Utilities sector software systems integration

South East WaterSouth East Water approached Wave Digital for a custom application development to integrate internal systems and give operators a single-source-of-truth for their data which was distributed across many business units and applications. Having seen Wave Digital’s work with VicRoads for their VicTraffic applications, South East Water sought Wave’s expertise in complex system integrations in early 2015.

Wave Digital worked with South East Water throughout 2015 to implement an installation of our data integration and visualisation toolset, enabling South East Water’s management and operators a holistic overview of all assets in one GIS interface, with accompanying data from SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), AMIS (asset management information systems), ERP (enterprise resource planning), EDM (electronic document management) and other proprietary systems, all within one intuitive viewport.

South East Water recently deployed the application live into their operations production environment, following rigorous testing by operators and internal sys-admins.

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Brief

South East Water relied on Wave Digital’s expertise for advice on five key aspects of the solution design for the application:

  • Development process
  • Framework design
  • Frontend implementation
  • API requirements
  • UI design

South East Water wanted a new web-based framework to host and display various asset management and operational systems and other related data to provide real-time visibility and business analysis.

The brief was to develop a dynamic, highly interactive presentation layer UI to sit across core asset related business systems, and needed to include:

  • a dashboard-style presentation of high-level indicators;
  • focus on user experience, and;
  • the ability to display detailed trend and other relevant data.

The challenge was that operational data and visibility of South East Water’s systems were in different systems. These needed to be integrated and presented using leading-edge web technologies (HTML5, AngularJS) to graphically present the data in a meaningful way to users, who ranged from operational staff to managers.

Approach

There was a lot of preparation and consultation at the front end, says Project Manager and Scrum Master Nick Craig.

“We started off with a blueprint phase, including a tech evaluation and a High Level Requirement document. We established a lot of detail before building anything. This gave South East Water ample opportunity to give feedback, and enabled us to clarify issues and key terms early in the piece.”

A UI review was conducted, based on the visual elements and layouts present in the existing SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system. The aim was to clarify requirements with respect to the behaviour of the UI rather than establish a fixed ‘pixel perfect’ visual mock-up of the system.

“South East Water developers had the power to accept or reject code during any delivery phases, defining extensibility, integration and documentation required over the course the build phase.”

Solution

OneAssetThe framework is modular, based on reusable libraries of code that can be extended in the future to consolidate other South East Water systems at a UI level.

Wave Digital developed a web-based application to integrate varying forms of data from the various systems via their APIs. The data is transformed and then rendered in a desktop browser in a meaningful and instantly intuitive way to South East Water users.

A consolidated view of assets was achieved by bringing together separate sources of operational data that operated ‘in silos’, and giving ‘a single source of the truth’ of their assets’ performance to management and individual operators.

Technology

Web-based platform with cross-browser functionality

The framework design is fully modular so that each element within a given application can be parameterised for full flexibility. For example, there is the ability for the user to favourite their default loading application, and the UI opened with URL-based parameters allows on the fly customisation of the screen presented to them (URL routing).

The framework was built using:

  • JavaScript (AngularJS, jQuery), HTML5, CSS3
  • Highcharts/Highstock charting tools
  • Google maps/earth API

Key elements include:

  • Google based mapping overviews and interactions
  • Tables, lists, search bars, etc
  • JavaScript based trending elements
  • Calls to a variety of systems via web services or APIs
  • Static images, hyperlinks, etc
HTML5_Logo  AngularJS-large  JQuery_logo

Contact

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Wave if you would like to discuss this project in more detail or face similar challenges in your organisation.