Posted March 6, 2012

Sabre Red App Store Goes Live

Sabre Travel Network today will launch its Sabre Red App Centre including about 60 apps built by Sabre and one created by a third-party developer. Officials said more than 20 other developers are working with the related Software Developer Kit.

The apps are add-ons to both the classic and graphical views in Sabre's Red Workspace agent desktop product, deployed in more than 116 countries and representing more than 75 percent of Sabre's worldwide pseudo city codes.

Sabre initially planned to launch the store in December, but held back to maximize exposure and line up the additional developers, according to Red App Centre product director Pravin Muthukumar.

Among the apps Sabre already built are a simple task manager called To Do List that tracks "action items associated with customer calls including email address, title, due dates and notes," Tweet Stream to pull in Twitter feeds and Preferred Hotel and Preferred Carrier to highlight preferred suppliers in booking displays. An Airport Search app allows agents on a map within the workspace to quickly look up airport locations. Using content from Eventful, Sabre built an Event Finder app that searches for events and activities, uses geocoding to match hotel availability with those activities' locations and, when a sleeping room is booked, attaches event info to the passenger name record.

Other apps include a Carbon Emissions Calculator that approximates the "carbon burned in kilograms per PNR trip in case of air travel, hotel or car hire" and Sabre's Flight Fee Explorer. There's even an app to bring the Sabre Red App Centre itself into Sabre Red.

"This is about exposing all the capability of the desktop, but also all the services behind the scenes for Sabre as a platform," said Sabre CIO Barry Vandevier last week during a briefing for The Beat. "It's about how to provide end customers complete access to all our capabilities."

The Red App Centre site offers users various ways to find apps, screenshots of them, reviews and links to purchase. Prices are set by the developer and when that developer is a certified third party, Sabre takes a 30 percent cut. Licensing arrangements are worked out between the agency buyer and the developer. "The developer will set up the sale," according to a Sabre FAQ document. "You confirm the sale and Sabre bills you on your regular invoice." Developers also can offer free apps, which require separate commercial models with Sabre. Once purchased, apps can be provided to agents using admin tools built into Red.

The first outside developer to build a Sabre Red app was Travel Automation Management Company of Ann Arbor, Mich., which created the free QBotic Queue Filter app that "allows agents to select which PNRs they want to look at while working the queues." The company is working on several other apps, Sabre's Muthukumar said.

Sabre documentation indicates that it takes about 15 days for the company to review and authorize applications from third-party developers. Developers can access an administrative function of the store which allows them to submit apps, monitor reviews and keep track of sales and client messaging.

Posted by: Jay Campbell | More by Jay Campbell

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