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At the Spring Summit in Austin, Paul Stusiak, Falcon Technologies President and Chair of the RESO RETS (Real Estate Transaction Standard) Workgroup, summarized the latest improvements to RETS with the release of RETS 1.9. Many of the same updates for the RESO Web API were incorporated into RETS with the latest release. RETS 1.9 brings everything up to the current standards so people using third-party libraries and the latest security devices will be able to use them successfully going forward.

Because the Web API is RESO’s big focus these days, Stusiak noted that 1.9 would add a standard way to express geospatial search, as well as a package for developers who have already implemented the Data Dictionary. He noted that developers may be able to take that work and apply it directly back to their RETS servers. This way, he said, it could help make the transition to Web API faster and a little easier. He also noted that the GetPayloadList function was removed, as it was unused.

RETS Workgroup Retires

Stusiak’s big news was that after more than 18 years, the RETS Workgroup has completed its final release with 1.9 and the Workgroup entered its sunset, as it will no longer meet since there “is no more business to transact,” he said. Members will take their talents and apply them to other RESO Workgroups. RETS has served our industry remarkably well, but when you think about it, 18 years is longer than most people keep their cars! And the Web API is such a terrific upgrade from what we’ve become accustomed to driving.

“I think everybody has come to understand that the focus for the future is on the Web API,” said Stusiak at the conference. “And if a member comes up with a critical (RETS-related) problem, the board can still decide to charter a new Workgroup to deal with that particular problem,” he explained.

RETS Reflection

Cary Sylvester, Keller Williams and RESO Officer, also at the Spring Technology Summit, reflected on the role RETS has played since it was launched in 1999 when RESO was part of the National Association of Realtors®, before we began a separate and completely independent non-profit open source standards organization.

“RETS has done amazing things,” she told the sold-out summit. The RETS framework – used across the US and Canada, as well in various markets worldwide – indeed makes our real estate industry work. It has done a herculean job facilitating the exchange of data.

Future in the API

But as Sylvester notes, a new era is upon us. “We have now gotten to the point where it is time to sunset the RETS Workgroup,” she said, and then teasing the audience, “Does that mean RETS is dead? No, RETS is not dead.”

The terrific analogy that she gave was this: “Think about it like (Adobe) Flash. It’s no longer developed, but it’s still running and a lot of people still keep running it. And that’s okay.”

So just like Adobe isn’t going to be developing on Flash, RESO is not going to be developing on RETS, we are, as Sylvester said, “going to be developing on the newer standards – on the Web API.”

“We just need to set our sights on where we need to go: RETS is not dead, because it’s not dead until you quit using it. But we are not going to extend it further; we are going to focus on the RESO Web API,” she added. The RESO Web API really is our next “big” thing for good reason: APIs make things faster, more accurate and easier for developers. In the end, this will lower investment and maintenance costs and that’s a good thing for everybody.

Only at RESO Conferences

The announcement of the final rollout of RETS at the Spring Summit is a great example of why the RESO conferences have become one of the hottest tickets among all real estate conferences. This fall, we’ll be in San Diego – “Getting Down to Business Utilizing Data Standards,” Oct. 17-19 at The Pendry Hotel. Featuring a full Business Track for Brokers, the Tech Track this time will include a brand-new RESO Data Comp (Data Competition), sponsored by RPR. More details are coming soon, but here’s a heads up: we’ve already sold out over half our hotel rooms. Register online here today to save your spot, as we are limited to 350 registrations.