Session Recap: Support Rapid Systems Growth With a Design-First Approach
Test and Monitor | Posted November 15, 2018

Just a couple weeks ago at SmartBear Connect, Cyndi Recker from Viasat presented how she and her team have implemented SwaggerHub to help standardize their data structures to create a single source of truth. This goal is crucial to Viasat being able to provide reliable in-flight Wi-Fi at the fastest speeds. And how better to explain this concept with Legos? Read on to find out how.



Wi-Fi Today

Customers expect Wi-Fi wherever they go: restaurants, museums, stores, and more. According to WiFire, 79% of mobile consumers are influenced by the availability of in-store Wi-Fi when deciding where to shop, and 64% of consumers make a restaurant choice based on availability of Wi-Fi services. Bottom line, people are expecting Wi-Fi to be readily available wherever they go, and Wi-Fi availability is now influencing consumer decisions.

In-Flight Wi-Fi Today

The question arises, how does Wi-Fi extend to airspace? Unsurprisingly, in-flight Wi-Fi takes a more complicated turn than it would on the ground. First, signals are sent from the aircraft to a satellite, then from the satellite to the ground systems. One of the largest challenges that Viasat must figure out is latency, or the delay in data transfer, which makes achieving fast Wi-Fi even more difficult.

What complicates the situation even further is that there are a number of systems to transmit data both through and to – more systems required because aircrafts are moving through the air at high speeds. Each of these might accept a certain format of data and it is easy for these different systems of data to grow disparate from each other.

Viasat’s Approach

With a number of systems to maintain that all consume and produce different variations of similar data, Viasat aimed to standardize data formats to create a single source of truth. Here’s where the Legos come in to help tell the story: like a single piece of data, an individual Lego brick may not be able to do much on its own, but through the standard connections they provide you can build almost anything.

Viasat uses SwaggerHub to help standardize and retool their data into building blocks. With a consistent data format at the most basic level, they are able to easily build and scale their data without having to translate and write adaptors, which saves the team time and resources that would have been spent in maintenance. These building blocks are reusable throughout different projects, making it even easier to build consistent APIs.  

The airline industry is highly regulated with data privacy laws, as well as by the FAA and other aviation groups. These organizations require ample documentation, which the Viasat team also records in SwaggerHub.

SwaggerHub has helped Viasat work towards its goal of creating a single source of truth by wrangling some tough data challenges, from standardizing data formats to providing consistent documentation in a highly regulated industry. SwaggerHub acts as the platform to allow teams and large organizations to easily collaborate on and define standards and workflows as part of their API design.

In just a week on December 5th at 2PM ET, Cyndi will be sharing a condensed version of her presentation in our upcoming webinar, "SmartBear Connect Encore." Register today to get an exclusive preview of her presentation, and you'll also have a chance get your questions answered by Cyndi live.

Watch the recording of Cyndi’s session to get more details about the problems she and her team are solving with SwaggerHub.

To learn more about SwaggerHub, head here.