Freeing and enabling the power of the data
Issue before Sesam
Hafslund Nett is Norway's largest electricity distribution operator. According to national regulations, Hafslund is required to install new automatic meters at all of their 700.000 customer’s locations. These new meters will report usage, voltage variations and other information every hour. This is a major logistical challenge, as well as a technological project.
To plan this process it is vital to have total control of which individual meter that is to be installed by whom, where and at what time. During the two years installation project there will be 800-1000 installers working in the field doing the actual installations. For them to be able to do their work in an efficient way there is a great need for access to accurate and timely information about the meters, the customer and the grid structure. When the installations are done the massive amount of data must flow automatically and the new infrastructure must be maintainable.
Solution with Sesam
Hafslund Nett and the Hafslund corporation already had a large system portfolio and with the introduction of automatic metering even more systems were required. This of course created a major need for automatic integration, but with such a large and somewhat moving set of systems, an ordinary integration architecture would not be flexible enough.
Sesam was set up to regularly tap all vital data from all 6 major systems currently holding the information about grid structure, new and old meters, customers, billing and work orders. The tapped data is stored in the Sesam data hub and connected together using semantic technology. Data streams are configured to be streamed from the hub to the receiving system periodically.
This not only serves as a way of sharing and securing one common set of master data between the systems. It also serves as an asynchronous process automation engine. This is done by operating on the state of the information objects.
For an example, let us look at the process flow between the work order system, the new and old meter systems and the billing system.
When a work order for the exchange of old meter “X” with new meter “Y” at customer “Z”, changes state from “In progress” to “Done”, the following happens:
- Work order object from the work order system is collected to the hub
- The old meter system picks up the work order from the hub and terminates the old meter “X” with the meter reading from the work order.
- The termination info is collected to the hub
- The billing system picks up termination info about old meter “X” and send an invoice to customer “Z”
- The new meter system picks up the work order from the hub and enables new meter “Y”
All of this is done asynchronously within a few minutes. This means that the all systems are very loosely coupled and there are no dependencies between the systems. If there is down time on one of the systems, this will not affect the operation of the others. If you need to replace a system, there is hardly any integration impact on the other systems, as they in fact don’t know about each other. They only relate to the data hub.
By employing Sesam and data oriented architecture this way, Hafslund Nett has accomplished several objectives. First of all they have established an integration architecture that is highly flexible and resilient to change in a system environment that is constantly changing.
In addition, they now have all their vital data collected and connected in the data hub so that they can perform analysis on them in a way they never were able to do before.
Last, but according to Hafslund, the most important, they now have ownership of their own data. They are not locked into the systems anymore.
Connecting data together to get the full picture
Issue before Sesam
The Directorate for Cultural Heritage is responsible for the management of all archaeological and architectural monuments and sites and cultural environments in accordance with relevant legislation.
The directorate ensures that cultural heritage considerations are taken into account in all planning processes, and that the interests of cultural heritage are safeguarded at all levels in the same way as the interests of society as a whole.
The directorate administer several data sources containing information about a large number cultural heritage objects, both authored by professionals and by the general public. In connection with these objects, there is often case management regarding for instance building projects and applications for funding of restoration.
The challenge for the directorate was that to get an overview of all aspects concerning one single object, they would have to search in six different systems. Besides the waste of time, they often got a less than complete picture of the data.
Solution with Sesam
From the hub, data is fed through a Solr search index to the Sesam data browser, where the users can perform searches across all their structured data and are able to traverse the data.
Because of the nature of the content, three hubs were established;
- The secure zone hub containing sensitive data
- The regular zone hub containing records data
- The public zone hub serving the public site for search and crowd sourcing of cultural heritage information.
Sesam streams the appropriate data between the hubs as it is created or updated on a regular basis.
By collecting and connecting all the data the way that has been done at the Directorate of Cultural Heritage, they now have a common foundation to build other applications on, as well as an ability to search across all the data.
This Sesam installation is the embodiment of Sesam's slogan “All the data from all the systems, connected and available as a single resource.”