Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What’s New with FlightStats Flex APIs

In response to your evolving needs, we’re introducing new Web services APIs. They
are code named Flex, reflecting our commitment to flexibility and innovation in the
flight status and tracking market.

For customers on our current platform, we’ll continue to support your integrations
into the future.

Some key differences:

First, positional data plays a prominent role in our new web services API offering.
We feature new ways to query, deeper tracking, and a richer data model. The
following table compares and contrasts positional improvements made over the
FlightHistory API.

Feature FlightHistory API Flex API
Lookup Vector Airline Code & Flight Number Airline Code & Flight Number
Airport Code
Airline Fleet
Lat / Long Bounding Box
Flight Plans No Yes
Number of Positions Last 200 Positions All Positions
International Flights Limited, US Airspace ADS-B

Second, flight status information is enhanced and extended. We’ve included many
of the commonly requested features in this redesign. The table below calls out a
number of the key improvements:

Feature FlightHistory API Flex API
Times Local Times
Offset to UTC
Local Times
UTC Times
Flight Type No Yes - Allows for identification of cargo flights
Linked Flights No Yes - Published Upline and Downline Flights
Delay Computations No Yes

Third, we’ve embraced a RESTful interface to our API while continuing to offer
XML and SOAP We now support JSON and JSONP responses making it easier to
develop AJAX style applications. In addition, we’ve simplified the requests, opting to
provide more endpoints while removing seldom used parameters.

Finally, we have implemented a new development center. After an analysis of the
work required to bring our API management consoles up to level we desire, we
decided to enlist the help of an SAAS API infrastructure vendor, 3Scale. Our focus is
on integrating and disseminating high quality flight information. 3Scale strengths
are the authentication, authorization, accounting and reporting infrastructure
required to run an API business. We’re proud of the partnership, new interface
and features for our development community. We’re anxious to bring our entire
offering to their platform.

We aren’t finished just yet. The Flex web services API is in beta and available to
you to explore and integrate. Our commitment to innovation will continue over
the coming months as we bring weather, on-time performance, flight alerts, data
feeds, and syndicated content on-line. We also have a rich roadmap of upcoming
enhancements to our core flight data product including irregular operation details,
predictive estimates, chance of delay and the ability to query flight status one year
in advance of the flight. To explore Flex … visit the new FlightStats developer center.

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