PODS Data Exchange Specification vs. PipelineML

As the Open Geospatial Consortium announces its PipelineML data exchange standard, PODS, the Pipeline open data standards organization unveils its own exchange standard, a component of its ‘next generation’ V7.0 data model. Oil IT Journal investigates the subtleties of the dual modeling efforts.

Back in 2013, the Pipeline Open Data Standards association (Pods) and Open geospatial standards organization ‘agreed to work together to identify enhancement opportunities between the advanced geospatial interoperability concepts developed within the OGC’s consensus standards process and the Pods Association’s widely used Pods standard and data model. The PipelineML SWG is a result of this cooperation’. Since then, the two standards bodies appear to have drifted apart, although Pods has leveraged some OGC geospatial standards in its subsequent data modeling efforts.

The OGC has now independently released PipelineML as a ‘candidate standard’ to support the interchange of data pertaining to oil and gas pipeline systems. The initial release of PipelineML addresses two use cases, new construction surveys and pipeline rehabilitation. The spec is said to promote ‘traceable, verifiable and complete data management practices’ and has ‘lightweight aggregation’ with other systems. This system leverages its own LandInfra standards for right-of-way and land management. Future extensions will embrace the OGC’s utility data model and extend to cathodic protection, facility and safety.

We were curious to know of possible cooperation or overlap between the two pipeline data exchange initiatives. OGC PipelineML workgroup co-chair John Tisdale explained, ‘PipelineML (PML) moves data between applications, devices and databases including Pods. But its scope is broader than the exchange of Pods/operational systems data. PML is designed to share data across the entire lifecycle of pipeline assets. For example, schematics for a new pipeline system in AutoCAD can be exported as a PML file and picked up by an inventory management system. Once the components have been purchased, results are output as a new PML file with additional manufacturer’s part information. This can be imported into construction management software and/or survey and mapping tools. The system can then provide as-built results to the operator as a PML file. PML allows data exchange between three Pods databases (relational, spatial, NextGen) as well Esri APDM, Esri UPDM and other models and applications for risk, HCA, ILI, CP, NDE, design, construction, survey and mapping, operations, integrity and reporting.’

So it would appear that, rather like with PPDM and Energistics, the distinction between data at rest and data in movement (exchange) provides something of a rationale for there being two standards in a rather small space. But as we learned from Chad Corcoran’s (Andeavor) presentation at the 2018 Pods Fall conference, Pods too has an embryonic Data Exchange Specification (DES). DES is, or will be, a component of the Pods next generation model aka V7.0. DES is to facilitate data translations between databases, software systems, third party service providers and pipeline operators. The DES also enables system integration via service-oriented architecture (SOA) approaches. The DES is intended standardize data and schema exchange between Pods databases across the pipeline industry. DES comprises three XML files: schema definition/rules, data and schema mapping. The DES is intended to evolve into a general-purpose standard format for Pods data and includes substantial metadata along with a 'gml:id’, the OpenGIS handle for interoperability with other geographic schemas. The Pods 2018 Fall conference presentations are available here.

Oil IT Journal’s very first mention of a Pipeline ML is of a long-forgotten (and unrelated) 2002 initiative from POSC (now Energistics)!

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