Workgroup Meetings at the Conference
A Quick Primer on the RESO Workgroup Meetings
All of the RESO Workgroup meetings at RESO Conferences are open to all attendees – you do not need to be a member of the Workgroup to attend. You also do not need to register in advance: just come inside and grab a seat!
If you are new to RESO and are not yet a member of a Workgroup, or if you are thinking of joining RESO, attending a Workgroup meeting that matches your interests is an excellent way to get immersed in RESO and contribute to it’s mission.
About the Workgroups
Here’s a quick overview to bring you up to speed on the five Workgroups scheduled to meet in Austin, their overall purpose, what they have been working on, and what they will be focused on in these meetings to help you determine which one(s) you want to attend.
Internet Tracking Workgroup
Internet tracking events have become an essential part of the modern software business model. A RESO standard on tracking event fields would streamline the tracking information process and benefit the following stakeholders within the RESO community, including Brokerage Firms, MLS Organizations, Realtor® Associations, MLS Technology Partners, Software Developers, Consumers, Media Outlets and Government Agencies. Chris Lambrou is the Workgroup chair, and they meet by conference call on the 3rd Wednesday each month at 3:00 pm Eastern Time. To join, email email@example.com.
What they’ve been working on: Internet Tracking has agreed to pursue the field definitions and API based transportation methods of tracking information including the events, actors, objects, targets and timeframe details. The Workgroup has developed the first round of fields to contain standardized tracking information and has agreed to pursue new Object and Event types (an example from their last meeting was the concept of adding Open House tracking to the tracking field specifications). They recently discussed also adding the concept of Saved Search activity for tracking specifications. The Workgroup had decided that there is a real need for an Internet Tracking API standard for transporting tracking data and that this would benefit the RESO brokerage, MLS, and technology company communities. A Case Study: Twitter Search API was reviewed by the Workgroup. There is also an open request for White Papers to promote Internet Tracking and future possibilities.
What they’ll be talking about in Austin: Internet Tracking will bring you up to speed on internet tracking standards today, including tracking examples, what the challenges are for 2017, what RESO is facing in terms of implementation, and the creation of a Tracking API, including a Use Case to understand what is proposed. This session also includes a Brainstorming session on the possible uses of a RESO Internet Tracking API. There also will be a session calling for internet tracking based “White Papers” to inform the RESO Community (and beyond) the benefits and opportunities with RESO standardized tracking data.
Real Estate Data is typically delivered as a package comprised of a set of data fields for a specific business need. The RESO Data Dictionary technically defines all the fields (and their specific characteristics) available to be included in a payload. The purpose of the Payloads Workgroup is to define Payload Categories based upon Real Estate Industry business needs and which fields are to be included in each Payload Category as specified within the RESO Data Dictionary. Rick Trevino is the Workgroup chair. To join, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What they’ve been working on: Payloads has been focused on creating a standardized Internet Data Exchange (IDX) Payload which would contain a fixed set of fields an MLS would deliver to the brokerage community and their relative technology companies for the purposes of IDX and the specific rules around each data field that is required to be contained in the fixed standardized IDX Payload. Once implemented, brokerages would be able to go from MLS to MLS and have access to the same set of data fields across multiple markets for IDX.
What they’ll be talking about in Austin: Payloads will open by asking the question, “If you’re an MLS, are you aware of IDX endorsement requirements for Data Dictionary certification?” There will also be a review of what has transpired since the last RESO conference, the status of the IDX Payload, work that is being done on the evaluation and identifying fields to be included or not included in the IDX Payload as well as a look at what other payloads are needed industry wide next, and “Where do we go from here?”
Research & Development Workgroup (R&D)
If Workgroups are the heart of RESO, then it can be argued that the Research & Development Workgroup is the lifeblood of RESO, causing a stream of new ideas and efforts that feed the RESO funnel for future standards. R&D is a collaborative effort that taps the talents of members who work together to represent the interests of all facets of our industry: Agents, Brokers, Consumers, MLS firms and technology partners. The R&D Workgroup is tasked with being the conduit for determining which Business Cases justify the involvement of RESO and the underlying creation of standards. The R&D Workgroup sits at the top of the funnel of future RESO efforts, as it serves as the entry point for information intake and task decision-making. Greg Moore is the Workgroup chair, which meets via a conference call on the 1st Thursday of each month at 2:00 pm Eastern Time. To join, email email@example.com.
What they’ve been working on: R&D has invested a considerable amount of time providing input to the Council of MLS on MLS Data Distribution Best Practices for both Data Providers and Data Consumers. R&D has also started to look at the business case needs of defining data dictionary standards for data fields brokers use on a regular basis that might not be contained within the MLS today but are key to the productivity of transaction listings, the standardization of data Brokers and Brokerages are required to provide to MLSs to stay within compliance of MLS data licensing requirements, standardization of transactional data fields used in electronic transaction rooms and initiatives in reviewing the ability of creating an Event Catalog Standard for recording listing event history within an Event Log that could be portable product to product and MLS to MLS, empowering the exchange of transactional history information. Open business case submissions are available in the R&D Business Case Center.
What they’ll be talking about in Austin: It looks to be a busy meeting for R&D, as they will be reviewing and discussing a Business Case to standardize listing lifecycle event definitions and related data collected or updated. Examples include status change, such as Active to Pending – Pending Date (required), Co-op Broker and Office (optional), and estimated close date (optional). The discussion will also include input on Broker Data. The Workgroup is seeking to review and gather input on a Business Case to standardize brokerage based data fields that is related to the listing, but not commonly (or ever) included in a typical MLS listing input. Another Business Case up for discussion is standardizing data Brokers/Brokerages are required to provide MLSs to maintain authorization of their brokers’ and agents’ data feeds for products and services such as IDX sites and CMA products. Finally, there will be a “Best Practices” overview of the finalized content surrounding MLS Data Distribution developed for CMLS.
Transport is focused on defining standards on how data may be transmitted and accessed by various applications. Specifically, Transport is focused on the RESO Web API (Application Programming Interface) transport layer between outside applications and MLS data. The initial goal and charter of Transport was to define a standard for accessing MLS data via a lightweight RESTful architecture and secondarily to define a standard for uploading MLS data via a lightweight RESTful architecture. The RESO API currently provides real-time retrieval of MLS data via standard search methods and output definitions using the already defined RESO data dictionary; enables developers to more rapidly develop applications (web, mobile or other) using widely adopted technology standards and methods; and offers a standard approach that technology partners can adhere to ensure consistency across markets while enabling technology partners to extend the standard with their own, unique approaches. In the future, the RESO API will provide real-time editing capability of MLS data from multiple products with the same benefits included with the API today. Scott Petronis and Paul Stusiak co-chair this Workgroup, which meets via a conference call on the 1st Monday of each month at 4:00 pm Eastern. To join, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What they’ve been working on: Transport has been reviewing how best to address adding Web API listing update capabilities, looking at the overlaps and gaps in OData specification and underlying functionality, examining how MLS listing management business rules will be supported, as well as the potential impact on the current Web API and Data Dictionary specifications. Transport has also been working on clarifying Data Dictionary Mapping Procedures and finding ways to make improvements to the Web API.
What they’ll be talking about in Austin: Transport should be a fairly deep technical session, looking at the next revision of the RESO API specification including how the Data Dictionary Resources are intended for use with the Web API, resolving some of the issues that have caused OData compliance tests to fail in some cases due to various methods of implementation, as well as other proposed changes to improve other functionality and documentation of the Web API, including an update to add XML and JSON examples of implementation. Transport will also be working on the expansion of the API standard to include Update capability.
Data Dictionary Workgroup
As its name suggests, this Workgroup’s purpose is to maintain and develop the RESO Data Dictionary, which is real estate’s “Rosetta Stone” to ensure industry data that is shared can “speak” the same language. The RESO Dictionary is designed to grow with our industry. If you have ideas for the dictionary, this is the Workgroup that help keeps it going and growing. The RESO Dictionary has two purposes: it serves as a non-RETS/non-API guideline for a national standard for the fields and look-ups (enumerations) in the MLS; and it is a common center for all expressions of fields and enumerations in the RETS standard. Rob Larson is the Workgroup chair. The Workgroup meets monthly, by conference call, on the 3rd Thursday from 12:00 – 1:00 PM EST. To join, email email@example.com.
What they’ve been working on: The Data Dictionary Version 1.5 adoption deadline is on the horizon, coming up June 21 and the RESO Data Dictionary Wiki available online can bring you up to speed on all the progress to date with the Data Dictionary, since all NAR affiliated MLS were required to adopt the initial Data Dictionary by January 1, 2016. The Workgroup has been working on the latest version of the Data Dictionary, v1.6, over the past year and is currently wrapping up the final review and revisions of the Data Dictionary Version 1.6 as well as the Data Dictionary Version 1.6 certification testing rules.
What they’ll be taking about in Austin: As they wrap up the final review of Data Dictionary v1.6 and look to efforts for future versions, the agenda includes a discussion about Broker Data Needs, Structure Type (Structure of Condos, SFR Attached vs. Duplex), the addition of a Showing Resource to the Data Dictionary for standardizing showing data, and a discussion about Repeating Element Resource Additions in order to better support handling these specific types of data fields. Also on the agenda is a discussion on the Collection Data Type, Structures from OData and its support in the Data Dictionary. There are two action items: a review of the Data Dictionary 1.6 certification testing rules with a potential Workgroup Approval Vote, a review of the final Data Dictionary v1.6 and look at the future Data Dictionary v1.7 alongside Workgroup Plans for 2017/2018.
Check out the agenda and make plans to attend a Workgroup Monday!DLU April 20th, 2017