PDM Interview – Andrew Lloyd, Oracle (November 1999)

With the launch of e-Asset at the Plant Information Management conference in The Hague this month, PDM interviewed Oracle’s ‘Mr. Synergy,’ Andrew Lloyd.

PDM Is the outsourcing of e-Asset an example of an oil-industry Application Service Provider (ASP) in action?

Lloyd – Its more than an ASP exercise. We consider e-Asset as a Business Service Provider (BSP) going beyond outsourced application software.

PDM What exactly does Oracle 8i provide that was absent from previous Oracle versions?

Lloyd – Three things, performance, object technology and internet-enabled capability. Performance – for data loading and extensive data mining capabilities. Object-relational technology allows for the implementation of ‘logical’ models such as Epicentre or POSC/CAESAR without the compromise involved in the relational ‘projection.’ The internet-enabled version of Oracle 8i is the perfect vehicle for e-commerce.

PDM – Is the Oracle Financial Enterprise Resource Allocation (ERA) package part of e-Asset?

Lloyd – It could well be, but our pre-marketing studies found that clients wanted a best-of-breed capability. So e-Asset is open and vendor-neutral. We intend to promote collaborative computing even with ‘non-communicating’ applications. A good model for our enterprise is Bidcom.com which provides a data interchange website for architects. We will be offering lots of room for third parties to slot-in their applications.

PDMwe are in plug and play country again! Could you elaborate on how you intend to make it work this time around?

Lloyd – The idea is the same as with earlier attempts to deploy CORBA based solutions. But we are convinced that the Internet dimension and the use of XML data objects and transfer will make plug and play happen this time.

PDMhow long before we see an Epicentre cartridge for the upstream?

Lloyd – About 70% of Synergy development is common to both the facilities (POSC/CAESAR) and upstream (Epicentre). We are waiting on the release of Epicentre V3.0 before rolling out the Synergy Epicentre Cartridge and we expect the first beta Epicentre Data Cartridge to be available to project members at the end of 99. This will support the Version 3 Epicentre Model and some Synergy extensions.

PDMand what is the relationship between Synergy and Statoil’s Slegge Corporate Data Store?

Lloyd – Slegge will be a Synergy implementation. Currently Slegge, which is in development, is an extended version of Epicentre 2.2. We are currently waiting on POSC to approve the new Version 3.0 of Epicentre. We will then use our Synergy Cartridge Generation Tool which can take any Express model and turn it into an Oracle 8i cartridge.

PDMwe have covered some of the 8i object technology in PDM already (PDM Vol. 3 N° 10) and understand that Oracle 8i’s modeling language is UML.

Lloyd – yes, in fact we go from Express to UML which is then fed into Designer 2000. This can cause information loss – so we are careful here and use PrismTech’s expertise and migration technology especially the Epicentre Builder.

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