The JORD (Joint Operational Reference Data) Project – PCA in partnership with Fiatech – kicked-off in May 2011 on phase 1 of a 3 year project to deliver a scalable & sustainable enhanced PCA RDS (Reference Data Service) Operations within 5 years. We are proud to announce that Phase 1 of the project completed in 2012.
In Phase 1 the JORD Mapping Methodology and Compliance Specification were finalized and users can now publish Reference Data Library (RDL) references resolvable over the internet and semantic-web technologies – a facility known as an “EndPoint”. This final Phase 1 version also supports “Sandboxes”, where users may immediately create, use and publish their own interim reference data extensions, in advance of the PCA and ISO validation processes.
The Business Benefits of Industry-wide Interoperability
The business value in achieving flexible interoperability between business-units, supply chain partners and systems, over long multi-project, multi-asset, multi-business life-cycles are well understood. And everybody agrees that achieving these benefits has a strong dependency on standardization across systems, across information and across technologies, these include:
- Direct-cost-and-time-savings in reducing effort in transferring, mapping and in simply finding & accessing information necessary to do your business.
- Risk-and-cost-reductions in the quality and ambiguity of information which otherwise lead to sub-optimal business operations, failure to satisfy regulators or, in the worst case, loss of health, safety & environmental integrity.
- Freedom-and-opportunity to take advantage of new collaborative business processes, flexible business partnering, new technology applications and different subcontracting arrangements across your evolving business operations and supply-chains in geographically distributed locations, which may be remote & inhospitable.
How do JORD and iRING Reference Data achieve these benefits?
Business Processes & Applications; Data & Information; and Implementation Technologies must each be standardized independently wherever possible, if the flexible benefits are to be realized. iRING is built on this component architecture, focussing on standardization of information definitions (models and semantics) independent of particular business uses, and neutral with respect to implementation technologies.
A key feature of iRING is that information definitions are handled as shared Reference Data; reference data that is itself accessed and managed independently of your business information and its implementations, and indeed independently of the many possible standards and catalogues that may define that information.
iRING Reference Data supports interoperability and sharing of information definitions between different information standards as well as between different businesses and technologies.
Crucially, because it is unthinkable for multiple whole industries to rely on a single reference data service provider for all critical business lifecycles, a key feature of the iRING RDS architecture is that it supports multiple federated reference data systems and service providers. And, being entirely technology neutral, it can also exploit the latest standard “semantic web” technologies without imposing any dependency other than the capability to use internet protocols to read any reference information resource.
In order to exploit this approach to enhance existing PCA RDS Operations, the JORD Project is establishing a core set of services and capabilities, which enable the evolution, management and validation of compliant use of reference data not only by your business directly, but also by complementary and competing providers of value-added content, systems and services to your wider business operations and supply chains.
The JORD-enhanced PCA RDS Operation delivers comprehensive, scalable and sustainable iRING reference data management and exploitation services. All that is imposed by that core RDS operation is the process of validating compliant use of reference data.
Phase 1 successes included delivering the following:
JORD Phase 1 focussed on achieving a number of technical enhancements to the existing PCA RDS Operation, essential to enabling the full scalable and sustainable aims of Phase 2.
In Phase 1 the key compliance deliverables were the JORD Mapping Methodology and the JORD Compliance Specification. Final Phase 1 versions were both delivered after a series of reviews and updates of existing resources.
The JORD Compliance Specification provides a clear statement of what it means to comply with the JORD core of iRING, whilst recognising that different levels of compliance may be achieved in several pragmatic and independent steps.
The JORD Mapping Methodology provides non-ISO15926-expert, business domain specialists with a reliable and repeatable method of representing their business information in iRING formats and reference data which ultimately guarantee compliance with the formal requirements of the ISO15926 standard, according to the levels of the JORD Compliance Specification. The methodology uses “Template Signature Patterns” expressed in business domain terms which hide the business user from unnecessary exposure to the generic modelling terminology of the standard itself. In doing so the Methodology opens up many more business workfronts to exploiting the iRING approach avoiding dependency on a few scarce iRING technical specialists.
The JORD ID Specification has also captured requirements for truly persistent naming and identification of reference data fundamental to its sustainable use and change-management over long life-cycles and wide federation.
Full use of both the Compliance Specification and the Mapping Methodology still depend on the evolution of additional Template Signature Patterns in the core Reference Data Library and on creation of new operational processes for validation. Already however users are developing their use of the methodology and suppliers are applying the Compliance Specification Checklist to their implementations.
RDL Publishing “EndPoint”
One of the key challenges to the existing PCA RDS was to provide supportable publishing of Reference Data Library (RDL) content as references resolvable over the internet and semantic-web technologies – a facility known as an “EndPoint”. Two generations of EndPoint implementation were achieved in Phase 1, the second version of which is implemented in a commercially hosted environment giving flexibility and independence in how future enhancements are managed by PCA. This final Phase 1 version also supports “Sandboxes”, where users and interest groups may immediately create and use their own interim reference data extensions, in advance of the PCA and ISO validation processes.
The Phase 1 EndPoint implementation does not yet support the fully scalable and sustainable business capability, but is already enabling new supportable enhancements to the RDL web publishing and quality management capabilities.
With Phase 1 having focussed on specific technical enhancements, the Phase 2 focus now switches to the scalable infrastructure and sustainable business operational aspects of both the PCA RDS scope and user business cases.
Get Involved Now to make Interoperability a Reality for the Industry
JORD continues to deliver the core needs of the scalable and sustainable PCA RDS operation and requires additional funding. Interested parties should enquire for a participation package including the model participation contract (detailed fees, terms and specific benefits to sponsors and subscribers).
For additional information, or to express interest please see contact:
- Nils Sandsmark – PCA General Manager email@example.com / www.posccaesar.org
- Ray Topping – Fiatech Director firstname.lastname@example.org / www.fiatech.org
- Ian Glendinning – JORD Business Manager – email@example.com / www.posccaesar.org/wiki/FiatechJord