Product Distribution Workgroup

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Contents

Workgroup Overview

This workgroup simplified the way distribution systems connect to each other for the sharing of rates, availability, inventory, reservations and statistics. In addition to expanding distribution opportunities for hotels, this workgroup’s output has greatly reduced the need for double entry of reservation and rate data by enabling simple, yet robust, connections of PMS, RMS, CRS, and other systems with external distribution channels (GDS, OTAs, brand websites, and other) and intermediaries. The workgroup designed a single method for implementing the highly flexible OpenTravel Alliance messages, which participating companies (and now many others) could support, enabling a near plug-and-play implementation of distribution interfaces across a wide range of distribution partners and models.

The first publicly available specification was released to the HTNG certification program in February 2007; it included reservation delivery, rate update, and availability update. Since then, the workgroup has released additional specifications that provide updates to the original release, as well as new usage profiles and WSDLs and XSDs. Some of those additions include: a reservation pull model, ARI pull, seamless shopping and booking, and statistical data extracts for revenue management systems.

Business Benefits include:

  • By developing once, vendors can achieve basic connectivity to a large number of systems in a reduced time frame
  • Eliminates manual entry of reservations and rates into the PMS
  • Enables hotels to automatically push yield controls into distribution channels in real time, without the need for custom interfaces
  • When re-branding forces adoption of a new PMS or CRS, full channel connectivity can be quickly restored
  • Provides facilities to eliminate data duplication and redundant entry of data

Key Milestones

  • First certifiable specification, handling reservations, rates & availability – February 2007
  • Updated specification for 2008A, 2009A and 2009B cycles to incorporate statistics, groups and other additions
  • New seamless shop/book and inventory projects added – April 2010
  • Updated Reservations, Groups and Seamless Shop/Book – October 2010
  • Updated Reservations, Rates, and Seamless Shop/Book - October 2011
  • Updated Reservations, Rates, and Availability - May 2012
  • Dynamic packaging - October 2012
  • Break out the 500+ page, multi-spec doc into smaller, more manageable and readable specifications - complete April 2014

Key Contacts

Chair:

  • Akhtar Rashid, Agilysys

HTNG Board Advisors:

  • Riko van Santen, Kempinski Hotels
  • Vineet Gupta, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International

Facilitator: Kylene Reese

Meeting Schedule

This workgroup is in maintenance mode, but still meets most Mondays at 11:00am EST/EDT. For more information about upcoming meeting, please visit the HTNG Meeting & Event Calendar.

Participation

List of participants

The workgroup is made up of companies interested in the product distribution space (PMS, RMS, CRS, Channel Management, OTA/GDS). Since each type of has different requirements as well as a unique role in the industry, participation from all is necessary to ensure an accurate representation of distribution.

Key Documents & Other Useful Information

Specifications

2014A
  • Product Distribution Rates Technical Specification v 2.1 and Companion File
    • The HTNG Product Distribution Reates Specification is used in the exchange of rate information and now includes the addition of a new scenario outlining how to communicate length of stay-based rate amounts.
    • The link above also includes a companion file which contains XML Schema Definition (XSD) files, Web Service Description Language (WSDL) files and Sample XML Messages.
  • Product Distribution Reservations Technical Specification v3.0 and Companion File
    • The HTNG Product Distribution Reservations Specification is used in the exchange of reservation information and is now a standalone specification, with improved scenarios, use cases and sample messages.
    • The link above also includes a companion file which contains XML Schema Definition (XSD) files, Web Service Description Language (WSDL) files and Sample XML Messages.
  • Product Distribution Seamless Shop/Book Technical Specification v3.0 and Companion File
    • The HTNG Product Distribution Reservations Specification is used in the exchange of shopping information and is now a standalone specification, with improved scenarios, use cases and sample messages.
    • The link above also includes a companion file which contains XML Schema Definition (XSD) files, Web Service Description Language (WSDL) files and Sample XML Messages.
  • Product Distribution Statistics Specification v3.0 and Companion File
    • The HTNG Product Distribution Statistic Specification is used in the exchange of statistical information and is now a standalone specification, with improved scenarios, use cases and sample messages.
    • The link above also includes a companion file which contains XML Schema Definition (XSD) files, Web Service Description Language (WSDL) files and Sample XML Messages.
2013B
  • Product Distribution Availability Technical Specification and Companion File
    • The HTNG Product Distribution Availabililty Specification was the first to be moved to the updated template and is used in the exchange of availability information between systems. The spec now also includes inventory information, which used to be contained in a separate spec.
    • The link above also includes a companion file which contains XML Schema Definition (XSD) files, Web Service Description Language (WSDL) files and Sample XML Messages.
  • Product Distribution Groups Technical Specification and Companion File
    • The HTNG Product Distribution Groups Specification is used in the exchange of group information and has been broken out into its own, standalone document. This specification is now in the updated HTNG specification template and illustrates more comprehensive use cases.
    • The link above also includes a companion file which contains XML Schema Definition (XSD) files, Web Service Description Language (WSDL) files and Sample XML Messages.
  • Product Distribution Rates Technical Specification and Companion File
    • The HTNG Product Distribution Rates Specification is used in the exchange of rate information and has also been broken out into its own, standalone document. It is now in the updated HTNG specification template and illustrates more comprehensive use cases.
    • The link above also includes a companion file which contains XML Schema Definition (XSD) files, Web Service Description Language (WSDL) files and Sample XML Messages.
  • All Other Product Distribution Technical Specifications and Companion File
    • This collection of specs now excludes the Availability, Inventory, Groups and Rates specifications; the Reservations and Seamless Shop/Book specs, which are still included in this collection, have minor updates.
    • The link above also includes a companion file which contains XML Schema Definition (XSD) files, Web Service Description Language (WSDL) files and Sample XML Messages.
  • Product Distribution Error Handling Appendix
    • The HTNG Product Distribution Error Handling Appendix is a companion document to the various HTNG Product Distribution specifications containing mandatory and optional error codes. This document is relevant when referring to warnings or errors, which are reported in message responses.
2013A
  • Product Distribution Availability Technical Specification and Companion File
    • This is the first of the seven Product Distribution specifications to be broken out into its own, standalone document. The Availability specification is now in the updated HTNG specification template and illustrates more comprehensive use cases.
    • The link above also includes a companion file which contains XML Schema Definition (XSD) files, Web Service Description Language (WSDL) files and Sample XML Messages.
  • All Other Product Distribution Technical Specifications and Companion File
    • This collection of specs now excludes the Availability specification; the Reservations and Seamless Shop/Book specs have been updated to include age and customer profile privacy preferences.
    • The link above also includes a companion file which contains XML Schema Definition (XSD) files, Web Service Description Language (WSDL) files and Sample XML Messages.
2012B
  • Technical Specifications and Companion File
    • The HTNG Product Distribution 2012B Specifications include an updated Seamless Shop/Book specification v2.0 allows for the real-time shopping and booking of preconfigured and dynamic packages. Other updates include many enhancements, corrections, and documentation improvements to the Rates (v1.5) and Reservations (v2.7) specs.
    • The link above also includes a companion file which contains XML Schema Definition (XSD) files, Web Service Description Language (WSDL) files, Sample XML Messages and Code Samples.
2012A
  • Technical Specifications and Companion File
    • The HTNG Product Distribution 2012A release includes many enhancements, such as allowing CurrencyCode and YieldableIndicator attributes at RatePlan level, the addition of AvailStatusMessage, as well as a few minor editorial updates. The following specifications have been updated:
      • Reservations Specification Version 2.6
      • Rates Specification Version 1.4
      • Availability Specification Version 2.3
    • The link above includes a companion file which contains XML Schema Definition (XSD) files, Web Service Description Language (WSDL) files, Sample XML Messages and Code Samples.
2011B
  • Technical Specifications and Companion File
    • The HTNG Product Distribution 2011B Specifications includes updates to Rates, Reservations and Seamless Shop/Book.
      • More specifically, the specifications include the addition of age bucket handling, meal plan code and billing profile, and updates to UnitMultiplier usage and multi-unit reservation.
    • The link above includes a companion file which contains XML Schema Definition (XSD) files, Web Service Description Language (WSDL) files and Sample XML Messages.
2010B
  • Technical Specifications Issue 1 and Companion File
    • The HTNG Product Distribution 2010B Specification release includes updates to Reservations, Groups and Seamless Shop/Book.
    • The link above includes a companion file which contains XML Schema Definition (XSD) files and Web Service Description Language (WSDL) files.
2010A
  • Technical Specifications and Companion File
    • The HTNG Product Distribution 2010A Specifications includes the addition of Inventory and Seamless Shop/Book and updates to Reservation and Rates.
    • The link above includes a companion file which contains Sample XML Messages and Code Samples.
2009B
2009A
2008A
2007A
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