Integration for Airlines and Cargo Hubs By Krishnaprem Bhatia

Market Trend
Many airlines today are using antiquated mainframe and proprietary systems for maintaining their Passenger Service Systems (PSS). These systems are  typically mainframe systems which are old and complex with a high cost of maintenance. Airlines want to modernize these systems and reduce their costs by consolidation of numerous point solutions and legacy applications.

The need to reduce complexity, bring down IT costs and increase their flexibility is driving airlines to outsource their PSS systems to vendors such as Amadeus. Although self development of these PSS systems can be done in-house by major airlines, it can be more expensive, less flexible, and less feature rich than the outsourcing option.
As airlines outsource more of their PSS systems, they need to exchange business documents such as reservations and ticketing with the outsourced provider. They also need visibility and manageability into the data flowing from outsourced systems into their enterprises. This incoming passenger data also needs to be integrated back into their internal systems. For example, different documents received from the outsourced PSS systems need to be processed and stored so that they are available to other internal systems. This has to be done using standards-based technologies for compliance and interoperability, ensuring that performance and operations SLAs are met at the same time.
How does Oracle Service Integration fit in?
Oracle B2B allows airlines to connect with their outsourced PSS systems such as Amadeus using industry standards-based technologies. Airlines can exchange different document types (typically EDI variants, non XML formats) such as passenger reservations, updates to reservations, inventory management, departure control systems and ticketing. Oracle B2B provides the ability to exchange these documents, process them, validate them, and translate them into XML for further processing by downstream components.

Airlines typically exchange information with Amadeus using two modes. In the real-time (online) mode the messages are sent 'live' by the PSS systems on an ongoing basis as they occur. In the batch mode many messages are batched together and sent at a particular time. Oracle B2B provides support for both real-time and batch modes, providing critical functionality such as document translation, validation, de-batching for these documents. It also provides the communication mechanisms such as File, FTP and MQ for exchanging these messages with outsourced systems. All this is done using standards based technologies such as standard document and exchange protocols. Once B2B is done processing the messages, these are typically sent to adjacent components within Oracle SOA Suite for message enrichment and transformations. Messages can then be stored in an enterprise warehouse where this data can be used by other internal applications. The end to end scenarios typically have high performance SLAs in terms of throughput and end to end processing time.
The products typically deployed in such scenarios include Oracle B2B, Oracle SOA Suite BPEL Process Manager for data transformation and enrichment and Oracle Data Integrator for migrating processed data into enterprise data warehouses. Customers may also choose to deploy this over Exalogic and Exadata systems for performance reasons. Read the complete article here.

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