PDM Interview - Steve Trythall, Prism Technologies (December 1999)

PrismTechnologies’ data modeling guru Steve Trythall enlightened PDM as to some similarities and differences in facilities and subsurface data modeling.

PDM - we are confused by all this talk of STEP, Epistle, POSC/CAESAR (PCA) and Synergy - enlighten us please.

Trythall - All the standards organizations you mention have developed separate plant information data models in the past but what is key today is the agreement to merged them into what is termed Epistle V3 - the new standard. However, the combinatorial power of the underlying Express data modeling language means that the new model could have as many as 10^^26 tables - in other words, it is not implementable. Synergy is an implementable version of the Epistle V3 data model.

PDM what are the differenced between PCA and say Epicentre.

Trythall - They fall on different parts of the ‘genericity’ spectrum. On the one hand, you have a completely specified data model such as PPDM. At the other end - completely generic - lies the highly abstract model of PCA. Epicentre is somewhere in the middle. The PCA approach is to model in a very abstract manner, and to keep all the information in class libraries (as reference data).

PDM - what benefits are you expecting from Oracle 8i?

Trythall - We are excited about the new performant indexing technology - which is required because the Epistle model explodes the required number of tables. Also more work can be done within the database engine itself such as the execution of complex queries requiring Java computations for units of measure conversion or spatial queries. Modeling of nested tables and pointer-based data structures of the object oriented data model will also be easier.

PDM - won't the Oracle 8i specific implementation compromise data perennity?

Trythall - yes we are predicated on Oracle 8i, the cartridge won't run on Sybase for example. There is a conflict between features and standardization. Performance is the key so we like to grab everything we can. Data preservation and future migration will be achieved with Oracle tools.

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