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simFDR VIRTUAL AIRLINE API DOCUMENTATION
Integrating your virtual airline with simFDR is easy, but it requires a little bit of programming. At a minimum, you need to be able to read and write from a database and express that data as either JSON or XML. You will also need to be able to authenticate web services calls, since simFDR will be submitting data to your virtual airline on behalf of your members - you will want to ensure that this isn't open to the world!
To integrate a virtual airline with simFDR involves creating four RESTful web services. Three of them allow simFDR to fetch information about your virtual airline - the aircraft you use, the airports you serve and a secure, encrypted list of user IDs and e-mail addresses. This will allow simFDR members to automatically link their profiles with your virtual airline and start logging flights.
The first step to integration your virtual airline with simFDR is registering with us. You can do this from the
simFDR Control Panel
. We'll need your airline name, web site URL, a banner image and a short description. Once this is complete, you'll be asked to confirm your ownership or technical responsibility for the virtual airline by placing a small file on your web site that we can fetch.
Once you've validated your ownership, you can edit your virtual airline profile to provide the URLs for the four web services simFDR needs. When simFDR calls these services, it will authenticate using HTTP BASIC authentication, using the account name
and a random password. Your virtual airline profile will display the password.
Both the user ID and password are case-sensitive!
In your virtual airline profile, you will also specify whether you prefer to receive data in JSON or XML format. Both are structured, easily parsable and verifiable data formats that support data encoding and multiple character sets. Once you've decided what data format to use, let's walk through the API calls your virtual airline will need to implement.
simFDR supports a full range of current and historic aircraft, not just airliners. Your virtual airline's fleet is probably a lot smaller. This web service call lets you tell simFDR what aircraft are supported by your virtual airline - when a simFDR user selects your virtual airline in the simFDR client the list of available aircraft will be limited to the choices you specify. While simFDR uses ICAO codes for aircraft and airports, this web service call will also accept IATA equipment codes as well.
simFDR has data for over 175,000 runways at 25,000 airports around the world. Many are little more than dirt or grass airstrips. Your virtual airline operates from a small subset of these airfields, and this web service allows you to tell simFDR what airports should be available when a simFDR user operates a flight for your virtual airline. If your schedule changes from day to day, simFDR can handle that - we poll this endpoint several times a day.
USER IDS AND E-MAIL ADDRESSES
Once your members have created a simFDR account and downloaded the flight data recorder client, logging flights with your virtual airline should be a quick and frictionless experience. simFDR can download a list of user IDs and hashed e-mail addresses from your virtual airline, allowing simFDR members to associate themselves with your virtual airline and immediatel start logging flights.
simFDR is conscious of your members' privacy - we never want to download unencrypted e-mail addresses. Your members' e-mail addresses should be hashed using a well-known algorithm such as MD5 or SHA-1. When a simFDR user wishes to link their profile with your virtual airline, they provide their pilot ID and e-mail address and we compare the IDs and the hashed e-mail addresses.
In the example below, all the user e-mail addresses are hashed using the MD5 algorithm. The e-mail addresses are userX@mydomain.com.
If they don't match, the user gets placed into a queue where virtual airline administrators can manually approve or deny the request.
()We're looking at making this web services call optional.)
FLIGHT DATA SUBMISSION
Once a flight has been submitted to simFDR for your virtual airline, it's automatically placed in the pilot's simFDR log book and queued for submission to you. Every few minutes, the simFDR servers will attempt to POST the flight data to you, including all of the aircraft parameters, the filed route as well as takeoff and landing runway data including takeoff roll length and distance from threshold on landing.
If your servers are down or are experiencing temporary technical difficulties, don't worry - simFDR will automatically attempt to retry for a while. We're passionate about data integrity and ensuring that information isn't lost in transit.
simFDR will authenticate itself using the same credentials as for all other web services calls, and will place the pilot's User ID
at your airline
in a special HTTP request header called
simFDR can submit flights for all of your pilots through the same URL - it's this header field that determines who the flight is being filed for!
The entire POST body is the XML or JSON payload.
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