Planning the Applications Platform

The analyst and designers must plan for leveraging from the initial phases of the project. Common database platforms, common user interfaces, and even common I/O drivers are not sufficient to realize the full benefits from leveraging. Exhibit 2 presents an overview of an applications platform and illustrates delivery of leveraged applications.

Exhibit 2. Rollout Concept

Exhibit 2. Rollout Concept

Beginning with the database, standards should be set around database configuration. If the database engine is relational, then the data model becomes the common basis of configuration. If the database is part of a real-time process control system, then standards could include tag naming conventions, data types, screens, process icons, trends, and SPC charts.

Layered over the database engine are the applications that will operate on data in the database. The applications should be sufficiently complete that only database population need occur once the systems are delivered to the site. This means metadata is known and fixed. Similarly, user screens are complete and ready to work out of the box. Process control systems that use configurable graphical user interfaces are a convenience and a luxury if uniquely configured for each site.

Common graphical user interface screens with generic capabilities from site to site offer greater economy to create and less cost to support. Where graphical screens are being leveraged across multiple sites, there is usually sufficient economy created by the leveraging approach to produce higher-quality graphics. The quality of the delivered applications should rise with leveraging.

Ideally, applications can be made operational quickly once hardware and systemlevel software are operational. A factory acceptance test should be performed where the complete system is staged, integrated, and checked out before rollout.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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