European FINDER Rationalisation Project - status report (April 1998)

Finder customisation is popular, but oftenleads to maintenance problems. Hugh Banister (Lasmo) has supplied PDM with the followingstatus report on a collaborative effort to share the cost of Findercustomisation.

The EuroFinder initiative is designed to federate the efforts of its member companies in the field of Finder customization. The idea is simple, going it alone is costly and leads to a hard-to-maintain site specific version of Finder. This has proved a particularly painful experience when upgrading from one version of Finder to the next. Applying the 80/20 rule to the various bespoke developments has allowed EuroFinder members to agree upon a common set of customizations which can be performed professionally and whose cost can be shared. The objective of the EuroFinder project is to provide a single physical implementation of the FINDER data model at all participating European client sites. A further objective is to move client based modifications into an environment more easily supported by GeoQuest with the added expectation that these updates will be included in future Euro-FINDER releases.

POSC-based development

EuroFinder development is to be based upon the Petroleum Open Software Corporation's Epicentre data model where possible, otherwise changes to Finder may be submitted to POSC for possible inclusion in Epicentre. User groups from Norway, the United Kingdom and Germany are cooperating in the project as well as GeoQuest.

The Project has been divided into four phases. These are;

Phase I - preliminary identification of clients' and GeoQuest customizations.

Phase II - construction of a database of FINDER customizations and prioritization of their rationalization.

Phase III - rationalization of customizations and cross referencing of the FINDER and the customizations to Epicentre.

Phase IV - generation of the European FINDER product as specified.

Phase I of the EuroFinder project has been completed. This phase was sponsored by GeoQuest UK and open to all FINDER clients in Europe at no cost. Phase IIa of the project has been funded by 14 participating companies and is underway. DataBasix/Venture, a joint alliance between two data management consulting firms, has been contracted to complete the Phase IIa work.


The anticipated benefits from the EuroFinder initiative are :

More efficient data exchange between participating Oil Companies.

Reduction in costs associated with support and version upgrades.

The convergence of the FINDER corporate data store with the FINDER project store.

Greater FINDER functionality (e.g. data exchange, standards, loaders/unloaders, version control, forms and reports).

Improvement on the ability of GeoQuest and Oil Companies to communicate model extensions and associated documentation between themselves and between third-party companies.

The opportunity for GeoQuest to better understand the needs of Oil Companies, most particularly in terms of data types and how they are used.

The main challenges are the difficulty in reaching a consensus on the extension to the FINDER data model; and in getting buy-in from GeoQuest to develop and maintain the Euro-FINDER product. EuroFinder is looking for more Finder user companies to participate in later phases of the project. For more information, contact Banister on

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