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ISO 15926 Benefits for Software Vendors and Service Providers

Status of this document: Working Draft

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  1. Abstract
  2. A Single Standard to Support
  3. ISO 15926 Already Exists
    1. ISO 15926 is a Robust Data Model
    2. The Data Model for ISO 15926 is Already Done
  4. Market for Niche Applications


[This page is was entirely fabricated in my vivid imagination. If you are a software vendor, please comment. GPR]

For software vendors, the benefits of ISO 15926 come from three factors:

  • ISO 15926 is a single standard to support.
  • ISO 15926 data models and templates already exist and are open source.
  • ISO 15926 is extensible.

In addition, when ISO 15926 is mature, it will be easier for niche software to find a market because acquiring plant data will be easier.

A Single Standard to Support

Currently, plant design software has no industry-wide standard for interoperation. This means that when information needs to be transferred between applications, some means must be developed from scratch, taking care to preserve the meaning of all the data values.

This is true even for applications within one vendor's portfolio. Applications may have been developed over different time periods, or acquired from other vendors. With no industry-wide standard for exchanging information, point-to-point data exchanges are often the only alternative, leading to a Confederation of Applications joined by custom maps. But a network of point-to-point data maps are just as difficult to maintain for a software vendor as for any other organization.

But if the software developer instead adopts ISO 15926 as the manner of transferring information, the individual applications are encapsulated, or decoupled from the System Landscape.

ISO 15926 Already Exists

Developing a data model for plant applications is not a trivial matter. If improperly designed, the data model can constrain the utility of the eventual software. Traditional methodology tends to optimize the cost of the initial development, at the expense of greater cost to implement future enhancements, and greater cost of maintenance. This translates to a shorter application lifetime. But the data model and templates for ISO 15926 are already developed, and since they are open source can be used without incurring royalties and without legal risk.

ISO 15926 is a Robust Data Model

The ISO 15926 data model has been developed by professionals from many industries worldwide. This means that if a software vendor uses the data model, it will likely be more robust and have a longer lifetime serving a larger clientele.

For instance, when an application is developed, the designers have certain functionality in mind. If the data model is designed simply to support the known requirements, it will likely be more difficult to modify the software when new requirements are discovered.

The Data Model for ISO 15926 is Already Done

By using the data model and templates for ISO 15926, software vendors save themselves a great deal of work. Instead of having to develop a data model, developers can work on other, more value-added, parts of the software.

== ISO 15926 Can be Extended ===

The ISO 15926 data model is written to be extensible. If a new situation is discovered, modifications and additions can be made to the public standard.

Market for Niche Applications

When ISO 15926 becomes mainstream, it will be easier to implement software that requires a large amount of plant data. Currently, developers of this kind of software would have to spend considerable effort to import the plant data. With no industry standard, the software developer will have to deal with every unique plant.

All this means that the threshold for this kind of software is quite high.

But if an Owner/Operator exposed its plant configuration with an ISO 15926 façade, pulling information into the software would be trivial.


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