Beyond GIS - a New Level of Integration
Peter M. Batty
Smallworld Systems, Inc.
5600 Greenwood Plaza Blvd.
Englewood, CO 80111
Integration of AM/FM/GIS with other applications is critical to gain maximum business benefits from the system. The big drive in utilities and telecommunication companies is to re-engineer work processes and improve their efficiency. A single work process may involve interaction with many different applications and databases, such as customer information systems, GIS, outage management, SCADA, and work management.
This paper begins by looking at some examples of application integration to give some idea of the sort of problems which need to be addressed. The main focus of this paper is the integration of AM/FM/GIS with other spatial/network systems - specifically outage management and SCADA. In order to understand the reasons that organizations typically have multiple systems for spatial/network applications such as AM/FM/GIS, outage management and SCADA, the main features of these applications are summarized, and the similarities and differences between them are examined. Various approaches to integrating spatial/network applications are discussed, followed by a brief examination of some issues relating to integration with non-spatial applications.
Application Integration Examples
There are many situations in which integration between applications can provide benefits by streamlining work processes and providing additional functionality. For example, an outage management application needs to be integrated with the customer information system to receive trouble calls made by customers, and to provide feedback to customer service representatives on the current state of outages. It also needs to be integrated with the network design application, typically implemented within the AM/FM/GIS, to keep up to date with the latest changes to the network. Both outage and design applications may need to be integrated with a work management system, to initiate and track either scheduled construction work, or emergency repairs.
The main focus of this paper is on approaches to integrating the three main spatial/network applications in a utility: AM/FM/GIS, outage management and SCADA.