Something a lot of us at Sabre have been excited about — the launch of Sabre Dev Studio – was announced last week. This new, open portal provides access to more than 150 Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that developers can use to create, test, and launch the next wave of innovative travel applications. As I read through the press release and information on the APIs, I was reminded of a trend that Gartner identifies as one of their Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2014 — Hybrid Cloud and IT as Service Broker.
In the early days of open APIs on the Internet, mashups were all the rage. Most came across as just fun experiments where developers wanted to play around and see what kind of cool new ‘thing’ they could create. In particular, a lot combined a map source with things like ski resorts, golf courses, best scuba diving locations, etc. and failed to gain a mass audience. The highly successful ones, like Hopstop.com, acquired by Apple in 2013, were the exception.
Over the last decade, a world full of cloud-based services began maturing into high performance, secure platforms. These platforms are capable of supporting huge numbers of users and, more importantly, a variety of applications doing an assortment of new things. Online email from a variety of providers is now commonplace. More recently, we’ve seen the emergence of cloud-based support for online storage, file sharing, and real-time collaboration. Even as the first generation of cloud computing was still evolving, though, many other uses were being envisioned, including the latest category of ‘personal cloud’ services from big name suppliers (Apple iCloud, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive) and an increasingly large list of startups.
With increased focus on applications that deliver personal, relevant capabilities, it should come as no surprise that the next wave of applications will include innovative combinations of multiple types of cloud-based services. Capabilities supported by industry-specific services, like those offered via Sabre Dev Studio, will be combined with services from our personal clouds. One example might be online, collaborative shopping with friends from our social networks. The ability to reference our own personal notes, bookmarks, etc., during trip planning is another. The list of possibilities is limited only by our imagination.
As someone who travels frequently, I personally can’t wait to begin checking out all of the cool new travel applications we’re about to see!