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CHAPTER 6 Architecture, Strategies, Technologies, and Contracts To determine an appropriate integration strategy, including what technologies to employ, airport management needs to have a basic understanding of current system architecture. This chapter provides discussions of the following: Systems Architecture, including discussions about open architecture, protocols, and legacy systems; Integration Strategies and Technologies, including discussions and an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of various strategies; and Software Contracts, including descriptions of several standard types of contracts in the context of an airport enterprise, along with some provisions the contracts typically contain. Systems Architecture Open Architecture Systems When a system is said to have an open architecture, it means that the system can be added onto or integrated easily because the inner workings (architecture) of the system are transparent to everyone. System developers can accomplish system transparency in many ways, including the following: Conform to standards that are approved by various trade organizations, such as the Interna- tional Organization for Standards (ISO) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI); Create an Application Programming Interface (API) and publish a reference guide that describes how to interact with the system; Use relational databases to store system data along with documentation of the database schema (how the data are organized into tables and columns); and Rely on a built-in standard scripting language to customize and enhance the system. A closed architecture system, on the other hand, is one that does not allow for easy modifica- tion or integration, because the inner workings of the system are not transparent. Many times though, closed architecture systems make sense for an airport, such as when the software vendor allows for data to be extracted and easily integrated into other systems. Typically, closed archi- tecture systems have some or all of the following characteristics: Data storage in a proprietary format that is not documented and cannot be accessed by other software, Little to no mention of or conformance to standards, No published APIs, No scripting capability, and Proprietary scripting language used to customize and enhance the system. 70