March CIECAst Features Information on Swagger, OpenAPI Technical Tools

Michael Ortega, senior director of Application Development at IAA, presented “The Key to Collaboration: Combining Technology and Communication” during the March CIECAst.

The March CIECAst webinar, presented on Tuesday, March 17, featured Michael Ortega, senior director of Application Development at Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc. (IAA). Ortega discussed effective collaboration using the right technical tools, including Swagger, OpenAPI. CIECA Executive Director Ed Weidmann welcomed attendees and introduced Ortega who presented “The Key to Collaboration: Combining Technology and Communication.”

During the webinar, Ortega strove to help information technology leaders better understand the Swagger, OpenAPI interfaces, including when to use this technology and how to align company teams. IAA “really sees technology as an enabler,” according to Ortega. “We drive to innovate to enhance efficiency in what we do every day and deliver value to our customers. Innovation is embedded into three core fundamentals at IAA – our culture, our customer, and our vision.”

Integration meets a business need by enhancing efficiency, reducing cycle times, and improving data accuracy. Discussing adjusters duplicating work by completing the same information in multiple platforms, Ortega said, “With the work of integration, we could quickly replace that manual way of re-entering data that currently exists. Exchanging data between two systems eliminates any keying errors and improves data accuracy which helps reduce overall cycle time, then we can reallocate those people to do more value-added activities.”

Ortega also encouraged attendees to define their own business goals and objectives to determine their specific needs. When starting the setup process, ensuring success begins with a project kick-off where the involved parties get to know each other, make sure everyone understands the vision, determine workflow, and identify deliverables and milestones. He asked, “How do you build for the future? How does this process play into the current operational process?”

Three key components while running the project includes status meetings, tools and testing plans. “Documentation is a great way to make sure there’s an active exchange and a common understanding of what’s happening there, and collaborative tools are a great way to get real-time feedback as you’re developing the product,” Ortega said.

OpenAPI is a free and open source framework that defines a standard, language-agnostic interface to a REST API and allows both humans and computers to discover and understand the capabilities of the service. “You have some flexibility and capability in choosing how you use OpenAPI and how the product fits into your overall process,” Ortega noted.

OpenAPI features four components for designing APIs according to specification-based standards, building stable, reusable code, improving developer experience with interactive API documentation, performing simple functional tests on APIs without overhead, and setting and enforcing standardized API style guidelines across a business’s API architecture.  Those components are Swagger Editor, Swagger Codegen, Swagger UI, and Swagger Inspector.

Following a demonstration on accessing OpenAPI online as well as using Microsoft Visual Studio, Ortega explained that, after the project, it’s important to seek feedback from customers and employees, measure your success by determining if targets were met, ensure access to operational contact, and engage in ongoing communications.

As the webinar concluded, Ortega shared some final thoughts: “These tools assist with collaboration across organizations. Remember that constant communication leads to a common vision and understanding, plus it reduces waste in the process. Feedback loops lead to continuous improvement. The capability to assist in collaboration across organizations and teams is a critical piece to delivering successful projects.”

A replay of the March 17th webinar is available at For more information about Swagger, OpenAPI, visit

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