Booking Engine Customization Options and Help


Website Booking Engine Customization Options

Take online bookings with a BookingCenter Booking Engine, a powerful tool for turning your website into an ‘always in’ sales channel. Manage bookings easily with a seamless connection to one of our property management systems or interface partners and automatic booking import with “real-time” rates and availability updates.

Our Booking Engine is extremely flexible and can be customized to your “look and feel” with template settings, custom API’s and Social Media integration.

BookingCenter customers can customize the Booking Engine ‘look and feel’ using one of these three options

BookingCenter Templates

Use the BookingCenter customization tools to customize the features of our existing templates to your “look and feel”. This is the easiest, cheapest, and fastest way to make the Booking Engine look like your ‘style’. Change features such as, requiring an email, not requiring a mobile telephone, displaying  a custom banner, choosing a background color, adding or removing the calendar from the enquiry page, using custom package queries, changing fonts/colors and more.

These are all easily modifiable and can be done by any lay person – or BookingCenter support staff will do it for you.  Examples of customers who have incorporated the Booking Engine using this basic method include: www.orchardhill.com and www.beallmansion.com

BookingCenter Booking Engine API

Use the BookingCenter Booking Engine API (Application Programming Interface) to query the Central Reservation Service using common HTML techniques such as FORM POST and GET commands in order to show customized ‘web services’ such as, a photo album of your property, a July 4th Package, a series of rooms that can each hold 4 guests, etc. The use of the ‘API’ requires an experienced programmer proficient in HTML design and coding techniques. Specifically, it is written to use the PHP modules that we support in our Central Reservation Service.

Any BookingCenter customer who signs our Non-Disclosure Agreement (the ‘Booking Engine NDA available here for download) and faxes it back to us at +1-718-228-5959 can receive a copy of the BookingCenter Booking Engine API . For those folks with the skill necessary to implement an API, the document alone is all that is needed to begin customizing the booking engine for your needs. However, the use of the API requires technical skills and therefore technical support is only given to customers paying at the rate of US$90/hour billable in half-hour allotments.

Once again, the BookingCenter Booking Engine API is a technical document that BookingCenter supports with outside programmers at a rate of US $90/hour. One does not require support to use it, only programming knowledge. Support for using the BookingCenter Booking Engine API is not included as part of the standard BookingCenter support packages.

For examples of customers who have developed using the BookingCenter HTML API, take a look at www.oceanvillainn.com or www.carmelcottageinn.com.

BookingCenter OTA XML API

The most comprehensive customization option, for any customer to implement, is the complete exposure of the Central Reservation Service via our BookingCenter OTA XML API.  This method allows you to create your own unique ‘wrapper’ ( or ‘web service’) to replace our Booking Engine entirely for your website. For examples of customers who have developed using the XML Web Services API, take a look at: https://www.reservationsapplewoodinn.com/ and https://www.cayucosshorelineinn.com

The method of interfacing is a SOAP XML web service allowing for:

Platform support

  • Our SOAP WSDLs are compatible with Microsoft’s .NET platform and NuSOAP (the PHP variant for SOAP). Options exist for other development platforms, but we support these.
  • No restrictions on server implementation, as it has no impact on client.

Service Definition

  • The XML Service supports multiple search criteria such as availability, rates, rooms, packages, amenities, activities, etc.
  • Availability is data is taken from data coming from any Desktop Pro, MyPMS, or Management Tool customers.

References

Reviewing the HTML API and XML Web Services Spec

In order to examine the BookingCenter Central Reservation System API or XML API specs, you will need to download the NDA (non disclosure, here for download), sign it and fax it back to us at +1-718-228-5959. We will then send the appropriate documentation, login and info for you to test your code against our ‘Test System’ and then release to production once readied.

NOTE: We also know a number of webmasters and developers who have experience using our APIs to design custom Booking Engines for our customers.  Contact us to get a quote.

Third Party Booking Engines

BookingCenter has seamless interfaces to ‘website platform’ companies so your PMS manages all rates and availability.  These 3rd party systems query our PMS to deliver the allocated rate (rack, package, discount, etc) via their Booking Engine; and all booking data saves inside of BookingCenter.  These systems all use a certified OTA 2-way interface and our MyCard system for processing PCI-compiant deposits (if desired).  Check these partners out for quickly getting a new booking engine design for your web presence:

  • BookingSuite (partner since 2012) a Booking.com company.
  • ODYSYS (partner since 2015) an innovative company based in Oregon, USA.
  • EasyInnkeeping (partner since 2013) a B&B design and service company.

More Online Booking Services

MSO: Learn about the features and benefits of the Marketing Services Organization (MSO) which helps track customers to your booking engine by visiting: http://www.bookingcenter.com/products/mso.html. The MSO is meant to help with automating and tracking online marketing efforts.

Source Tracking: By adding a Source code to your online ‘Book Now’ buttons, you can automate the Source analysis used in the Desktop or MyPMS system – allowing you to analyze your internet sources and automatically assign commission payments to Sources that send you actual bookings. Very much like an Internet ‘affiliate program’. The program is easy to do – follow the steps outlined here.

‘Book Now’ Buttons For help with placing ‘Book Now’ buttons on a website – and for free ‘Book Now/Check Availability’ graphics you can use for this purpose – See Add Website Booking Buttons

FaceBook Booking Engine: To learn how to place our FaceBook Booking Engine into your FaceBook ‘company page’, click here.

Contact us if you have any questions.