth opportunities of the online direct booking channel. The flexibility of the eCommerce platform enables airlines of any size to configure and utilize the selling features of this powerful tool.
By supporting all currencies, points of sale, and dynamic language capabilities, the eCommerce platform be deployed by airlines worldwide as their online booking source.
The eCommerce platform provides integration opportunities with other key GDS Airline Solutions products — such as loyalty management system, corporate loyalty management system, and the customer insight system, an option of the GDS product & service provider’s solutions. This integration gives the flexibility to build the airline’s online presence through planning and execution. In addition, integration with the open-systems platform of the GDS product & service provider shop provides a full-service online solution for your customers.
The eCommerce platform’s website manager feature provides an efficient tool to effectively manage your booking engine and promotes ongoing flexibility to quickly enable changes. The tool lets you add and delete features as necessary. Also, with this online site administration tool, you can preview changes prior to production release, and its highly configurable look-and-feel features helps you maintain your airline’s brand.
Some of the challenges that were observed during the project implementation arose due to the effort involved in sharing a common team vision. Other issues involved communication challenges due to the different regions involved, distributed teams, and little time overlap due to the different time zones.
The GDS product and service provider is based on the Java / J2EE architecture/Webservices. iPlanet 6.1 web server is used for deploying the application. The application provides a thin client layer interfacing with many down line systems. The main interface is with the GDS product and service provider. This uses a proprietary API for all pre-booking, booking, and post-booking services. The programming interface provides interacts with the GDS in a similar way as the green screen terminal with commands and results being passed as java string objects. The application has an extensive framework built to do screen scraping of the GDS Responses for various scenarios like availability, booking, PNRs, etc. This is accomplished using multiple requests for matter and Response Parser classes which are easy to manage using logically defined in control files.
In 6 months, Coforge’s team at the GDS product & service provider ODC were responsible for developing and supporting the following features for the eCommerce platform:
- Corporate Discounts and Coupons - Shop with coupons through the web for discounted fares (CAT 25).
- Mileage Redemption Program - Allow users to book air using miles on the web.
- Alternate Dates Fare Matrix - Display the lowest fares for Alternate Dates for online consumers in a 7x7 matrix allowing the date adjustment by one day or week.
- Meetings and Conventions – Schedule meetings and send out invites.
- Automated Exchanges and Refunds - Facilitate online exchange or refund for the registered consumer.
- Trip Protection and Insurance - Integrate SSW with MTS Insurance service to provide travel insurance to the consumer. The consumer is provided an option to shop and buy insurance along with the travel.
This allows the airlines to choose a preferred payment gateway for all payment related transactions on their portal.
Technical tools used for the project:
- Software: iPlanet web server, J2EE, Java, Java Technologies, XSLT, XML, Webservices
- Hardware: Intel-based desktop and servers, Sun Solaris machines
- Tools: Eclipse, IntelliJ Idea
- OS: MS Windows in development environment and UNIX in the deployment environment.
- Database: Oracle 9i
Delevering more Value
Coforge has been instrumental in streamlining the business operations for the eCommerce platform. The majority of development activities for the eCommerce platform product are now done out of the largest GDS product & services DDC. The largest GDS product & services have also benefited from a Test lab set up with a team of regression testers doing regression and release checkout for the product.
Coforge successfully implemented the project with the help of:
- Agile methodology for project execution with end-customer involvement.
- Round the clock support for operational helpdesk issues.
- Creating a development and certification environment for the product.