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Automating Supplier Confirmation Messages for iCom Bookings

Document Version: 3
Last Updated: 24/01/2019
Original Author: Paul Jackson

This white paper will help you to …

  • Setup your system so iCom can send supplier confirmation messages without manual intervention
  • Understand what is required before activating this new utility
  • Understand what iCom physically does when attempting to send a supplier message

Overview

  • Previously any booking made via iCom required manual intervention in order to send a supplier message to confirm the booking.
  • From 2.07 you can setup your system to send these supplier confirmation messages automatically for New iCom bookings.
  • The supplier messages can be sent via email or fax (if using Microsoft Fax).
  • There are 2 methods for sending a supplier message:
    1. iCom sends a supplier message immediately when a New Service is Added to an iCom booking.
    2. A supplier message is only sent when a GetSendSupplierMessage XML Request is submitted to hostConnect.
  • This document only deals with the first method and only if automessaging is NOT enabled for iCom.

Basic Setup

  • For a basic setup the following internet INI settings are needed
    • ICOM_MAIL_SERVER (if not already setup)
    • ICOM_MAIL_FROM (the "from" address for emails generated; should be a reservations address that is routinely checked in case someone replies to this email address)
    • If sending by fax Microsoft Fax services needs to be installed on the server running the Tourplan web services or be available on another server (by using the key <add key="FaxServer" value="server" /> in the webservice tourplan.config file); Please ask your Tourplan support office to add this key.
      • It is necessary for wordpad to be the default application for RTF files (and not MS Word) on the server running the web services.
      • To find find out what the default application for RTF files is on the server running the web services use following command: assoc .rtf
      • This will report the default application for RTF files. If it is not rtffile then it can be changed usind the command:assoc .rtf=rtffile
      • Note that this changes the default application for RTF for all users on the server (each can change their default RTF application if the want, say, MS Word to be the default).
      • Note if the fax server is not the server where the webservices are installed then the account that the virtualdirectory runs under MUST have sufficient rights to the run MS fax on the fax server.

Setup to have iCom Send a Supplier Message Immediately

  • For Supplier messages to be sent automatically when NEW services are ADDED to an iCom booking. Supplier messages are not sent automatically when services are cancelled via iCom (webConnect or hostConnect)
  • Set ICOM_SEND_MESSAGE to A
  • Set ICOM_SEND_METHOD to E or F to specify the preferred way of sending a message. By using E iCom will first try and find a valid Email address, if there is no Email address then iCom will try and send the message via MS Fax.
  • Set ICOM_CONTACT_TYPE to the code of the Contact type to send the message to.
    • If more then one contact is found for the contact type iCom will choose the first contact in alphabetical order based on contact name.
    • This might require some planning before activating iCom Supplier Messaging as you might currently have multiple contacts for one contact type.
  • Set ICOM_MESSAGE_STATUS to a rule so iCom knows when to send which type of supplier message for iCom added services.
    • This requires an understanding of which service statuses iCom uses when Adding a Service to a booking.
    • The service statuses iCom uses when a service is added can be found in following System INI settings for the iCom user ID:
      • SERVICE_FS_STATUS
      • SERVICE_OK_STATUS
      • SERVCIE_RQ_STATUS
      • SERVICE_XX_STATUS
    • Assume we have following INI settings:

    • And following message codes:
      • SUFR = supplier confirmation for freesale
      • SUAL = supplier confirmation for allocation
      • SURQ = supplier request
      • SUXR = supplier cancellation request
    • When iCom sends a supplier message iCom will update the service status to a status which identifies the message has been sent. Assume we have following service statuses for this purpose:
      • If message SUFR is sent status becomes FS
      • If message SUAL is sent status become s AS
      • If message SURQ is sent status becomes RS
      • If message SUXR is sent status becomes XS
    • With the above settings we would have following value for ICOM_MESSAGE_STATUS = FR:SUFR:FS,AL:SUAL:AS,RQ:SURQ:RS
    • And for cancel service we would have the following value for ICOM_CANCEL_MESSAGE_STATUS = IX:SUXR:XS

  • With this setup, whenever a new service line is added (by webConnect or hostConnect) a message will be sent to the supplier, and the service status updated on success, so long as:
    1. The service line has been added to a booking (and not a quote).
    2. A valid email or fax address (of contact type ICOM_CONTACT_TYPE) exists for the supplier.
    3. A message code / new status pair can be located for the Tourplan status the service line gets added with (either from automessaging defaults, or ICOM_MESSAGE_STATUS).
    4. For a package, a message is sent only if messaging for the package header is allowed (when linking package option to the PCM), and a message is sent only for the package header service line.
    5. A message is not sent in the case of a service line split due to special rates.
  • If a message is generated, then a record of the message is added to the message history (only if message history is stored for the message layout). If the message is successfully sent, and the service status updated, then the message history entry is updated with details of who the message was sent to, how it was sent (email or fax) and when it was sent.
  • The AddService requests completes successfully, no matter whether there was an attempt to send a message or not, and no matter whether the attempt was successful or not.