The OpenTravel Alliance (OTA) has announced the publication of Versions 2001B and 2001C of its Extensible Markup Language (XML) specifications, which "help all sectors of travel communicate more efficiently and effectively by simplifying the implementation and transmission of complex electronic transactions." The 2001B Message Specification "presents the specifications for the exchange of messages in the travel industry, covering travel services for airlines, car rentals, hotels, and travel insurance. It uses the XML for the exchange of these messages transmitted under Internet protocols. The 2001C Messages document contains Air Availability messages, Package Tours messages, and Golf Tee Times messages. This Infrastructure document also specifies a mapping for the distribution of OTA messages on top of ebXML messaging, and provides the framework for all OTA messages by completing the OTA Best Practices section. The OTA has chosen XML as the vehicle for its specifications, determining that it offers a common framework flexible enough to be used between systems throughout the travel industry." The new OTA specifications build upon ebXML, W3C, ISO, and IATA standards.
The 2001B specification contains the XML message sets for the exchange of travel-related information. The goal of the 2001B specification has been to prepare the travel industry for the distributive nature of their industry with defined, accurate schemas. The 2001B PDF document contains the text information that supports the W3C XML Schema 1.0 compliant OTA message sets, the XML Schema documents, and XML instance documents. Included in this specification are OTA XML Schemas for Air Availability, Car Availability and Booking, Hotel Searching, Availability, Booking, and ARI (Availability, Rate, and Inventory), Insurance Quote and Booking, and generic OTA messages.
The 2001C Specification comprises two text documents: (1) the 2001C Messages document and (2) the 2001C Infrastructure document; also (3) the XML Schema files. The 2001C Messages document contains Air Availability messages, Package Tours messages, and Golf Tee Times messages. The 2001C Infrastructure document contains the mapping for the distribution of OTA messages on top of ebXML messaging and provides the framework for all OTA messages by completing the OTA Best Practices section.
- OpenTravel Alliance Message Specification: Publication 2001B. From OpenTravel Alliance, Inc. Prepared in partnership with Data Interchange Standards Association (DISA). January 31, 2002. 287 pages.
- OpenTravel Alliance 2001C Infrastructure Specification. From OpenTravel Alliance, Inc. Prepared in partnership with Data Interchange Standards Association (DISA). February 13, 2002. 93 pages.
- OpenTravel Alliance 2001C Message Specification From OpenTravel Alliance, Inc. Prepared in partnership with Data Interchange Standards Association (DISA). February 13, 2002. 48 pages.
Message Specification 2001B Abstract: This document presents the specifications for the exchange of messages in the travel industry, covering travel services for airlines, car rentals, hotels, and travel insurance. It uses the Extensible Markup Language (XML) for the exchange of these messages transmitted under Internet protocols. (1) Section 1 - Introduces the OTA specifications, presenting generic messages for use across all industry verticals. (2) Section 2 - Car Rental Industry Specifications, describes the messages used for searching for availability with rates and booking a reservation from a car rental supplier. (3) Section 3 - Airline Industry Specifications presents the basic Booking message as based on the OTA architecture model for messaging. (4) Section 4 - Travel Insurance Specifications, presents a messaging structure for use by the travel insurance industry to provide a rate quote and to purchase travel insurance as an adjunct to travel services. (5) Section 5 - Hotel Industry Specifications, contains a revision of the Hospitality Industry Technology Integration Standards (HITIS) project Version 1.1 standards, which was sponsored by the American Hotel and Lodging Association, (AH&LA). The original HITIS standards that addressed these functions have been integrated into OTA messaging format, and provide an extensive set of messages to serve the hotel environment.
Message Specification Overview: "The OpenTravel Alliance 2001B Message Specification addresses the functionality of searching for availability and booking a reservation in the hotel and car rental, booking a reservation in the airline industry, as well as the purchase of travel insurance in conjunction with these services. OTA specifications use XML for structured data messages to be exchanged over the Internet or other means of transport. This specification relies upon the work of other standards developer organizations; specifically, the ebXML initiative sponsored by UN/CEFACT and OASIS (www.ebxml.org), and the work of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). This specification also references standards developed by the International Organization of Standards (ISO), and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), that are used by the travel industry to provide standardized message structures and data for the travel industry. OTA realizes that the code dictionary was not present during this specification and is aware of its necessity and is making arrangements to provide this in further specifications. This document contains five sections that introduce specifications for the travel industry verticals represented. For each respective industry vertical, this publication is the first of the business content specifications that OTA intends to develop."
2001C Infrastructure Specification Abstract: "This document presents the specifications for the underlying infrastructure for the exchange of messages in the travel industry, covering travel services for airlines, car rentals, hotels, and travel insurance. It uses the Extensible Markup Language (XML) for the exchange of these messages transmitted under Internet protocols and includes a detailed mapping onto ebXML Message Services. (1) Section 1 - Introduces this OTA specification, its intended audience and conventions used throughout the document. (2) Section 2 - Best Practices for development of XML messages for use within OTA specifications. (3) Section 3 - Generic Messages and the Service/Action Model describe generic messages, defined within the infrastructure, that are used within various vertical specific message sets. The service/action model provides a web-services like model for the exchange of messages between trading partners. (4) Section 4 - Infrastructure, the underlying architectural model, and details of the on-the-wire data for OTA message exchange over an ebXML Messaging Service. (5) Section 5 - Detailed explanation and examples of the generation and processing of messages that use the OTA generic update method. (6) Section 6 - Definition of Service/Action mappings for all current OTA messages. Recommendations are also made for an optimum class of delivery. (7) Section 7 - Summary of infrastructure from previous OTA specifications. (8) Section 8 - Utilizing ebXML v2.0 in OTA Solutions.
2001C 2001C Message Specification Abstract: "This document presents the specifications for the Air Availability RQ/RS message pairs, the Package Tours RQ/RS message pairs, and the Golf Tee Times RQ/RS message pairs. (1) Section 1 - The Air Working Group presents the Air Availability section with descriptions and definitions of XML data components. (2) Section 2 - This section presents the Package Tours RQ/RS message pairs. (3) Section 3 -This section presents the Golf Tee Times RQ/RS message pairs.
"With over 150 members representing influential names in all sectors of the travel industry, the OpenTravel Alliance is comprised of representatives from the airlines, car rental firms, hotels, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, and trade associations. OTA working groups, together with an OTA interoperability committee to coordinate their efforts, develop open Internet-compatible messages using XML."
- Announcement 2002-02026: "New OpenTravel Alliance XML Specifications Unite Travel Industry, Simplify Online Transactions and Reduce Costs"
- Message Specification 2001B Supporting Documentation [cache]
- Message Specification 2001B XML Schema files [cache]
- 2001C Infrastructure Documentation [cache]
- 2001C Messages Documentation [cache]
- 2001C XML Schema files [cache]
- "OpenTravel Alliance (OTA)" - Main reference page.