The Booking Agent creates an independent layer between ParkBase and the reservation shop. We opted for this architecture because this way ParkBase's system performance can never be influenced by the public reservation shop, which is accessible to the public, with all the associated risks thereof.
ParkBase allows you to make a number of parking spaces available for reservations for a specific time period. This is done with the reservation schedule. A reservation schedule has the following settings options:
- Start date and time
- End date and time
- Number of parking spaces
- Date and time at which the number of spaces to be sold must be allocated
- Date and time at which the allocation of spaces expires
- Smallest reservation unit in hours
- List of web shops of parking spaces
The spaces that are listed in a schedule can be sold by multiple resellers through their web shops. If several resellers are linked to a schedule, then these all have the same priority. This means that if one reseller quickly sells a lot of spaces, the other resellers may miss out. To prevent this, a separate schedule can be created for each reseller. The same rules apply if you sell parking spaces online yourself.
You can create a reservation schedule in ParkBase. A schedule can be sent to the Booking Agent. ParkBase makes parking spaces available and checks every hour whether spaces need to be allocated or released based on the set reservation schedules. The system keeps track of how many spaces are actually reserved for each schedule.
Reserved parking spaces are deducted from available capacity. To permit the manager to see what the spaces are used for, a new type of counter will be introduced per facility: the allocation counter, which indicates how many spaces are allocated to reservations.
With full monitoring of non-reservations, the number of occupied spaces is offset against the active capacity (= capacity – reserved parking spaces).
Normally, the rate schedule of the profile linked to the Booking Agent is applied for calculating the rate. However, it is also possible to apply a different rate if fewer than a configurable number of spaces have been reserved. This can be done in order to give the first 100 reservations an "early bird discount", for example.
A list of rate steps can be configured in a reservation schedule. A rate step has the following attributes:
- Number of parking spaces
- Rate schedule
- Description. A description of a special rate (e.g. "early bird discount") that the customer sees.
A person who wants to park in a specific facility can reserve and pay for a parking space through a web shop. This web shop can be a product that was developed by IP Parking or a third-party system.
ParkBase allows these web shops to book reservations for visitors. For online payments, the reservation is paid for in the web shop. The rate is calculated in the Booking Agent, however. The Booking Agent offers the external system the following services:
- Querying whether a parking space is available for reservation during a specific period, including rate calculation.
- Making a reservation during a specified period.
- Changing an existing reservation.
- Cancelling a reservation.
- Returning a list of open time slots during a specified period.
After a reservation has been made in Booking Agent, it is also recorded in ParkBase as a visitor. In ParkBase visitors are always linked to a business account. In this case, the business account is the seller of the reservation, so the owner of the external system. This also makes it possible to invoice this party for overbookings.
The visitor can identify himself with a license plate or a PIN code. The license plate is entered into the web shop; the PIN code is generated by Booking Agent. If a visitor parks outside of the reserved time, he must be charged a fee. This additional fee can be paid by the visitor in the garage.
The availability check takes place in the Booking Agent, not in ParkBase. ParkBase must therefore always translate a reservation into a visitor, regardless of the number of available spaces.