Informix UIS Petroleum – while the cat’s away… (September 1998)

Oracle may have been a party-pooper at thisyear’s SEG conference, but this allowed wannabe Informix to show-off their newobject-relational hybrid data base technology unchallenged.

Informix is making a play for the middle ground of E&P distributed computing and data management with a new solution deploying their object-relational hybrid technologies. The Informix object-relational technology allows data to be stored in conventional tables where appropriate, in fact even in Oracle tables if that is how the clients want to do things, but also allows for direct access to unstructured data. In conventional databases, real data – big vectors such as well logs and seismics - is usually stored in flatfiles, or in dumb binary large objects (blobs). This precludes performing queries on the data itself. Informix’ new object-relational hybrid database is designed to allow for such direct query of the data using the latest object query language SQL3. A demonstration showed a video of a car ride through New Orleans which has been recorded as two related datasets, one containing the recorded GPS data, the other the streaming video. A GIS interface allowed point-and-click generation of SQL3 queries which fetched the selected parts of the video ride.

Geo-data blade

An oil-industry specific offering, the Universal Integration Solution – Petroleum is in the making. This combines Data Blade technology with Informix’s Virtual Table Interface (VTI) – which allows catalogue of objets, and existing databases to be built up and maintained. The VTI allows access to with foreign databases – notably Oracle - and allows for access and use of data in situ, there is no longer a requirement for data replication. Working with Marathon Oil, Informix is in the process of developing an E&P specific GeoBlade. Using the Informix framework in conjunction with other DataBlades such as the ESRI’s SDE spatial DataBlade and other vendor’s ’blades a component architecture can be constructed. VTI’s already exist for industry standard environments such as Recall and OpenWorks making the Informix framework a competitor with the Open Spirit initiative. PDM will be looking more closely at the UIS – Petroleum and GeoBlade in a future issue.

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