The different connection types
When you connect with a new channel, you will always need a 2-way sync connection.
- The first way is to upload your room available to the channel to block the days that are already booked or not available.
- The second way is to import the reservations from the channel that can be used to inform other channels to block the days that are already booked.
For all channels, the availability data always needs to be synced in 2 ways to make the channel management software work. Besides the available dates, some channels are able to sync more information like your day rates, your length of stay, reservation fees, guest messages or new listing content for example.
For all these additional functions, it fully depends on the channel and type of integration on what it allows to sync. Find out more about the channels Hostaway connect to.
Depending on the type of connection, the sync can actively inform the channel about new updates or the channel will import the new information based on its own automated import. This often depends on the use of API, XML or iCal connection per channel.
API, XML & iCal what does it mean?
API connected channels
When you are connected by API, this means that the software is able to tell the other channel a new update or setting needs to be changed. This is often the fastest connection, allowing you, in addition to availability, to update rates and different types of content. (Note: This would depend on if it is supported by the channel and depending on your channel contract)
XML connected channels
When you are connected by XML, this means that the Hostaway software will prepare documents every day with new information about your availability rates and content. The channel will then, depending on its time setting, import this information one or more times per day to update the internal systems. In this way, you are able to share more details between the channel management software and the channel but it will not update the channel instantly. The type of content to update will depend on the channel and/or its integration.
iCal connected channels
When you are connected by iCal, it will allow you to import the reservations and export the blocked date to the channels. The information provided by iCal is usually limited to guest names, and the dates the reservation starts and ends (Not calendar rates). The Hostaway software will import the reservations every 10-45 minutes. Your channel needs to import the reservations based on their own importing times. We recommend reviewing the channels' own documentation for more information about these timings.
Standard API, XML vs Content API, XML
With the standard API or XML connections, you are often able to sync additional information like room rates, LOS, guest messages and other parts of information. Typically these standard connections will not allow you to update what we call listing content. Listing content can be images, descriptions or payment settings. To gain access to these functions most channels like Booking.com, Vrbo, TripAdvisor and others require you to sign dedicated content export contracts with them.
For all channels count that when you wish to create new listings by the Hostaway software you need to have these dedicated content contracts with the channel. Your channel can inform you if those contracts are available in your country or can be offered to you and what changes it causes in your channel's account.
When you work with API connections it is needed you do the research to learn and understand what settings and updates your channels support for your personal accounts.
You can read more about syncing time.