Why do we need an Open Booking API?

We know a lot of the products and services that use open opportunity data want to allow their customers to make bookings using that data. This creates a seamless user experience, providing an easy path from initial interest to final participation. It can also provide insight on the end-to-end user journey, showing for instance how many customers go on to take part in an activity after viewing it.

Some data users, like Play by Decathlon, only accept bookable data.

There are some OpenActive-enabled systems that also provide booking APIs, but the functionality and syntax of these APIs varies substantially. Many systems do not offer any APIs at all. This makes it prohibitively difficult, or even impossible, for data users to provide a seamless end-to-end customer journey from finding an activity, to booking, to taking part.

What does the Open Booking API cover?

The Open Booking API specification supports all systems to implement a single interface to allow bookings to occur.

This allows data users to include booking functionality as part of their customer experience.

The specification works with any type of activity in the OpenActive Modelling Opportunity Data 2.0 specification . In particular, it enables a “guest checkout” scenario, which means it does not require a user to go through a specific “join” or “membership” flow for each provider they book through. Instead it allows a seamless “one-click” booking experience for apps where the customer is already logged in, and allows for users to bring friends, or book multiple opportunities, all in the same booking.

We designed the specification to:

Who is it for?

The Open Booking API is for any booking system that wants to allow their customers to enable a seamless booking experience, ranging from a minimal implementation for simple booking systems to more extensive implementations for full-featured Leisure Management Systems.

It is also for any OpenActive enabled consumer-facing product or service that wants to offer booking to their customers.

Next steps

Talk to us

If you’re interested in implementing the Open Booking API, then please get in touch with the OpenActive technical team at the ODI.

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The Open Booking Specification

View the Candidate Release of the Open Booking Specification.

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