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Open distributed reliable environment architecture and middleware for supervision


The goal of the OpenDREAMS project is to satisfy the needs of advanced Supervision and Control Systems (SCSs), by providing middleware technology and tools to integrate existing systems and new applications with strong distribution and data management requirements. Typical examples of SCSs are command and control systems for the management of large equipment infrastructures such as telecommunications networks, electricity and water distribution networks, large buildings; command and control systems in the field of transport (air, railway and road) including traffic management and fleet management systems; civil security supervision and control systems for police, fire brigades, health care and territorial administrations at every level of operation (national, regional and local centres). The development and operation of SCSs demand full support to data processing and acquisition, continuity of operations, distribution, permanent data storage. Today, the proprietary nature of most SCSs restricts access from third parties and inhibits integration of new technologies. However, it is unrealistic to think that companies will undertake full scale SCSs replacements; they will operate incremental upgrades of existing systems. This means that systems should integrate new functions while maintaining interoperability with previous versions and external systems. Currently, the market does not provide any answer to these issues, that is a development and operation platform satisfying the above requirements.

In this project, we will design an open interoperable object-oriented platform able to integrate industry standards, commercial products and new developments. In order to achieve the overall goal of the project, we have identified a number of major objectives: to integrate existing software and commercial systems; to be interoperable and extensible; to offer persistent storage facilities and high availability; to support the specification and design of a distributed application; to be compliant with international and industry standards. Orbix - IONA's implementation of the Object Management Group Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) - will be used as the backbone for assuring the interoperability and openness of the platform architecture. Two commercial databases will be integrated in the OpenDREAMS platform: an object-oriented DBMS (POET) and a relational DBMS (Oracle). To support high availability and persistent storage facilities in a distributed environment, a set of reusable services for managing distributed transactions, replication, persistency and queries will also be defined. To help build new applications, a set of design guidelines will be identified to drive the user from the specification of a new application to its implementation on top of the platform. Such guidelines will outline a methodology for the specification and configuration of a distributed application. The OpenDREAMS platform will be validated in the Energy Systems area, by means of an application in the Condition Monitoring and Diagnostics of Thermal Power Plants domain provided by ENEL.

The results of the project will be exploited by Alcatel ISR in the SCS area in different ways, from the enrichment of their existing development platform to the development of new applications in various sub-areas that constitute an important part of the Alcatel business. Commercial exploitation of project results will contribute to expanding the ISR share of the market. ENEL will exploit the results by developing a consolidated and engineered version of the application, to be progressively customised and installed on 20 target power plants, as well as porting other condition monitoring and diagnostics functions on the OpenDREAMS architecture. ENEL will also investigate the possibility of adopting the platform for other SCS applications such as remote supervision and control systems of the electrical power transport network. The results of the project will also be exploited by the other industrial partners: POET plans to enrich its product; TEAMLOG will increase its capability to develop operational client-server applications and business objectives with CORBA based middleware; IONA's Orbix will be extended to provide support for new services such as replication, persistency and distributed transactions. Moreover, it is a strong aspect of IONA's strategy to integrate technology such as DBMSs into Orbix.


Alcatel Alsthom Recherche
Route De Nozay
91460 Marcoussis

Participants (5)

Alcatel ISR
523 Terrasses De L'agora
91034 Evry
Viale Regina Margherita, 137
00198 Roma
Ecole Polytechnique Federale Lausanne
Signal Processing Laboratory
1015 Lausanne
Poet Software Gmbh
Fobredder 12
22359 Hamburg
Le Grande Sablon - 4 Ave; De L'obion
38 700 La Tronche