Key Seaware Concepts
Seaware uses several concepts to automate and facilitate many processes that normally require manual entry or user intervention. The concepts at the core of the system are the following:
Seaware’s concept of ship inventory is based on day/time, rather than voyage inventory. The system views the vessel as a hotel, making all cabins available for each day/time in the sailing calendar. This system enables users to create an unlimited number of voyages with common sailing days without the need to allocate specific cabins for each voyage. When Seaware receives a request for inventory, it searches the days/time associated with the voyage to determine if the request can be satisfied, thus making the best use of available inventory.
Probability in Inventory Management
Accommodate large parties with different itineraries in one booking. Proper inventory management often requires cruise/ferry lines to “oversell” their inventory to compensate for expected cancellations. Seaware calculates this by using several milestones or criteria in each booking to determine the probability of the booking maturing to revenue. The criteria used can be as simple or complex as required.The following may be an example of how probability is calculated:
- Booking A – Individual booking, 300 days prior to sailing, no deposit, no passenger names; has a 10% probability to materialize.
- Booking B –Individual booking, within cancellation penalty period, fully paid, with passenger names; has a 95% probability to materialize.
Seaware evaluates each booking to determine how much to decrement available selling inventory based on the aggregate probability in each category. For example, if a vessel has 100 cabins and 100 cabins have been sold with an aggregate probability of 50%, there would still be 50 cabins available to sell. Naturally, if 100 cabin numbers were assigned to the bookings, Seaware would sell the remaining 50 cabins as guarantees. Versonix obtained a patent for this technology (Patent number 7,487,103 issued on February 3, 2009.)
Business Rules in Seaware is a mechanism that provides users with flexibility to establish rules for calculating pricing, taxes, cancellation penalty, payment schedule, commission, insurance, etc. Instead of having static tables with a limited number of parameters, users can create hierarchical structures representing business policies and rules. Business policy changes can be implemented without changes to the source code by appropriate business departments.
Summary of Rule System Benefits:
- Flexibility (practically unlimited capability in using any system variables and derived values in defining business rules.)
- Intuitive User Presentation (ability to view business policy in a tree-like structure vs. table.)
- Built in Date Effectiveness (Automatic date effectiveness of the rule, ability to define business policy retroactively, ability to view business policy as of certain date.)
- Efficiency (make changes only to the portion of the policy that changed.)
- 1st Tier – Oracle Database.
- 2nd Tier – Ship Inventory, Car Deck, Dining, Conference Room/Facility, Hotel Inventory, Air Inventory/Limits, Selling Limits and Broker.
- 3rd Tier – Business Logic that deals with all aspects of creating and updating reservations.
- 4th Tier – Interface that includes but is not limited to Custom GUI, WEB client, GDS interface, Wholesalers and other distribution channels.
Registration and Notification
Seaware Broker serves as a central point for registration and notification events. Whenever an inventory component starts, it registers with Broker by identifying itself as a unit, which holds specific type of inventory (example: ship, hotel, etc.) Seaware Bizlogic components also register with Broker when they start and when any Seaware component updates non inventory data that is being cached, it notifies Broker, which in turn notifies all other registered components.
Inventory tier is comprised of Ship Inventory, Car Deck, Dining, Conference Room/Facility, Hotel Inventory, Air Inventory/Limits and Selling Limits. When an inventory component starts, it begins caching inventory it is responsible for. Since inventories are cached, availability requests are processed by inventory components without accessing database, which significantly improves response time.
Business Logic Component
Bizlogic component deals with all aspects of creating and updating reservations. An important part of the Bizlogic component is the Seaware business rules engine component because all business policies related to money and inventories are controlled by this engine. To guarantee fast response time, Seaware business rules engine is cached.
Learn about Seaware’s Business Intelligence Capabilities.
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