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API Management for Efficient Business App Creation

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The customer's existing IT system essentially met their requirements but proved to be inefficient. Every time a new tool needed to be developed or updated, it became a large and costly project. To address these challenges, 1stQuad modernized the infrastructure by implementing API management. These APIs automate workflows, enhance system stability, and expedite the development of business applications.

Edelweiss Air AG  

Edelweiss is the Swiss leisure airline based at Zurich Airport. As a sister company of Swiss International Air Lines and a member of the Lufthansa Group, the airline serves more than 80 destinations in over 30 countries worldwide.

www.flyedelweiss.com

Costly Application Development and System Instability

 

Our long-standing customer, Edelweiss, had been utilizing an on-premises IT system. While this system essentially met the customer's needs, it proved to be inefficient. Each time a new tool needed to be developed or updated, it became a complex and expensive undertaking.

 

For instance, the development team required direct access to the database, involving a convoluted process with multiple steps, including database access, firewall configuration, and backend coding. If a tool needed data from multiple databases, these steps had to be repeated for each development. Furthermore, comprehending the database structure demanded an in-depth understanding of the application's internals. Unfortunately, these requirements often led to errors and inconsistencies across systems.

Another issue stemmed from the system's architecture, which created extensive interdependencies between applications. When one tool encountered issues, it frequently affected other systems, leading to stability concerns.

Solution: API Management

 

To address these existing challenges, the customer opted to replace their outdated system. In this transition, 1stQuad assisted in the development of a new system based on API management. These APIs document all the previously manual steps performed by developers. Consequently, the new system automate processes and facilitate the swifter development of business applications with fewer stakeholders and reduced effort for the customer.

This approach also allowed for the decoupling of the customer's various systems. It was achieved by implementing a microservice architecture, which resulted in enhanced system stability. Now, if one tool experienced issues, the others continued to function seamlessly.

 

Daily Crew Planning Tool

 

One of the business applications we developed for the customer, based on the new infrastructure, is the daily crew planning tool. This application accesses crew planning data from various systems through the central API and makes it readily available to employees. The application addresses questions such as "Who will be on my flight?," "When are my colleagues returning?," and "Do we require additional staff for flights to specific destinations?" These answers help crew members better prepare for their assignments and manage their daily routines more efficiently.

 

Use Case 1: Flight Overview

The application offers a comprehensive overview of all the airline's flights within a given time frame. While this may appear straightforward, the application takes into account real-world scenarios, including detours, medical layovers, and other unpredictable events. It adeptly handles the complexities arising from different data sources during flight planning and execution.

The app provides employees with a centralized view of:

  • Aircraft data: Flight number, aircraft type, registration number

  • Departure and arrival locations

  • Departure and arrival times

  • Crew information: Names and positions of crew members, including captains, flight attendants, and cabin crew

 

The tool provides a search function that allows users to filter flights based on various criteria. Thanks to the real-time data in the app, all updates are instantly accessible, whether it's a flight delay or a change in personnel. Furthermore, the app offers access to historical data, which holds particular significance for the operations center. This information can be exported directly as an Excel file for analysis purposes.

 

Use Case 2: Surprising Friends and Family of the Crew

Edelweiss offers a special bonus to its employees: When friends or family members are on board, they receive a pleasant surprise with a glass of champagne. Previously, this was a manual process, but it has now been automated in the new solution. With the application, the surprise is organized automatically. Employees can input the name of the person to be surprised and their companion. When the crew is on board, they receive a notification through the application.

 

Result

 

The implementation of the new system has enabled the customer to develop business applications, such as the daily planning tool, much more rapidly and efficiently. Simultaneously, it has bolstered the overall system's stability. Even if one tool encounters an issue, the others can continue to function seamlessly. This solution has greatly enhanced the customer's day-to-day operations and reduced the effort required for application development.

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