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2020 RESO Certification Updates

2020 Certification Update: Highlighted Changes

This guide is an overview of changes to RESO certification in 2020. Links to specifications for Data Dictionary, Payloads, and Web API are included for further information.

Data Dictionary Certification 

The Data Dictionary 1.7 spreadsheet is the primary reference guide to standard resources, fields, and enumerations. All documentation and testing tools follow this guide. RESO’s Data Dictionary Testing Specification provides comprehensive details on certification testing’s long term path.

Data Dictionary 1.7: Beginning testing/certification and NAR timelines

In the summer of 2019, RESO’s board of directors voted to add requirements before ratification of a standard for which RESO would certify applicants. Prior to board ratification and certification, RESO must have:

  1. A standard specification in draft status
  2. At least two implementations of the draft specification
  3. Adoption of the standard specification by the workgroup and testing tool creation
  4. Production-ready testing tools

RESO has now achieved these requirements and the board will subsequently ratify the Data Dictionary 1.7 standard to begin certification. For REALTOR owned and operated MLSs, NAR policy requires compliance with this new standard within 12 months of RESO’s ratification.

New testing procedures for Data Dictionary 1.7

After a full review of testing processes encoded into RESO’s previous testing tools, the new testing tools have removed tests which were inconsistent with the specification and added some additional necessary tests. The new certification process and results will conform more consistently with the standard specification.

Closed vs Open Enumerations Rules Examples

Closed Enumeration LookupField: StandardStatus

A closed enumeration must include at least one standard LookupValue. The only LookupValues that are allowed in this closed enumeration are Data Dictionary standard enumerations for this field: Active, ActiveUnderContract, Canceled, Closed, ComingSoon, Delete, Expired, Hold, Incomplete, Pending and Withdrawn. (For additional local statuses RESO has an MlsStatus open enumeration.)

Open Enumeration LookupField: ExteriorFeatures

Standard LookupValues are defined and additional non-standard unique values can be added: DogRun, FirePit, RainGutters, etc. are standardized in theData Dictionary while an applicant’s system can also have local custom LookupValues.

Note the OData compliant LookupValue names such as ActiveUnderContract with no spaces or special characters. In contrast, the user-friendly LookupDisplayName, Active Under Contract, has more flexibility.

  • The DD 1.7 spec refers to LookupDisplayName as a MAY. These are suggestions and are not required by the spec to be tested or standardized. Though they were tested in the past, they will not be tested at this time. Flexibility in lookup value display names allows for variation where legal, local, or language-based needs make it advisable to display a different term.
  • The spec refers to LookupValue as a MUST. This requirement was not enforced by the prior certification tools or processes. It will be enforced going forward.
  • The Data Dictionary Workgroup approved the addition of an OData compliant LookupValues column in the DD 1.7 spreadsheet. Consistent lookup values are necessary to adhere to the specification and create interoperability.
  • Example: the StandardStatus enumeration has ActiveUnderContract (MUST) as a LookupValue and “Active Under Contract” (MAY) as a LookupDisplayName suggestion.
  • Certification applicants’ systems will be scored for a report showing how many standard resources, fields, and enumerations exist. 
  • Most enumerations are open, i.e. the lookups can have as many non-standard values as needed if they are truly unique from standard values. Yet these non-standard items will not be counted toward the standard items totals for certification score reporting. 

IDX Payload Endorsement Requirement for MLSs with Data Dictionary 1.7

RESO’s new model for certifications is a core certification plus endorsements. For the Data Dictionary, this means a Data Dictionary 1.7 certification and potential endorsements for data payloads. For MLSs, an IDX endorsement is required to receive a full certification.

  • The IDX Payload Endorsement for MLSs will identify which RESO standard fields, identified in the Payloads column for each resource sheet in RESO’s Data Dictionary spreadsheet, exist on an MLS’s server. The MLS’s certification report will show how many IDX fields exist in the metadata and how many of the fields have data in them. 
  • By certifying with RESO and signing RESO’s certification declaration, MLSs agree that these fields are available to approved participants and will be delivered as part of an approved IDX data set in production for participants.

RESO will expand its endorsements to include the Broker Back Office Payload and other payloads to grow certification capabilities of MLS and non-MLS organizations. The Payloads Specification document describes the long-term path for payloads certification in detail.

Web API Certification

In 2020, RESO transitioned from multi-level grades of Web API certifications (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum) to a single Web API certification: Web API 1.0.2 Core. Web API certifications will include endorsements as well. Web API listing update, advanced query capabilities, and other expansions of Web API functions that supplement the Web API 1.0.2 Core specification will be developed by RESO’s workgroups and added to the certification specification upon ratification by the RESO board of directors.

Who Certifies When?

RESO certifies one Web API server per server vendor for Web API certifications. Each MLS customer must complete an individual Data Dictionary certification. If the MLS’s vendor already has a Web API certification, upon completion of the MLS’s Data Dictionary certification, both certifications will be issued to the MLS simultaneously. 

MLSs must work with their vendor to achieve compliance prior to submitting applications to RESO for certification. The vendors have RESO’s testing tools. Each applicant declares that their systems will retain these certified server capabilities in production and can be retested in the future to ensure compliance. The unique data sets on each MLS system will be tested and reported upon for certification. Certification recipients declare that these certified, standardized data sets are available in production for participants.

In the future, non-RESO Web API certification endorsements will be developed in order to allow more non-MLS organizations to receive certification benefits for adhering to the Data Dictionary. 

DLU November 19th, 2020