Business Objects Under Construction (May 1998)

The Petrotechnical Open Software Corporation POSC has just announced the consortia that have responded to their Interoperability/Business Objects Request For Technology (RFT).

Four responses have been received from consortia, three of which are essentially comprised of members of the Open Spirit Alliance (OSA - see PDM Vol. 2 N 12). Of the three OSA derived submissions, one covers the low-level architectural principles, which will provide the services for deploying the distributed objects. Intriguingly, this is the only submission that involves Schlumberger. Next up the complexity chain - or down the abstraction road is another OSA submission, again of a highly technical nature concerned with the representation of interpretation objects using "a canonical geometric representation" which is "a discrete topological representation such as a polyline or trimesh". The third OSA submission as well as that from the Omega consortium is more recognizable as E&P object oriented projects. The OSA Business Object Framework submission includes business objects designed to support seismic interpretation, including three "collections": wells, culture and seismic. Also provided are object viewers and a consistent way of dealing with coordinate systems.

Omega

The wild card submission from the Omega consortium sets out to provide an object oriented framework for developers working in the field of 3D geological modeling. OMEGA is a technology-transfer project destined to re-cycle technology developed in the aerospace and automobile industries to use in E&P. Omega is part-funded by the European Union under the ESPRIT program. The OMEGA (Object-Oriented Methods and development Environment for Geoscience Applications) group comprises Matra Datavision, TNO, Sintef, Beicip-Franlab, Volumetrix and BRGM. Omega makes use of the "Business Data Object" concept such as a horizon, fault or a stratigraphic unit which themselves encapsulate data and associated processes. The object-oriented nature of these data objects gives them a chameleon-like behavior for the end user. The same object will appear to each-user (geophysicist, geologist, reservoir engineer etc.) with the appropriate domain-specific representation. Omega partners are convinced that the interoperability inherent in this technology will change the way in which users work with their data and interact with each other. More info from http://www.omega.beicip.fr.

IBM, Landmark??

Conspicuous by their absence from the POSC RTF submitters are both Landmark and IBM. An IBM spokesperson told PDM that they are following the POSC Interoperability initiative closely but are also in the process of developing their own object framework in the San Francisco project and the recently announced Enterprise Java Beans. This new technology from IBM currently only supports the financial side of enterprise computing. This is because a) that is (naturally) where the big IT money is, and b) the relative simplicity and commonly agreed-on definitions of business objects in the financial field means that OO technology has already gained some acceptance. Conversely, the complexity of E&P objects, and the small user-base of the E&P IT community are the main technological risks for the POSC effort.

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