TechWeb

Air-Trak Simplifies Integration of GPS Tracking Data with Enterprise Applications

Jan 27, 2005 (01:01 PM EST)

Read the Original Article at http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=59100267


Air-Trak, Inc., developer of the Cloudberry GPS tracking and communications system, is offering a Web service API to allow customers and partners to easily integrate location, routing or telemetry data with enterprise, office or third-party software at no additional cost.

Using the Air-Trak Web service, software developers and customer IT departments can incorporate Cloudberry functions into other programs. Examples include locating utility service trucks during power outages, tracking the amount of home heating oil carried by delivery vehicles, and responding to customer requests for newspaper re-delivery in real time. All of these were achieved by simple integration of the functions of Air-Trak's system with one or more business applications.

"In the evolution of mobile resource management systems, Air-Trak has moved beyond a stand-alone solution to provide customers and partners with access to the data and functions they need to support their existing business processes," said Greg White, CEO of Air-Trak. "It is not enough to run separate, side-by-side systems. Critical business information must be shared across multiple systems so that businesses can make decisions quickly and efficiently."

Air-Trak's Cloudberry API is a Web service that provides everything needed to exchange information with other applications easily over an Internet connection. The Web service uses XML to make open communications possible, regardless of the machine or operating system. Any Internet-enabled system can easily access the functions and display the desired information in a familiar format.

Electrical Systems Consultants, Inc. (ESC) Geographic Technology Group uses the Cloudberry Web service API to integrate vehicle tracking information into its ESRI's ArcMAP Geographic Information System (GIS). This automates the process of locating line and service trucks during power outages and assists in shortening the outage time through faster identification of trouble spots.

"Air-Trak's unique Web service API allowed ESC to develop an over-the-Internet interface with ESRI ArcGIS(TM) software. This brings live location data into an ESRI geodatabase, allowing both real-time views and post-year analysis," said Erik Potter, Manager Geographic Technology Department at ECS. "Air-Trak is about location information, and they do an excellent job of making it accessible."

Vertrax, an application provider for the retail petroleum industry, integrates Cloudberry location and tracking functions with its SmartTrax(TM) software so that fleets delivering heating oil and propane can track the amount of oil or gas that delivery vehicles are carrying and choose the best routing.

And a major newspaper uses Air-Trak's Web services to integrate vehicle tracking and communications into its call center application. When customers call for missed delivery, the call center operator activates the automated process of dispatching a re-delivery vehicle and confirming delivery status from within the application.