Spark Datamart: A “Common App” for the RESO Web API

Oct 31, 2018 Michael Wurzer

Final GIFMarilyn Wilson wrote a great post the other day advocating for a “common app” for data feed requests to MLSs, similar to what colleges use today. Marilyn goes into quite a bit of detail about how the college common app allows local variations, and that got me to thinking that the approach is quite similar to what we’ve implemented in our recently launched Spark Datamart. The Spark Datamart automates the data licensing process bringing MLS-created data plans (VOW, IDX, etc.), licensing terms, pricing, approvals and usage tracking together in one secure, convenient online space.

The way the Datamart works is similar to the “common app” approach in that each developer agrees to the standard Developer Terms of Use, which then incorporate by reference the local MLS rules and terms of use as well. Each MLS can upload additional terms of use and pricing for each data feed they offer (what we call a Data Plan), as well control who approves each request before the credentials are issued.

Datamart Screenshots 01 1

To request access to a Data Plan, the developer just selects the MLS and Data Plan they want through the Datamart, and answers a few questions. That application from the developer is then routed for approval to the broker, agent, and MLS, depending on what the MLS requires for approval. As soon as all approvals are provided, the developer is provided a bearer token to access the API for that Data Plan.

Datamart Screenshots 02 1

There are some differences from the “common app” approach for college, but there are quite a few similarities, especially around the concept of standard developer terms of use supplemented by the rules and terms for each MLS.

As a last note, I want to make sure there isn’t confusion between the coverage list for the Datamart and the availability of the Spark API. The Spark API (including RESO Web API and Data Dictionary support) is readily available from all of our customers right now by contacting each MLS directly. Participation in the Datamart, which simply streamlines licensing approvals for the API, is optional for our customers and participation is growing with the addition of newly created data plans every day. Over time, we expect more and more of our customers to offer the convenience of the Datamart, but please know that the Spark API is available today for all of our customers.