Wow, just discovering your article Jeff and amazed by the perfect point that you make on the state of the vacation rental software industry back then and the real need for a “new generation” solution.
I’ve started https://www.BookingSync.com back in 2009 following this exact problems, I’ve been living in the vacation rental world for the past 25 years and managed over 20 properties myself for 8–9 years. As software engineer I was really frustrated by the solutions I’ve found and specially their lack of openness.
Since then, I’ve built BookingSync to solve my problems and we are now 10+ people working full time and solving this exact problems. When we open in January 2010 we where the only one to provide calendar synchronization for private owners and already had an API ready for anyone to connect with.
This year (2015) we released an App Center https://www.bookingsync.com/en/app-center allowing any third party developers to build on top of our API ( REST JSON API based on JSONAPI 1.0 rc3) with webhooks, OAuth 2, and all the goodness you need. http://developers.bookingsync.com/ and are looking forward to have all the third party companies currently integrating us release the awesome apps that they are building.
I feel that we are exactly moving the path you described of a really modular solution, with all the basics you need to get started but also all you need to rely on the industry best tools out there and ease of extension, …
We also allow any size of users to use our solution and it’s a self-service, so feel free to jump it an try by yourself.
Our design got a bit old with the time, but are now getting help by industry experts at http://www.thetechbeach.com/ to bring our UX and designs to the next level and once again push the limits of vacation rental softwares.
I’d love to hear anyone’s feedback from people share Jeff vision as it’s exactly the solution we provide and work hard everyday to make it happen.