What is Industry Data Model about?
Tomorrow’s passenger journey will be simple, from travel shopping to airport security.
Great idea but are the industry systems ready for it?
Last year at the World Passenger Symposium (WPS), IATA raised industry expectations by releasing a White Paper (pdf) developed by the StB Think Tank, suggesting that one of the necessary pieces to solve this puzzle is the creation of an Industry Data Model. “The data model will enable interoperability across the entire spectrum of services providers and agents, who work with airlines to provide a seamless travel experience. An industry agreed and open set of data standards will ease the entry of new players, stimulate innovation and increase the pace of change.”
Yet another great idea but has anything happened since?
Right after the WPS, the Passenger Services Conference already endorsed major changes in the organization of one of its constituents – Passenger and Airport Data Interchange Standards Board - or PADIS in short. PADIS is a set of working groups responsible for the maintenance of technical specifications such as XML schemas in support of various business standards maintained by the Conference. These are the IT experts who can turn business standards into precise technical specifications that systems need to communicate.
The Conference approved the Terms of Reference of a new PADIS Committee - Data Dictionary and Schema Coordination Committee (DDSCC) tasked to promote and oversee semantic interoperability across IATA standards and assigned it the task of building a common industry data model.
By March 2013, the Committee had reviewed and agreed on 10 guiding principles for the development of a living industry data model with a defined structure and behavior. That will help the industry to move away from creating handwritten message schemas to an automated model-driven approach to generation of message specifications. This will also speed-up the development of specifications and improve the general level of interoperability among industry systems because the users will be able to use, extend and adapt the definitions contained in the model for bilateral data exchanges.
A dedicated Data Model & Tooling Focus Group, consisting of airlines, IT providers and other industry stakeholders, is now meeting bi-weekly to detail the industry requirements for such a large project and testing its ideas on a pilot model built by IATA for testing purposes. This effort is expected to culminate during September, when the Committee meets at the PADIS Messaging Week to review the progress of the model.
PADIS Messaging Week will be held in Annapolis, MD, USA, from 16-19 September. In addition to Data Model discussions, PADIS Committees will be reviewing business requirements for several brand new XML specifications and discussing the progress in the area of communications standards such as the choice of protocols, routing and message level security.
For details on this working group, please access the PADIS site.