The traditional airlines companies in last decade are facing serious challenges. The low cost carriers are constantly pushing ticket prices down, forcing traditional airlines companies to reduce costs. Secondly, the digital transformation is starting to revolutionize the aviation industry. To stay competitive, airlines must offer new services and products, be responsive and support omni-channel interactions with customers and improve customer experience in general.
However, typical IT infrastructure of traditional airlines companies is complex, consisting of number of legacy mission-critical systems that are build and communicating on decades-old technologies and protocols. The IT architecture is “accidental” with large silos systems and point to point interactions created and expanded through time to support business needs. Consequently, IT is struggling to support new business needs, development and support of new and existing products and services is expensive, unpredictable and error prone and time to market is slow.
The introduction of SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) in Adria Airways started the transition from a standalone single-purpose application to loosely coupled, reusable business services. The main idea of service-oriented architecture is that the functionality (business logic) is implemented in a sufficiently generic high-level services based on the SOAP, REST standard and not in the monolithic applications or legacy systems. If web services are designed well enough, the functionality provided by the web service needs to be implemented only once and can be later reused by anyone who might require it, therefore the number of interdependencies between systems is significantly reduced. The SOA in Adria Airways was implemented with ESB (Enterprise Service Bus), on which all services were published and available. The ESB is central, scalable, standard based integration platform for realization of SOA. It provides connectivity, security, reliability and other technical aspects for successful realization of SOA.
Once required business functionality was exposed as SOA based web services and available to different channels and client applications Adria Airways was able to start realizing its digital strategy and move from traditional POS to digital (online-ecommerce) business.
- With SOA and ESB interactions with legacy systems based on various decades-old protocols were hidden behind high level abstract standard based web services published and available on ESB;
- The complexity of IT architecture was reduced;
- The operational and investment costs for new\existing services were reduced and became predictable;
- With online ecommerce, some POS offices could be closed, reducing costs;
- Time to launch new products became predictable and shorter;
- Customer experience was improved.