EB Services, an IT consultancy servicing the utility sector manages the Smallworld installation at SP-Ausnet, a power company in the state of Victoria, Australia.
EB Services saw an opportunity to provide better service for their customer. They evaluated options and quickly realized that they could spend a lot of time developing a custom solution, spend a lot of money licensing a solution or evaluate an open source solution. The expense of a custom solution was deemed to high, and licensing was considered risky in that the customer might not consider the problem a high priority.
Simon Bond, who works for EBS on SP-Ausnet projects noted: “I noticed through discussions with our client that we were continually getting requests for extracts of data from their Smallworld system. This required one of us to write code to perform extracts. This was a very time consuming process which led to two further problems: the first is that the data didn’t always get to the user in a timeframe that was of maximum use; the second is that the users became more likely to use old unmanaged data.”
Enter the OpenGeo Suite. The Suite provided an out-of-the-box set-up, with the flexibility to customize a tool for performing data extractions. The price was competitive with other solutions, and the web-based nature of the system made deployment and updates easy. The many extra features of the Suite, beyond simple query and data extraction, offered a potential road map for future features.
Bond used the Suite to build a the Spatial Analysis Management System (SAMS), a web-based extract tool pulling data from Smallworld into a staging Oracle Spatial database via FME, and then out to the web using GeoServer and the web UI tools of the Suite.
“We have already gone into production with our first version of our customized OpenGeo Application Suite”, said Bond, “and it recently came second in the GITA Excellence awards! It has been very well received by the users so far with over 120 users in the first month and 100% uptime.”
SAMS is now being used by a wide range of people across Ausnet, including control room staff, designers, work management and planning, call centre staff, management and others.
With the success of SAMS, EBS is now investigating further enhancements, including a mobile SAMS implementation, integration with Google Street View, integration with the Ausnet asset management system and more.
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