Importing Booking and Transaction Records from Past PMS Systems
BookingCenter enjoys making it easy to import bookings from other systems. The easiest way to do this is via a CSV (comma separated value spreadsheet that is made/edited in a program such as Microsoft's Excel or Apple's Numbers) that we make available as a ‘template’ that you can use to organize your past bookings. The resulting file we import after making sure that the ‘source’ (your CSV file) is compatible with the ‘target’ (our system setup to map your bookings properly). Download the attached 'Sample_Import_Bookings_File.csv' at the bottom of this article to see the CSV structure we use to prepare your data mapping (you will need a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft's Excel or Apple's Numbers to open this file). Note that this has a few concepts you want to consider:
- Booking ID: This reference is usually the 'identifier' from the past PMS, enabling your users to view the old and new IDs for each booking.
- 'Add-ons' text and 'Booking Comments' text are merged into the 'Booking Comments' field of MyPMS to provide a record of any 'Add-on' or 'Special Request' entries from the past system. Don't place special characters, just alphas and numerics in these 2 columns in order to assist with merging.
- Room Total Price: Because BookingCenter posts rates on a daily basis, and few systems can export booking data with detailed daily rates, we take the 'Booking Cost' and divide by the number of nights to come up with a 'rate for each day'. For example, if there is a 3-day booking and the "Room Total Price" entered into the spreadsheet is $330, we divide 3/330 making each day's rate: $110. Note, the "Room Total Price" should be inc/exlusive of taxes based on your setup: including taxes if setup in a VAT, GST tax regime; exclusive of taxes if setup that way (most N American tax regimes advertise rates excluding tax).
- Sources: If you have Source codes you use, place the Source ID in the column 'source' and we can make sure these are mapped properly in BookingCenter to keep correct sources with your bookings.
- Guest Types/Market Codes: If you have Guest Type codes you use, place the Guest Type/Market Code ID in the column 'guest type' and we can make sure these are mapped properly in BookingCenter to keep correct with your bookings.
- Room ID: You can choose a specific room assignment by providing the room ID or Room Number to the CSV. If provided, the booking will map to the specified room (ie 'room assignment' made). If not provided, the booking will be assigned to the Room Type only, debiting inventory, and will be assigned to a specific room later.
- Deposit Paid: If you took a deposit, you can add this to the csv. It will import into the booking as a BF (Brought Forward) and post as a payment to the Folio.
Another option for a few popular Property Management Systems we can import data from is to use import tools we developed as part of our setup service when converting a property from an older system to BookingCenter (GuestTracker, Request Systems, Fidelio Express, MYHMS). For individual projects, we do not do this as part of our basic setup package, as it is complex. We are often able to write a utility to import booking and folio data from past PMS systems. But to do so, we will need to examine your booking records that can be exported from your current system. Without seeing an export of the data, we cannot make a time or cost estimate, but to get an idea of the specific data that will need to be extracted from your system, see the attached document at the bottom of this KnowledgeBase article titled "Data_from_PMS_systems" - this is the level of detail we require to migrate PMS data from your system.
Alternatively, we support an API that YOUR technical resource can use to generate 'booking files' according to the common specification used by most vendors in the travel industry. Our XML Web Services API is based on the OTA Specification from http://www.opentravel.org/, with online documentation available at: http://www.opentravel.org/Specifications/default.aspx?spec=2008B. There is a 'Booking Message' (the OTA message: "OTA_HotelRes" what we call the 'New Booking' message) that can be implemented by a developer. This message is a complete Booking with Guest data, that can be sent to BookingCenter via an endpoint, one booking at a time. This method can save folio charges (such as Package Items or add-on Items), as well as payment and credit card details. Thus, implementing the OTA message "OTA_HotelRes" will give both an accurate list of future bookings, room assignments (if the property is set to 'auto assign room'), advanced deposits (ARD), and charges (ARC) to make a transition smooth. It thus creates an accurate future availability profile for your property.
We will send the spec to you or your developer after filling out the NDA (non-disclosure agreement) downloadable from here: http://www.bookingcenter.com/files/API_use_NDA.pdf , and emailing it back to your BookingCenter account representative or faxing to +1-718-228-5959.
If exporting your bookings, or having us do the project for you is too complex, then a basic approach is to simply import your guest data, as this is easy. Once Guest Data is in the system (names, address, emails, etc), manually making past and/or future bookings is quite easy (and free) and is often a great training approach for your staff.
You can read about how to export and import the Guest database into MyPMS at: https://support.bookingcenter.com/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/102
If you desire for BookingCenter to import booking data, then you will need to ask your technical resource or the developer of the PMS you were using for an exported file with detailed information of each booking. The developer of the PMS likely has a KnowledgeBase article on how to export this data. See the attached spreadsheet (sample_import_bookings_file.csv) as an example and read the article titled "Data_from_PMS_systems" - for example of the level of detail required to migrate PMS data from another system.
Your Setup and Training Rep will assist you if you have questions during the process. Or contact us at +1-707-874-3922 ext 202 and we will assist further.