Interview - Urvish Vashi, Paradigm

Paradigm’s VP Marketing spoke to Oil IT Journal about the new ‘App Exchange’ for Geolog users and developers. The exchange acts as a user-drive forum for innovation with the best apps feeding back into the main product. The Tcl interface reflects a DevOps-inspired return of the script!

How did the Geolog app exchange begin?

Geolog, Paradigm’s well log and petrophysical flagship is used by all the larger oil and gas companies for its core science capabilities and usability. Users appreciate its ability to handle large numbers of wells and its capacity to act as a platform for custom development. Users have written thousands of apps using the Geolog API for a wide range of activities, from data loading to formation analysis. These developments have in fact been the source of much customer-driven innovation and we decided to channel this effort into an online exchange for innovation.

So this is Paradigm’s equivalent of Schlumberger’s Ocean app store…

Not exactly. This is a free exchange for Geolog scripts, not an e-commerce site. The exchange started with a handful of submissions and is now filling up with user-driven innovation. What we are doing is similar to the way Facebook has open sourced its ‘6- pack’ network switch that it has contributed to the Open compute project. We also perform some basic inspection and QC of submissions and in some cases distribute compiled code.

What’s different with the exchange?

The Exchange lets users share innovations in a more structured way, adding to and building on top of Geolog or other apps. In some cases this may influence our own product development.

Any examples?

Saudi Aramco has used the Geolog API to develop a suite of extensions for shale gas interpretation and evaluation. Aramco then offered these to Paradigm in exchange for their ongoing development and support. These modules have been rolled-up into the Geolog Shale Module.

What programming language and operating systems are supported?

Geolog runs on both Windows and Linux and the apps are programmable with Tcl scripts. Most users are on Windows. I’m not sure about the ratio of script development platforms.

Will this extend to other Paradigm products?

We have open APIs for other Paradigm products. Users have developed their own modules for Skua/Gocad and Earth Decision. A lot of customers are using the APIs. We have a relationship with Mira Geoscience which offers Gocad scripts for use in the mining vertical and with Kidova for use in environmental/soil remediation. We don’t have an exchange as such for these other tools but this is where we see things going, building on a vibrant community.

Since Paradigm acquired Mincom (Geolog’s developer) back in 1999 has the software been retooled?

Yes it has been reengineered to integrate with Epos for well tie QC and other tasks. But it also runs as a a stand-alone product.

Did the Tcl interface come from Mincom?

Yes it was already there in the Mincom product. It is the standard interface for Geolog and also can be used with Skua/Gocad although they also have C/C++ interfaces.

Is this a return of the script?

In some ways yes. You should check out the DevOps movement where scripting is increasingly used to automate tasks.

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