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RESO Developers FAQ

ID Group Question Reply
100.1 General What is RESO? RESO (Real Estate Standards Organization) is a “not for profit” standards organization focusing on an environment for the development and implementation of real estate data standards and processes that facilitate innovation, insure portability, eliminate redundancies and obtain maximum efficiencies for all parties participating in a real estate transaction.
100.2 General What is RETS? RESO’s first standard products used the term RETS (Real Estate Transaction Standards) as a prefix to its version number (i.e. RETS version 1.5 through 1.8) All of these versions all collectively known as RETS 1x. RESO will continue to use ʺRETSʺ as a prefix for its original standard product but will not do so for future products such as Data Dictionary.

RETS is also a generic industry term representing any kind of standards used within the real estate industry.

100.3 General What is the quick version of the history of RESO? In February of 1999, the National Association of REALTORS®(NAR®) joined forces with leaders in the technology industry to make access to MLS data easier for individual realtors and other interested 3rd party organizations.

By March of 2002, RESO was officially formed under NAR and presented its first version of the well-documented Real Standard Transaction Specifications.

RESO incorporated in November 2011 as an independent, not-for-profit trade organization having functioned previously as a section of the NAR®. As of January 2015, RESO reached a membership of 125 organizations including NAR, multiple listing services, real estate associations and industry technology providers.

100.4 General Why are standards important to the real estate industry? Standards remove ambiguity and incompatibility across different computer systems within and outside organizations as well as between business partners resulting in more consistent and higher quality data among those that support those standards.

In short, standards make it easier for programmers to handle real estate information from many different entities as it forces consistency when exchanging data between different systems. Without RESO standards, programmers would spend more time dealing with many different types of systems, fixing more bugs and correcting erroneous data.

100.5 General What are the concerns that drive the formation of the standards? Creativity, efficiency, quality and cost control are the major factors that drive the formation of technology standards. RESO Standards also help level the playing field which enables smaller business entities to participate and compete with larger institutions.
100.6 General How can I help increase adoption of the standards? Joining and supporting RESO is always a good first step to help increase the adoption of real estate standards. All real estate entities should also ensure that their technology solutions utilize RESO standards when and where appropriate.
100.7 General What benefits do I get by joining RESO, How can I apply for membership? Joining RESO can bring many benefits no matter what role your organization plays in real estate. The benefits include being allowed to participate in workgroups which formulate and update the RESO standards, staying ahead of the curve and understanding what new standards and updates are being released in the future; having a vote and influencing the future of RESO and gaining direct access to other influential real estate partners participating in RESO forums, workgroups and conferences. Lastly, having your organization contribute resources for the betterment and improvement of real estate standards within North America is something your organization can communicate to its associates and customers in helping the real estate industry.

Any organization can join RESO by completing the form on this web page: https://www.reso.org/join-reso.

200.1 RESO Governance Who is behind RESO and how is RESO organized? At the top level, RESO is governed by its Board of Directors, all of which are members themselves. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and is in charge of the RESO operational component. The majority of work in creating new services, new standards and updating exiting standards are accomplished through workgroups and committees.
200.2 RESO Governance How is the leadership chosen? The RESO Board of Directors is elected based on the RESO Bylaws. The RESO Bylaws can be viewed here: http://goo.gl/aC44Ba
200.3 RESO Governance What are the workgroups / committees? Workgroups are responsible for updating and creating new standards as the need or desire arises. Workgroups are comprised of RESO members who contribute their time on a volunteer basis. Workgroups are formed by the Board of Directors, Executive Director or by suggestions from other RESO members. Workgroups report to a Technology Committee on a monthly basis summarizing all workgroup activities to the Board of Directors.

Committees are a special form of a workgroup created by the Board of Directors to perform special or specific tasks. Committees report directly to the Board of Directors.

300.1 RESO Technology What current standards does RESO publish? RESO currently publishes standard documents for the RETS 1x protocols, Web API (a RESTful access protocol), Data Dictionary and Syndication. Details for all of these standards can be found under the ʺResourceʺ menu in reso.org.
300.2 RESO Technology Does RETS 1x products have a formal schema? Any of the RETS 1x products (versions 1.5 – 1.8) are not related to a specific schema. Each RETS 1x server instance (e.g. MLS) can generate a number of RESO schemas based on its own needs via a Get Payload command.
300.3 RESO Technology What is metadata? Metadata is data about data. It is descriptive information about a particular data set including how it is formatted, and when and by whom it was collected.
300.4 RESO Technology What is JSON? JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a lightweight data-interchange format. It is easy for humans to read and write. It is easy for machines to parse and generate. It is based on a subset of the JavaScript Programming Language.
300.5 RESO Technology How is security handled for the RETS 1x standards? RETS 1x security is handled at three levels: user, client, and data. User authentication, though not strictly mandatory in the specification, is handled through a login transaction which establishes a RETS 1x session for subsequent data interchange. Client application program authentication is also specified and is based on various industry standards. Data security, though not strictly part of the RETS 1x standard, is recommended through the use of appropriate transport protocols to ensure data content encryption & authentication (i.e. HTTPS/SSL).
300.6 RESO Technology What are the first steps I need to take to start working with RESO standards? The first step in working with RESO is to download and review the specifications found under the Resource menu in reso.org.
500.1 Data Dictionary What is the Data Dictionary? The Data Dictionary serves as a guideline for a North American standard for the fields and look-ups in Multiple Listing Service (MLS) databases. An MLS does not need to support every field or look-up in the Data Dictionary, but if it does have a given field in the Data Dictionary it should to support that data item as defined in the Data Dictionary.
500.2 Data Dictionary How can I use the Data Dictionary? Any of the RETS 1x standards along with the Web API and other RESTful protocols can support the Data Dictionary. Review details in reso.org
500.3 Data Dictionary How does a Data Dictionary get implemented for general consumption? The MLS and its vendor or technology partner must convert their local metadata to be Data Dictionary compliant. Once the data dictionary is implemented within a MLS it will be available for general public consumption.
600.1 Web API What is the Web API (Transport) workgroup about? The RESO Transport (aka Web API) workgroup has been tasked with recommending a new industry-wide standard for near real-time access to real estate data. The goal of this new standard is to provide a more open approach to data access using widely-adopted technology standards in use outside the real estate industry. Specifically, the approach focuses on the use of the REST (Representational State Transfer) architectural style that has been adopted by tens of thousands of developers worldwide. Details can be found under the ʺResourceʺ menu in reso.org.
600.2 Web API What is OData? The Open Data Protocol (OData) is an application-level protocol for interacting with data via RESTful web services. The protocol supports the description of data models and the editing and querying of data according to those models.
 700.1  Certification  What is RESO’s certification program?  RESO Certification programs will test programs and platforms for conformance to RESO Standards. As of January 1, 2015, RESO will only test RETS 1.7.2/1.8 Clients and Servers. Details can be found in https://www.reso.org/certification

Email all questions and comments to: info@reso.org

DLU August 12th, 2017