XML integrations, what are they and how they work?
Easily access inventory and availability information from hotels, transportation providers, and tour companies through a single connector.
XML Travelgate are the experts in any type of XML integration, whether PULL or PUSH.
But what is really an integration? And how does a PULL integration differ from a PUSH integration?
What is an XML Integration?
An XML integration is basically a connector that acts as a "translator" between customers and suppliers allowing different formats or programming languages (usually XML) to be compatible. This way the information from a hotel provider, a Rent a Car, an airline, a railway company or a shipping company is available in the website of an online travel agency, even if they have the databases information differently structured.
XML integrations allows:
- Centralize inventory management
- Increase distribution channels
- Personal savings
Learn about our suppliers:
PULL integrations, likePUSH integrations, involves two agents: Supplier and Client. The PULL integration is a two-way system by which clients, online travel agencies, send requests for availability, rates, etc ... to the suppliers and they respond to the instantly.
The fundamental difference with PUSH is that the suppliers will not give availability unless they are asked.
In PULL, the supplier has the responsibility of notifying the clients if there are any changes in their system so the client and the supplier only "speak" when the supplier has some sort of change, like in their rates, etc...
PULL XML Integrations advantages
- Real Time communication between clients and suppliers
- They are easier to develop.
PULL XML Integrations disadvantages
- These integrations support a higher traffic so they will need a bigger system investment than PUSH integrations.
In this type of XML integrations suppliers provide clients their availability, rates, etc. so they can sell the available product.
The Suppliers have to regularly update these availabilities, typically done using XML, but also it can be done by email.
In PUSH XML integrations the suppliers are required to update the information.
PUSH XML Integrations advantages
- Suppliers don't have to support so much traffic so they don't need such high systems inversion.
PUSH XML Integrations disadvantages
- No activity occurs in real time as the supplier, once they update the availability, doesn't communicate with the client until the available products are sold.
- They are much more complex than PULL therefore require more development time.
We have seen that integration is a technology that allows clients and suppliers "to understand each other" although each one speaks a different language. This is done by translating the data from suppliers to clients and the other way around.
There are 2 types of integrations currently available:
- PULL: Client call the supplier each time they need to check availability. It's an easier integration with real-time communication but with a supplier's higher system cost.
- PUSH: Supplier updates his availability to the client periodically. The integration is more complex than PULL and requires the client to keep the supplier's information in their system and allows the supplier significant savings in their systems.
Realistically, you cannot say which type is better. This is a decision that should be taken by each company according to their characteristics and needs.