Roadmap of transition from EUROBOOK to VATBOOK

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Roadmap of transition from EUROBOOK to VATBOOK

Postby Andreas Fuchs » Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:08 am

Dear friends,

to keep everyone in the loop I am positing the message that I had sent out to VATEUR's staff mailing list not long ago.

STATUS as of 31 MAY 2006

It's time to announce something nice, finally!

I have the honour to present you the first results of the hard work done by Michal Rok and Romain Riviere regarding the improvement of EUROBOOK!

As you may remember, EUROBOOK was launched years ago together with Dirk Trinkaus who is still hosting the databases of various VACCs and ARTCCs on his server. In the meantime it became clear that we needed to extend the thing to something more global and the most appropriate step was to rename EUROBOOK into VATBOOK and make it available to all VACCs and ARTCCs of VATSIM, worldwide!

Michal Rok has taken the part to create the database of VATBOOK and generously host it on his Euroute-server. Romain Riviere volunteered to create a simple booking interface for those VACCs, ARTCCs and VAs that do not have the resources and expertise to create this for themselves.
Yes, you have read "VAs", which stands for "Virtual Airlines". VATBOOK will not be limited to ATC bookings but it will also accept pilot bookings from any *approved* external operator, that may be a VA, a VACC/ARTCC or a route database.

Basically we are using EXACTLY the same parameters of the EUROBOOK for ATC (Geardown by Dirk Trinkaus) and EUROBOOK for Pilots (by Arek Olesiak)!

As we won't be able to help all the operators at the same time in regards to the changeover or initial signup with VATBOOK, we are going several steps:

1) We have already switched from polling the booking-status from Dirk's server. Servinfo is downloading it from VATBOOK's database at Michal's place. For this purpose Dirk was so kind and created a redirection, so whenever you request data from Dirk's EUROBOOK (=geardown) you will actually get the data from our server! And the file you get is actually a merge of data that we take from bookings made through Dirk's EUROBOOK and the bookings that we are receiving directly at VATBOOK.
Note that we only update the merged file every 10 in 10 minutes. If you book a position it might take up to 10 minutes before the entry appears on the list of VATBOOK but it WILL appear as long as the booking-process went alright.

2) For this step we decided to switch over all EXISTING external ATC booking operators from EUROBOOK (with to VATBOOK. For this you only need to modify the booking URL in your booking scripts, you can find detailled information about that here:

So far VACC-Poland and VACC-SAG have switched over and they are sending/receiving data directly to/from VATBOOK for almost 2 weeks time.

3) Those of you who are using a booking-database hosted by Dirk Trinkaus should think about moving it out to your own resources. Romain Riviere's booking interface is one solution for you to have a simple but functional interface. Since all the parameters required for such an interface are known, you are free to create your own interface!

For all external operators of 2) and 3) the basic principle applies: you are responsible for appropriate bookings, you need to make sure that only those users can book ATC positions that you want to do so, you have to take care that the data sent to VATBOOK is correct.

4) In the fourth step we will invite NEW external operators to join the ATC-booking system. You will have to use our interface or setup your own piece of code that fits best into your websites.

5) Finally we will invite all the route databases and VAs to join us as well. Your pilots can book their flights directly with VATBOOK! Again, you need to make sure that your bookings are some kind of secure or we gonna have some kids booking dozens of fake-flights ;-)

Actually, since it is not a lot of work, step 5) can run parallel to all the steps before, we just would like to emphasize the fact that for the time being we would like to give preference to the ATC part of VATBOOK since this is the part of the reservation system that will bring the pilots, not the other way around!
As well, using the known booking parameters, external operators will be able to request pilot data from our server and display it according to their needs on their websites!


I would like to invite especially all the webmasters to participate at our forum where the more experienced webmasters are encouraged to help the less experienced ones! Our intention is to save all the information given and exchanged in the end to have some kind of FAQ for VACCs and ARTCCs joining later on. This should avoid answering the same questions several times.

VATBOOK will only work if we all pull at the same string and this is the string that will connect the VATSIM world!

Please join us, we are really looking forward to welcoming you aboard!

All the best and thanks for reading,

Michal, Romain and Andreas
Last edited by Andreas Fuchs on Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
Cheers, Andreas
Andreas Fuchs
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2006 3:59 pm

Postby Andreas Fuchs » Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:09 am

STATUS as of 25 JUNE 2006

Update: almost all existing external operators (VACCs) have switched to the new system, thanks! We are not far away from step 3).

I would like to thanks especially those webmasters who are dedicating or will dedicate their time to create and share booking-interfaces! You are an integral part of VATBOOK's success!
Cheers, Andreas
Andreas Fuchs
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2006 3:59 pm

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