I have been working on a first white paper version of an idea/project that came up based on a proof-of-concept we made recently in order to proxy, crawl, and store certain data flowing through an API (including both requests and responses).
We decided to use Tyk Proxy in order to “intercept” our API. Tyk is open-source and has an excellent middleware “plug-in” system that allows to easily extend its basic features. This proof of concept allowed us to analyze quite complex XML messages and extract data (that we called measures) out of it. The exact data to extract and the way to store it is taken from XML messages using XPath addressing and configured in elements (that we called crawls). Each crawl takes some data from a single request and/or response and stores it in a measure. We made it this simple for the PoC.
The data extracted from the API “traffic” is stored in an InfluxDB instance, a statistical-oriented key-value DB engine very popular for this kind of use.
Last step was to visualize this measures in the most simplistic (less coding) way posible, which leaded us to Grafana, a wonderful tool to create dashboards containing charts pulling data from several popular statistical DB engines at a minimum time/development cost.
Based on this experience we decided to take this as an starting point to create a new approach to make data-analytics from an APIs using what we called an API Analytics Proxy.
Let me introduce my recently founded new venture, AirGateway GmbH, a B2B company focused on enabling a new distribution model in the air retail industry.
This new model comes served by IATA and its API standard called NDC (New Distribution Capability). NDC is called to revamp the whole air travel retail industry, by challenging specially the dominating and pseudo-monopolistic role of GDSs during the last decades.
We are a proud engineering company, and our products will make a faster and lower-cost landing in the new model for our customers. Our first and core product will be a full-NDC aggregation gateway.
My views from the 10th Ancillary Merchandising Conference in regarding NDC deployment progress are, that given the industry dynamics and the lack of expertise of the airlines when it comes to huge-traffic APIs, NDC players would have to wait for big IT providers such as Farelogix and Datalex to provide NDC-enabled APIs for the big-named airlines to see real cases of the NDC distribution model on production.
This said, both IT providers are expected to do so before the end of the current year which is a reasonable time margin to get ready for NDC.
This tool has been released under the scope of the OpenNDC initiative, troche an OpenSource organization focused on developing open-source software to facilitate the adoption of the NDC standard by the developers.
Any feedback or contributions will be very welcome.
I’ve been invited by Gene Quinn (CEO @ Tnooz) to participate as a judge in the first worldwide NDC-based Hackathon, thumb happening in Hamburg this upcoming weekend.
After spending some months learning on the Air industry and very particularly focused on the NDC (New Distrubution Capability) standard, I’m excited to see first early-stage ideas that the blooming technology can bring into an industry which is very in the mood to be revamped from it’s roots, as we have seen along this year.
The Hackathon will be continued along the week by the IATA WPS, where the resulting ideas from the THack will be for sure a hot topic in the event’s conversation.
I’ve published a very simple and lightweight Rack-based Grape API skeleton with Swagger autodocs that can be used as an starting point for a SOA-friendly approach architecture.
It can bring a base restful API in 1 minute with autodocs out of the box. I hope it’s useful to someone.