British Airways (BA) is to use Progress Software's portfolio of services-oriented architecture (SOA) solutions as a key part of its travel programme to upgrade its IT systems. This will extend to the end of 2014, and will revolutionise travel by integrating over 600 different electronic systems and processes involved in getting BA passengers in the air.

“With 300 locations around the globe, 25 000 users and more than 250 key applications, BA's goal is to transform the travel experience.  The flexibility of the Progress SOA portfolio allows BA to extend the features of its e-commerce site right through to its airports, by allowing greater self-service functionality and 'plug-and-play' capability," says BA CTO Gordon Penfold.
The result, according to Penfold, is to drive an agile business where rollout is easier, and cost and time are reduced. “The airport environment is complex and the systems are mission-critical,” he adds. “Moving this to a highly automated environment is a challenge, but SOA has quickly proved itself to be the right approach to achieving our goal of a fully agile environment.
“The new SOA infrastructure is far more flexible and we are looking to roll out new services more quickly. At the same time, realtime data synchronisation means information quality is improved and costs are saved thanks to reduction in data replication.”
BA will initially use Progress Sonic ESB, Progress Actional SOA Management and Progress DataXtend Semantic Integrator (SI) from Progress’s portfolio of SOA applications.
Rick Reidy, president and CEO at Progress Software, comments: “With Progress, BA is taking its airline’s IT infrastructure and moving the goalposts. This is a critical time for the industry, and BA’s investment will give it a competitive advantage while other carriers are cutting back.”
Looking ahead, a more flexible and integrated IT infrastructure means BA is well positioned to extend ba.com customer information, for example, into fully Web-enabled passenger manifests.
“Modern air travel is dependent on more intelligent use of technology, and BA’s customers will be the first to benefit,” Reidy adds.