RealTime IT News

Have Web Services, Will Travel

Parsippany, N.J.-based Galileo International is launching its travel data and services operation into the Web services arena for the online travel industry.

The move will allow Galileo's customers (including travel agencies, software developers and suppliers of air, hotel, car, tour and cruise services) to directly access the company's travel information and services.

Galileo, a Cendant subsidiary, said customers will soon be able to access information from Galileo to do anything from building an Internet booking engine to integrating travel information within their own Web sites with Web access as their only requirement.

"We're currently deploying Web services with select customers, and will introduce Web services solutions to all of our customers in the upcoming months," said Mickey Lutz, Galileo's CIO.

He said that with Web services, customer information can be seamlessly integrated with Galileo data regardless of what operating platform each system resides on, or what language each system is written in.

Currently, Galileo Wireless and Cendant's Trip.com, a leisure travel Web site, integrate weather data from Galileo servers into their systems using Galileo Web services. Additionally, select travel organizations will be able to use Galileo's hosted Web services for accessing data, such as air fares and flight availability, from Galileo's Apollo system.

Galileo is using the standard, Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), which provides a way for applications to communicate with each other over the Internet, independent of platform. SOAP relies on structured XML data from the Apollo and Galileo. systems to define the format of the information and typically uses HTTP to send it.

Pricing for Galileo Web services will be based on an annual licensing fee and a pay-for-service transaction model. Galileo said it plans to announce generally available Web services solutions in the third quarter.