Sabre this week launched a new developer platform meant to ease the process for third parties interested in creating applications with embedded travel services. Called Sabre Dev Studio, the portal allows developers of all kinds to access more than 150 Sabre application programming interfaces, testing mechanisms, sample code and other resources.
Sabre Travel Network president Gregg Webb said during a press briefing that the open developer community will help "accelerate software solutions in the areas of mobility, personalization and data analytics." Noting the trends of consumerization and accelerating development cycles, Webb said that it's "the right time to open effectively the Sabre environment to third-party developers in a way that we never have before."
When asked how Sabre Dev Studio differs from the previous third-party developer process, Webb said: "One of the things we looked at is the idea of making access early and easy in the process. This allows us to open up the environment to anybody that wants to test, anybody that wants to try to begin to think of applications they'd like to develop in the travel space, and how the capabilities we make available in infrastructure and data help them in that environment. It literally allows someone to immediately get in and test the capabilities without having to go through any upfront process in how we are going to interact in the future or what would be a traditional—for lack of a better word—contracting process to get official subscriber access or official third-party developer access."
Sabre's "open" approach contrasts with thinking from the latter half of the last decade when the company considered restricting the number and types of third parties authorized to develop technology, at least when that technology interacted with the Sabre global distribution system. The authorization program, which began taking shape in 2006, at the time was deemed too costly by some third parties.
Sabre now claims relationships with more than 150 third-party developers, including well-known travel technology players and many lesser-known companies.
Sabre Travel Network product marketing manager Irina Matz noted that "about two dozen" APIs now are accessible via the portal (at developer.sabre.com), which is powered by API tech services provider Mashery. "We are in the process of migrating over [all 150-plus] APIs, which will be completed in August," Matz added.
Sabre is planning a "global hack-a-thon event in late July to provide developers inside and outside of the travel industry the opportunity to showcase their talents and ideas."