IBM has just released version 2.2 of the Project Data Store (PDS) - formerly the Tigress database. This will be the last version to be developed by IBM alone. The main reason IBM's retreat from this product is the dominant market share of the competition. It is estimated that Landmark and Schlumberger-GeoQuest hold 80% of the E&P application market. IBM are understood to been seeking a buyer for the PDS and are looking for help from customers to move the data store along to version 3. An obvious target for such help is PGS, who with the Tigress application suite and intensive in-house use of the PDS are clearly well placed to carry the PDS along. IBM are still "very confident in the PDS technology" which has a strong following in some client companies. The arguments in favor of the product are its central database and tight integration. The position of IBM as a third-party technology supplier has also been seen as positive, but clearly has not won the hearts of many E&P buyers. On the downside, the Tigress data model was developed independently of other industry standard efforts and would require a very considerable investment to bring into line with these. One notes an understandable sense of frustration in the IBM camp with these developments. Customers claim to need to draw all applications into one central data store. But to date, IBM has not had the requisite buy-in from oils to justify the continued development effort. "Customer decision making revolves around end-user applications, not the data store" one IBM source told PDM.
IBM is releasing Surf and Connect (Surfer), a web-based data management front end. Surf and Connect is a GIS browser for data within PetroBank and uses ESRI's web enabling technology and Spatial DataBase Engine (SDE). Surfer operates in a UNIX and NT environment with a module that allows for WWW access. The core module of Surfer is a geographic browser along with a Spatial database server. Additional components that can be plugged into the browser include PetroBank Spatial Database loaders, Base Mapping Module, Open Data Access, and connections to Project Data Store, Master Data Store, OpenWorks and GeoFrame. An Internet Map Server for Windows NT and a Seismic Ordering System are also available. More info from IBM's E&P Connection on http://www.epconnect.ihost.com.