Conexxus & International Forecourt Standards Forum Partnering to Create Standard APIs

Conexxus & International Forecourt Standards Forum Logos

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Conexxus and the International Forecourt Standards Forum (IFSF) launched a joint initiative aimed at creating standardized application programming interfaces (APIs). 

The move will reduce the time to market, development cost and maintenance overhead of digital transformation. According to Conexxus, it is a key strategy for competing in the increasingly digital landscape of convenience retail.

The API initiative is the result of an intense analysis of how both Conexxus and IFSF can better serve their membership in the face of increasing disruption in our retail segment. 

The initiative also addresses the need to modernize the data standards framework using modern, proven formats, helping to ensure the industry is synchronized with current technologies, the organizations said.

"We have heard much about the 'API economy,' and how all sectors of the economy are turning to well-defined APIs to make legacy system relevant in the future, while enabling quick adoption of new business models and innovations that keep a business in-step with rapidly changing consumer needs," said Gray Taylor, executive director of Conexxus. "By rapidly migrating our standards focus to APIs, we intend to save the industry millions in development costs, and years in development time."

The joint effort will focus on a complete suite of consumable APIs for its members, and create a comprehensive data dictionary that defines all of the data elements common in the operations.

The common dictionary enables easy sharing of data with partners and faster creation of data lakes for the next phase of business analytics; machine learning and artificial intelligence, according to Conexxus.

"Many of our members are global in operations, and by providing a well-defined data dictionary and globally applicable APIs together with associated tools e.g. test scripts, we are jointly delivering a powerful toolset that our members can leverage. We are well advanced in our development of the FDC API suite which will be available shortly," said Heather Price, chair of IFSF.

As part of the launch, Conexxus and IFSF created a collaborative GitLab repository of sample APIs, design documents and relevant data dictionary for interested parties — which can be accessed directly, or via the Conexxus and IFSF websites. While some sections of the site will require a login for access, substantial sections will be available to the public.

To access the GitLab repository directly, click here.

GitLab is a source content management system supporting more than 100,000 users encompassing enterprises such as IBM, Sony and NASA. A major focus for GitLab is support for DevOps, an important consideration in the API development area, Conexxus added.

Conexxus is a nonprofit, member-driven technology organization dedicated to the development and implementation of standards, technologies innovation and advocacy for the convenience store and petroleum market.

IFSF is a community dedicated to enabling technology standards for the benefit of retailers of automotive fuel and energy. Its approach is to collaborate with other standards organizations and relevant institutions to achieve common standards for interoperability of forecourt and convenience devices and services.