Reducing Infrastructure Cost & Complexity with Sessionless Search

by Alex Shchedrin

DataArt shares knowledge on why implementation from session-based interaction to sessionless search is technically straightforward and offers an excellent return on investment.

Until recently, applications engaging Sabre APIs needed to establish a formal connection, called a session, to query and return results. While a search may only take 5-10 seconds, a mid-size OTA will likely have dozens of searches happening in parallel and the total session length may be several minutes from search to booking completion for each one. With an industry look-to-book ratio of between 100:1 and 150:1 depending on target market, complex and expensive session management infrastructure has been required to manage these limited resources and even then, there was a risk that customers would experience delays or failed bookings at peak times.

To help clients alleviate the risk of infrastructure failures and lost revenue, Sabre introduced sessionless access for conducting searches via select services, including BFM (Bargain Finder Max – See REST and SOAP versions).  Behind the scenes, your air search application authenticates with Sabre APIs which issues a token, good for one week, that authorizes client searches and ongoing client interaction.  With tokens, unlike sessions, you can have as many as necessary and – because they are granted directly from Sabre – there is no need for complex management.  In practice, rather than tying up a session for both search and booking, a session is created only for the booking and then immediately released.

We recently completed project where a client started with legacy Sabre APIs and a heavy maintenance overhead. In two weeks, we were able to implement sessionless searches for air availability. By reducing the load on internal systems we were able to focus on the critical booking path where session state is essential between service calls. The solution enables:

  • Shifting up to 99% percent of Sabre APIs interactions from sessions to tokens
  • Reducing average search time by 10% through bypassing internal infrastructure & Sabre’s TAM, resulting in greater customer satisfaction
  • Increasing uptime by 5%
  • Significantly reducing infrastructure requirements and maintenance overhead

Session management will still be essential to most operations once the client moves from search to booking because data needs to be stored between steps, but your system will be able to disregard the need to account for such a wide gap in the look-to-book ratio.  For your company, implementation may require a simple change to the conversational strategy or to a sophisticated management tool, depending on the level of the system complexity and the number of bookings. Either way, the numbers prove that the introduction of sessionless air shopping yields tangible benefits.

About Alex Shchedrin

Alex Shchedrin started and exited his first business by age 24. He holds a degree in MIS and another in Linguistics. He speaks three languages and has called Russia, Germany and now the U.S. home. He currently lends his entrepreneurship energies to Travel & Hospitality Practice at DataArt. Alex has nearly a decade of experience in project management and solution design for products requiring specific expertise in UI/UX design, data processing and visualization, and mobile. He has a passion for deliberate design and cutting-edge technologies.

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