Thursday, May 17, 2007

APEX TAC Monthly Meeting Minutes - May 2007

The APEX TAC held it's monthly Virtual Meeting on May 17, 2007. Here's what we did.

APEX TAC Monthly Virtual Meeting

Meeting Topic: APEX Virtual Meeting 5/17/07
Host: Rick Borry (Certain Software)
Meeting number: 484 360 851
Start Time: Thursday, May 17, 2007 07:57:17 PM
End Time: Thursday, May 17, 2007 09:09:26 PM
Meeting URL:

Attendee List:
Rick Borry (Certain)
EJ Siwek (CIC)
Jeremy Keller (Meeting Matrix)
Jane Melville, Julie Camp (Hilton)
Scott Rudberg & Andrea Campbell (Passkey)
Rob Wilson (Meeting Sites Resources)
Rick Fahnestock (MPI)
David Collins (Syllogy Design) - Joining the Rooming List Group
Michael Lu, David Quattrone (Cvent)
Charles Jeffers
Chip Meyer (Data App)


STRATEGY BACKGROUND (from the Ft. Lauderdale Spring meeting):


Jeremy Keller and Rob Wilson reviewed their progress on the RFP transformation tool. They are about 90% complete, but learned some lessons that we will adopt for the other groups:

  • Generally, it's better to use the Response XML (OTA_HotelRFP_MeetingRS3.xml) because the Request XML sample does not have as much data.

  • But even the Response XML document in the OTA standard is not complete - many fields don't have data or have duplicate data from other fields - this makes debugging very hard. We should modify the sample XML fiels so that all fields are complete and all data is unique (e.g. don't use the same name for Event Organizer and Key Contact)
  • Rick and Chip suggested a "best practice" that Response Messages should echo back the data from the Request Message in addition to adding response data. This way the sending application could validate that the data it sent was placed into the correct fields, e.g. the Last Name in the meeting planner's application was stored into the Last Name field of the hotel's application. Hilton pointed out that this could lead to a lot of extra work and is really only necesary during the initial validation phase. Once the translator routine has been validated in both partner's applications, there isn't as much of a need to echo data back-and forth every time. This will be a discussion point during the initial pilot implementations.
  • Jeremy added a CSS style tag to the XSLT so that he could color-code the font classes for "Labels" (from the APEX Template), "Data" (from the XML file), and "Comments" (his notes. We agreed to use this coloring standard during development.
  • Jeremy uses Visual Studio instead of Altova Stylevision, which produces a lot of "extra" code in the XSLT. He manually cleaned up the output from Rob's Stylevision copy in order to produce the final transform.
  • Rob noted that the data types used in the OTA standard are not always consistent, e.g. some dates are "Date-Time" type and others are "String". Chip noted that this may be intentional if the field can contain text such as "ASAP" or "3rd Quarter", but we need to review these issues and decide if they are mistakes or valid.
  • Hilton raised several issues about labels, e.g. "Key Contact" in Section 1 but "Primary Sales Contact" in Section 5. The labels and amount of information collected must be reviewed for clarity and completeness.
  • Hilton also asked about the location of the field definitions - since the RFP standard doesn't have an introduction (as the other standards do). For example, in Section 4, what is the difference between "RFP Published Date" and "RFP Distribution Date"?
  • After Jeremy and Rob finish their merge, everyone will be able to add comments (in Red) to the final output for review in the Orlando meeting in June.


  • We will focus on completing the RFP XSLT and resolving its issues before tackling the other two schemas

  • Jeremy, Rob, EJ, Chip will work on the RFP completion:

    • Complete merge

    • Update color scheme to match standard

    • Review merged document and add comments, errors, questions

    • Complete addition of data to all fields in RS.XML so that it is fully documented

  • Rest of team should review the completed RFP with Rob and Jeremy's comments and make recommendations for changes needed, especially from the Hotels' prespective of what data they need to receive from Planners and send in response to RFPs

  • Discuss common issues teams are facing and decide how to resolve them on the Forums at:

NEXT MEETING (Orlando, FL after HITEC, June 27-28)

  • Meeting calendar available at:

  • The next face to face follows HITEC in Orlando. The TAC meeting will be held on June 27th and 28th, starting at 3pm on th 27th and ending at 3pm on the 28th.

  • We have a room block of 5 for $149.99 each at Embassy Suites Orlando - Lake Buena Vista, 8100 Lake Ave., Orlando, Florida 32836. Attendees can call the main number 407-239-1144 and ask for the Reservations Dept. (Mon-Fri, 8-4pm). Please have mention "CIC/APEX".

  • Tentative Agenda:

  1. Powershop beta demonstration (Chip Meyer)
  2. XSLT Demonstrations by RFP team and review of work completed and recommendations
  3. Close out RFP, focus on Rooming List and Event Specification Guide

End Note

Yes, even Pre-Kindergarten has graduation. Congratulations, Izabella!

Even Pre-Kindergarten has graduation now...

No comments: