In a simplified and uncached form a search goes something like this:
- The user starts a search on the Openjet site
- The Openjet application tells the TripTrap meta-engine the details of the search
- TripTrap translates the request for each supplier and sends it to them in their format
- The suppliers return data to TripTrap which translates it to a unified format
- The Openjet site fetches the unified data and does its magic
Of course you could always have a contact person to talk to in case you run into problems when developing the supplier connection. This brings me to the second important area, which is to have a technical contact address that is not tied to a specific person. It should also be an address that is not liable to change if the structure of the company changes. There have been too many times in the past when I tried to get hold of a technical contact for a supplier which stopped working, only to find that no-one replied on that address or the mail ended up in marketing and got passed around for two weeks before I got a first reply.
There are of course other pieces of information that are important to have for us and for the supplier we use, but these two areas are the ones that have touched my work the most in the past and I feel that they are key to an efficient development process and bug-handling.