In a fragmented world of hospitality systems, integration is a necessity. Your system will need to interact with different systems from different providers, each providing its own Application Program Interface (API). Not only that, but as you integrate with more hotel customers, the more instances you will need to connect and manage this connection. A Property Management System (PMS) is the core system of any hotel and integration is paramount as the industry moves to become more connected.
To provide software solutions in the hospitality industry, you will certainly need to establish a 2-way integration with the PMS providers. The challenge is building and managing these connections at scale, with multiple PMS instances across multiple hotels. There are several approaches you can leverage to implement these integrations. Here, I present one simple architectural design to building an integration foundation that will increase ROI as you grow. This approach is the use of microservices.
What are microservices?
Since Parse's big announcement it looks like the release of migration guides from various alternative services has died down.
The immediate release of Parse Server with the announcement of the closing of Parse was surprising. How could it be out so soon? That's a lot of work. Some options came to mind. Maybe it's a version of an on-premise system they already had in the works? Maybe it's a version of the simulation software they use for internal testing? Or maybe they had enough advanced notice they could make an open source version of Parse?
The winner is...
Massive props to Kevin Lacker and those who saw the writing on the wall and did an amazing job preparing to open up the ecosystem.
That's impressive. It seems clear the folks at Parse weren't on board with Facebook's decision, but they certainly did everything possible to make the best out of a bad situation. It's even possible this closure could be a good thing for Parse in the long run if open source support continues to flourish.
Here's a list of different ways of getting from here to there...
Update: Amazon just released Lumberyard, a free AAA game engine deeply integrated with AWS & Twitch.
What’s next? Mobile is entering its comforting middle age period of development. Conversational commerce is a thing, a good thing, but is it really a great thing?
What’s next may be what has been next for decades: Augmented reality (AR) (and VR). AR systems will be here sooner than you might think. A matter of years, not decades. Robert Scoble, for example, thinks Meta, an early startup in AR industry, will be bigger than the Macintosh. More on that in a later post. Magic Leap has no product and $1.3 billion in funding. Facebook has Oculus. Microsoft has HoloLens. Google may be releasing a VR system later this year. Apple is working on VR. Becoming the next iPhone is up for grabs.
AR is a Huge Opportunity for Programmers and Startups
This is a technological revolution that will be bigger than mobile. Opportunities in mobile for developers have largely played out. Experience shows the earlier you get in on a revolution the better the opportunity will be. Do you want to be writing free iOS apps forever?
It’s so early we don’t really have an idea what AR is or what the market will be or what it means from a developer perspective. But if you watched the Super Bowl you saw an early example of the power of AR. It’s the benign looking, yet technically impressive, computer generated yellow first down line marker.
Augmented Reality is Already a Sports Reality
The case study presented involves a migration from custom database to WordPress. The company with the task is Valet and it has a vast portfolio of previously done jobs that included shifts from database to WordPress, multisite-to-multisite, and multisite to single site among others. The client is Shift.ms.
The client, Shift.ms, presented a taxing problem to the team. Shift.ms had a custom database that they needed migrated to WordPress. They had installed a WordPress/BuddyPress and wanted their data moved into this new installation. All this may seem rather simple. However, there was one problem; the client had some data in the newly installed WordPress that they intended to keep.
The main problem was that the schema for the database and that of WordPress are very different in infrastructure. The following issues arose in an effort to deal with the problem:
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Fun and Informative Events
- Your event could be here. How cool is that?
Cool Products and Services
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If any of these items interest you there's a full description of each sponsor below...
Ilya Sukhar — April 25th, 2013 on the Future of Parse
Where should you go? What should you do? By now you’ve transitioned through all five stages of grief and ready for stage six: doing something about it. Fortunately there are a lot of options and I’ve gathered as many resources as I can here in one place.
There is a Lot Pain Out There
Parse closing is a bigger deal than most shutterings. There’s even a petition: Don't Shut down Parse.com. That doesn’t happen unless you’ve managed to touch people. What could account for such an outpouring of emotion?
Parse and the massive switch to mobile computing grew up at the same time. Mobile is by definition personal. Many programmers capable of handling UI programming challenge were not as experienced with backend programming and Parse filled that void. When a childhood friend you grew to depend on dies, it hurts. That hurt is deep. It goes into the very nature of how you make stuff, how you grow, how you realize your dreams, how you make a living. That’s a very intimate connection.
For a trip through memory lane Our Incredible Journey is a tumblr chronicling many services that are no longer with us.
Some reactions from around the net:
maxado_zdl: F*ck you facebook!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
pacp_ec: Damn it Facebook only George R. R. Martin is allowed to kill my heroes
Mythul: I really hate facebook right now ! Thanks for screwing up my apps with your bad business model!
Mufro: Damn. We've been slowly migrating our smaller apps to Parse as we make annual updates. Now we're trying to figure out what we're gonna do... go back to the pain of rolling our own server backends out? This leaves a pretty big hole in the market IMO. I don't know of anyone who gets you off the ground as quickly and affordably as Parse does. It's been a joy to use their product, but I knew deep down it was too good to be true. I guess we'll have to take a look at AWS again, maybe Azure. We use Firebase in another project, so we might check that out too. This sucks though.
samwize7: When Facebook acquired Parse, I thought it is good news since they ain't profitable, and now they have a backing of a giant, who tried hard to woo developers. I built many mobile apps using Parse, and has always been a fan of how they build a product for developers. Their documentation is awesome, their free tier is generous, their SDK covers widely. Today, their announcement is a sad news. And once again, proves that we can't trust Facebook.
clev1: This literally just ruined my day....I've got 2 major projects near completion that I've been using Parse as a BaaS for. Anyone with experience know how difficult or a transition it is to switch to Firebase?
solumamantis: I just can't believe the service is being retired... I started using three months ago - my new app coming out soon is completely reliant on it..... I will have a look on Firebase, but honestly I think i will build my own Parse/Node.js version and manage it myself....
changingminds: What the f*ck. Wtf am I supposed to do with 120k users who currently use my app that uses parse? I gotta redo the entire f*cking backend? F*cking bullsh*t.
manooka: My entire startup relies on Parse. I developed the website and apps myself as this was perfect for me as a Front-end developer without having to worry about back-end servers/databases etc. This is SERIOUSLY bad news.
stuntmanmikey: I'm a full-stack developer who is part of a startup that depends on Parse. As the only developer, the amount of time we've saved NOT having to write a data access layer and web service layer has been a windfall for us. Now I'm left to either switch to a similar product (Firebase just doesn't have the same appeal to me) or implement the backend myself at great cost.
neckbeardfedoras: The thing is, most of the folks using Parse probably use it because they're not full stack or back end developers. Removal of Parse means more time or money spent on resources to manage a back end system.
Why did Facebook Shutdown Parse?
Patreon recently snagged $30 Million in funding. It seems the model of pledging $1 for individual feature releases or code changes won't support fast enough growth. CEO Jack Conte says: We need to bring in so many people so fast. We need to keep up with hiring and keep up with making all of the things.
Since HighScalability is giving Patreon a try I've naturally wondered how it's built. Modulo some serious security issues Patreon has always worked well. So I was interested to dig up this nugget in a thread on the funding round where the Director of Engineering at Patreon shares a little about how Patreon works:
- Server is in Python using Flask and SQLAlchemy,
- Runs on AWS (EC2, RDS (MySQL), and some Redis, Celery, SQS, etc. to boot).
- A few microservices here and there in other languages too (e.g. real time chat server with Node & Firebase)
- Web code is written in React (with some legacy code in Angular). We tend to use Redux for the non-component pieces, but are still trying out new React-compatible libraries here and there.
- iOS and Android code are written in Objective-C and Java, respectively.
- We use Realm on both platforms for data storage
- Most of the rest is pretty standard modern project stuff (CocoaPods for iOS, Gradle on Android, etc.)
For this time period it seems like a good set of technologies to use for the type of application Patreon is. It's interesting to see Angular as referred to as legacy code. React seems to be winning the framework wars.
The use of Realm is notable on the mobile platform as a common storage layer. Realm's simplicity is attractive.
The use of microservices may have helped Patreon dodge the Parse closing down bullet. Instead of trying to find one backend to rule them all they picked Firebase, a more targeted technology, to implement a specific feature. Service diversification is a great way to manage service failure risk.
We've heard a lot about the Netflix recommendation algorithm for movies, how Amazon matches you with stuff, and Google's infamous PageRank for search. How about Tinder? It turns out Tinder has a surprisingly thoughtful recommendation system for matching people.
This is from an extensive profile, Mr. (Swipe) Right?, on Tinder founder Sean Rad: