Update on Landmark’s Open Explorer (September 1998)

Open Explorer’s role in E&P datamanagement is that of a top-down project management system. Different product flavorsrange from desktop query through knowledge management to full data clean-up and QC.

Most operating oil companies end up, not with a nicely hierarchical pyramid of data types, from raw field to focussed knowledge, but rather with a messy assemblage of projects, old, new, validated and provisional, isolated and overlapping. Modern work-processes are accelerated to the extent that this situation is getting worse and the paradigm, whereby data is managed from the bottom up, has more or less been abandoned. Landmark’s pragmatic solution is to accept that data management is de-facto a high level business and Open Explorer – nicknamed the Finder Killer – is now aiming to provide tools for a data management and a Management Information System. OpenExplorer now comes in three flavors.


The entry-level OpenExplorer provides tools for organizing and managing OpenWorks projects. This is done by the Project Data Transfer tool (PDT). Extensive ‘deep’ query of the database can be performed using the Query Tools Manager. This allows for queries to be performed spatially, by forms or using either the SQL builder or native SQL.


The pro version of OE includes Landmark’s Knowledge Reference System (KRS) which adds a geo-referenced document management system to the vanilla desktop. This allows any ‘document’ i.e. a seismic line, scanned image or Office document to be attached to a geographical location (a point, line, or polygon). Such objects then appear as a document icon on the Open Explorer map view and can be clicked on, to open up the document for viewing. The technology behind this is as simple as it is efficient. A database of file types and viewers is kept on the system, so a SEG-Y viewer will fire up, or Word for windows depending on the file type. Additional viewers can be added locally. The KRS was jointly developed with Union Texas Petroleum.


The full version of Open Explorer adds real data management to the Desktop project manager and browser. QC tools for well logs and seismic data allow for the clean-up and management of very large datasets. Echoing Bob Peebler’s tale of diminishing cost of bandwidth, Sherman envisages the deployment of OpenExplorer across a company’s world-wide network. Thus data could be kept and managed in local subsidiaries, but viewed by head office staff centrally. This does of course presuppose that there will be anybody left in head office to take such an interest in the newly decentralized assets! In these days of objets and frameworks, Landmark have adopted a pragmatic "all Oracle" approach. SQL-Net is the middleware, and Oracle replication is used to synchronize metadata across the network.

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