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AH&MA Sanctions Mapping the HITIS Interface Protocol to XML

In July, 1999, the HITIS Advisory Committee unanimously endorsed the recommendation to designate the eXtensible Markup Language (XML), as the primary platform mapping for the HITIS standards.

The HITIS standards, designed in concept to be platform neutral, were recognized as initially requiring two platform mappings; one to the Windows operating system and one to the Java language platform.

Two organizations contributed to this effort:

WHIS: The Windows Hospitality Interface Specification group (WHIS), sponsored by Microsoft, which provided the base documents to AH&MA and built a reference platform for the WHIS/HITIS compliant interfaces based on Microsoft technology (COM/DCOM). Samples of these early implementations of the HITIS specifications in the Windows environment can be found at

JHIS: The Java for HITIS Implementation Solutions (JHIS) organization was formed by Sun Microsystems, Inc. and IBM to provide assistance in the Java language mapping by providing code samples of EJB mappings consistent with the object architecture for implementation of the HITIS standards. Working drafts of the EJB mapping framework and white papers can be found at

Both the WHIS and JHIS groups recommended to AH&MA the endorsement of a third mapping, the conversion of the object interface to XML. An interface protocol in XML will provide a common denominator that provides interoperability without the need for bridging technology between the two original mappings.

The XML mapping will provide the following advantages to the hospitality industry:

HITIS technology consultant, CynterCon, Inc., is in the process of direct writing the conversion of HITIS objects to XML. The initial draft interface protocol and messaging models will be presented for approval at the Infrastructure sub-committee meeting of March 14-15, 2000 at AH&MA in Washington, D.C.

The mapping of the HITIS standards to XML will include:

All HITIS standards are based on the Interface Specifications, which provides the definition of the basic data types used, naming conventions and general practices found throughout the suite of the 15 individual interface standards. The Interface Specifications, Data Dictionary and Glossary of Terms are found in the HITIS Correlation and Interface Standard document.

The XML mapping is enhanced by the use of the HITIS models in Unified Modeling Language (UML) and associated object-oriented documentation that defines the business scope of each of the standards and descriptions of the individual data elements. The UML model serves as an electronic description of the HITIS standards and a basis for developers to use to build applications in an object oriented architecture.

AH&MA is the owner of the UML models and the Correlation and Interface Standard. The UML models are built in Rational Rose and in Paradigm Plus, with accompanying explanatory documentation available in Microsoft Word, Rich Text Format or HTML. Contact info@ahma.com


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