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BA makes Progress part of its future

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British Airways (BA) has chosen a new service-oriented architecture (SOA) infrastructure to upgrade its IT systems. The airline will use a portfolio of SOA solutions from Progress Software in an initiative to integrate more than 600 electronic systems and processes involved in getting passengers up in the air flying.

Gordon Penfold, CTO of British Airways, says, “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.”

Penfold continues, “The airport environment is complex and the systems are mission-critical. Moving this to a highly automated environment is a challenge, but SOA 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, real-time data synchronization means information quality is improved and costs are saved, thanks to reduction in data replication.”

The initiative to integrate the airline’s many systems and processes will extend through 2014. BA will use Progress Sonic ESB, Progress Actional SOA Management and Progress DataXtend Semantic Integrator. The improvements will mean that the airline can extend customer information, for example, into fully Web-enabled passenger manifests, according to a recent press release from Progress Software.

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