Kafka - The driving force
Throughout the history of travel technologies dedicated to the cruise segment, developers always tried to provide a better service to both guests and crew. As technologies got perfected and more advanced, it was a matter of time until the Kafka platform was to make an appearance and become an important player when it comes to any system’s design blueprint.
Otalio is pioneering an architecture that brings into play the Kafka mechanism at its best. Several of the company’s products benefit from being able to consume real-time messages from the Kafka broker, allowing the crew to always remain on top of their onboard operation. How would that translate into a real-life example onboard? Well, if we are to refer again to our world-famous Mr. Smith, let’s say he’ll drop by at Reception notifying the agent that he is celebrating his anniversary tonight and perhaps something special should be considered during dinner time. As the receptionist is adding a note in SPMS module, the Restaurant Manager receives an alert about the change made under ‘Mr. Smith, party of 2’ reservation, so he’ll make sure that a tasty anniversary cake gets delivered at the end of dinner creating that special moment for your guests. In the background, that was only made possible by having the Dining Management module being a subscriber to the topic related to ‘Special Events’, which further allowed this module receiving new messages produced by other Otalio applications.
Another unique attribute of this mechanism is the fact that Kafka does not keep track of what records are read by its consumers and deletes them, but rather stores them for a set amount of time, allowing consumers themselves (in our case the Dining application) to ask Kafka for new messages and say what records they want to read.
Let’s not overlook the fact that Kafka provides an integrated Streaming API library. Amongst solving many of your System Manager challenges we can name few such as: no-downtime rolling deployments, event-at-a-time processing with milliseconds latency and fault-tolerance with fast failover.
Such distinctive features in Otalio’s architecture makes the difference between ‘operation’ and ‘smart operation’. In other words, the applications become ‘smart’ when they can organise themselves almost automatically and with minimal human intervention. Your crew focus should remain on the guest experience and not executing the commands which the onboard system can perform instead.
The digitalisation of cruise industry brings exciting challenges in all onboard areas, as well as company headquarters. Otalio’s forward thinking puts Kafka as one of the centre pieces of its design, decoupling the communication between different microservices, allowing your fleet to benefit from this event-driven architecture.