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The concept of a uniform information field of the design organisation
Today became a platitude of a reasoning on constantly growing value of IT-services in economy of the organisations, and, in particular, the companies performing design works and “projects turnkey” and, accordingly, about increasing value of automation of activity in the field of granting of these (design) services. Nevertheless, if to look at a problem eyes of the usual IT-manager, with good tools here it is uneasy. IT-service functions in which automation our manager can be interested, diverse. It, in traditional terms, both business modelling, and management of projects (basically, projects of working out and-or introduction of appendices), and management of requirements of users, both budgeting, and which still. There is a desire to remove from a shelf the certain software product covering all these functions in the uniform information environment as it is intuitively clear that functions are closely interconnected and have many the general information objects. Experts are informed on ruler IBM Rational. It really conceptually (and in many respects software) the complete multipurpose toolkit covering practically all sections listed above, though and with an obvious bias in management of working out of new products that for the majority of IT-services not so actually. But costs much, takes root uneasy. Certainly, for 98% Top500 where it, according to IBM, is used, it, probably, not a problem. But for those organisations performing design works where cost of its purchase can exceed the annual IT-budget, IBM Rational the decision is not.

Certainly, there are developed tools on separate functional sections. For example, for business modelling – ARIS, BPwin, AnyLogic (the environment of imitating modelling – working out of the Russian company), the same Rational Rose, for management of projects – Open Plan, Primavera, Microsoft Project, NauDoc (a free base complete set with an open code), for management of requirements – Hewlett-Packard Open View. But, first, tools too, generally, expensive, secondly, separated, it is information among themselves not connected, complete process in itself not organizing. And in the third – that especially concerns business modelling tools – a little practical, especially, unlike the western companies, for the Russian companies. Though the same ARIS is positioned and as the visualisation tool and as an initial material for automation, but it in practice so do not use. And labour input of the description of object here such that this description for working business obviously loses an urgency how it will be made.

Exit is assemblage from modules of the listed tools on the basis of binding Microsoft Excel.

ITIL, applied in work of the western firms is the collection of theories full enough listing everything that is, can be and sometime will be concerning article subject.

Let's consider the concept of automation of IT-service on principles of a uniform information space (UIS) – similarly ERP for the design organisation as a whole, – and the concept which is based on enough simple practical parcels.

Let's assume that the design-budget documentation of the organisation which are carrying out prospecting and design works, is carried out and stored in a digital form. Including more than 30 percent make it the spatial data. These are materials of researches, special topographic plans and schemes, and also topographic base in the form of raster and vector of topographic plane and topographic maps. The attributive part prepares in tabular and text kinds. There is (large-format) scanner with which help scanning and numbering of raster underlying causes is carried out. There is the automated technical archive, including hundred thousand registration forms of complete sets and marks of the design-budget documentation and containing thousand electronic copies of design documents. The electronic library of the is standard-help documentation (with possibility of convenient search), regulating norm and a rule of performance of projects is organised.

Let's formulate high lights of a policy of the organisation which are carrying out design and exploration work:
- Stages. Really, the system of the automated technologies of designing is under construction consecutive turns. The computer facilities are gradually increased and replaced, the software is got and updated, information and methodical maintenance is formed. The geoinformation fund of areas where designing and reconstruction of corresponding objects was spent collects. Stages provides development by designers of means and work methods on personal computers in parallel with development of computing means and supply with information creation.
- Centralisation. Really, at the heart of construction it is necessary to put a principle of the centralised storage and the distributed processing of the information. On the basis of volume carriers of the given and powerful servers it is necessary to create uniform storehouse of the design-budget documentation, a high-speed local network for an intensive exchange of documents between designers, with obligatory storage on servers (including storage of versions of documents). It allows to carry out uniform information to the policy and to build management of the spatial and attributive information.
- Concentration of expensive periphery and account materials. Really, the press and duplicating colour, full-specific topographic plans and raster cards demands the big expenses. The uniform center of the press of the text and graphic documentation is necessary for their reduction. It allows to keep account works and to minimise expenses for account materials (a paper and cartridges) and service of peripheral technics (printers, plootters).
- Closeness of system from the outside. Really, modern system blocks do not contain floppi-disk drives. The exchange of documents is carried out by e-mail or through the general catalogues on local workstations of designers or servers. The purpose of such decision is, first of all, struggle against viruses, elimination of leak of the corporate information and prevention of distribution of the illegal software (the last demands also deprivation of users of the corresponding rights of local managers). The external correspondence (e-mail) arrives and goes through the manager of e-mail with an obligatory mark in a log-book, check on viruses and the subsequent archiving on an optical disk.
- Unity of tool means. Really, it is consistently necessary to pursue a policy of use of the uniform licence tool means resolved to application in the design organisation (systems Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, 7, schedules Paint.NET (free analogue Adobe Photoshop), table/text Open Office (the Russian working out – free analogue Microsoft Office, AutoCAD, KOMPAS-3D etc.). Probably, the choice of the uniform program environment can be tightened that will slow down rates of introduction of an information technology, there will be missing fonts AutoCAD on some workstations etc., and, as consequence, will lead to the general increase in time of designing.
- Constant improvement of professional skill. Really, it is necessarily necessary to allocate special resources (human, technical, time and economic) for improvement of professional skill on development of the used and new software and working off of technology of command work of collective of experts over one project.
Designing process represents difficult information system with a great number of participants, set of parallel, crossed, counter and cyclic communications between them and great volumes of the transferred information. Maintenance of information interaction of various divisions and experts within the limits of command work on the project is the most actual problem at the moment.

In the development the automated designing as the information system, takes place some stages characterising a way of a data structure on electronic carriers:
1. Design documents prepare on separate computers not connected among themselves in a local network. With introduction of the automated designing there are new, electronic, forms of documents. They collect in considerable quantities on computers of users without uniform system of storage and the account. Modification is not systematised also. Documentation reproduction is made from paper carriers that leads to their premature deterioration, archive growth, demands for it the additional areas, and, as consequence, is a brake in development of technology of designing. Any exchange of catalogues of archives and files is thus conducted. The document transfer between co-authors is carried out on external stores of small volume (diskettes, flesh-disks, compact discs, etc.), movement of the documentation on definition a slow, generating considerable quantity of various copies of the same document. Formats of exchange ASCII and dxf.
2. Preparation of the design data on the workstations included in a local network. Thus speed of an exchange sharply increases, there are first preconditions of close interaction between divisions. There are general catalogues of an exchange on a server and local cars, standardization (restriction) on formats of documents is required, there is a necessity of working out of uniform marks of files. On file structure it is impossible to construct document circulation as there are restrictions on names of files, it is impossible to trace a route and history of documents and so forth Though in server operating system Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and 2008 there is a possibility of differentiation of access rights of groups of users to documents, it does not solve a problem of a considerable quantity of copies of files. There are first signs of joint (command) work of various divisions over the general project. From the customer and accessory manufacturers the initial and intermediate data in the digitized kind starts to arrive. There is a requirement of the centralised archive of the design documentation, and also a problem of the centralised restoration of the data. Exchange formats become more intellectual, fonts, styles, blocks (doc, xls, dwg, dgn, pdf, etc.) are transferred.
3. Use of a server for storage of the electronic design data on the basis of DBMS. Each designer has the personal computer with one or two monitors, some – mobile workstations (laptops, netbooks, smart phones, etc.). Documents are stored not as separate files, and as records in a database. To documents link attributes (the author, date of creation, change and viewing, etc.), are possible accurate tracing of versions and a route of movement of the document, sample, sorting, archiving, recoil etc. Provides safe shared access for different user groups. Search and extraction of documents from a database it is organised through Intranet. The basic complexity consists that client appendices cannot work directly with the documents stored in a DB. There were exchange formats and converters, the supply with information becomes key.
4. Application of industrial control systems by the design documentation. An overall objective of the previous third stage is creation of conditions for construction of system of electronic document circulation, including to learn to describe communications, to make regulations, to define the rights, to load documents into databases and, the main thing to realise to all executors necessity and advantage of work for these conditions. Uniform formats of storage and work in the near future in view of flexibility CAD it is not expected, though losses from transformations will be minimum.

Let's formulate the basic requirements to a uniform information field of the design organisation:
- Real time. The information system of the design company should function in a mode of real time, that is performance of the design documentation occurs simultaneously to acceptance of design decisions.
- Collective work on the project. First of all it is ordered, information interchange on electronic carriers. Simplicity of copying of documents in the conditions of the developed local network is a huge achievement, but simultaneously and the present disaster as graphic documents, explanatory notes, estimates etc. breed quickly, duplicated, lose authorship and start to lead the life. As the result, is sharply lost an urgency.
- Access differentiation. Any document in the design organisation has the author who defines a site of the document (subordination), its reliability (readiness degree) and availability another. On the other hand each expert has access to the information according to the status.
- Two levels of information streams internal (in the design organisation between experts and divisions) and external (between the company and the customer, subcontractors etc.). Each of levels has the traffic regulation of the information. In the organisation of moving of documents has less formal character, than external (technical project delivery, entering of corrections, notifications and coordination by phone and e-mail). There are special procedures on cancellation, change and addition of the documents transferred out of the design organisation.
- Unity of formats of documents. The machine way of an exchange of the documentation, unlike a traditional paper way, imposes essential restriction on applied formats of the data. In the design organisation it is necessary to take special measures on observance of the standard of an exchange, and the external exchange is based on preliminary agreements, or application of special converters (in certain cases, unfortunately, with information loss, necessity of conversion training of users and the expenses of time comparable in due course of working out of the document). Key documents for performance of works in databases.

Let's consider the IT-service place in space of the design organisation.

IT service – the auxiliary department of the design organisation rendering to it of IT-service. I.e. all set of the works which are carried out by IT-service of the design organisation, we will name further IT-services. External environment co-operating with IT-service make:
- The customer, i.e. the organisation performing design works, in the name of its management. As it is necessary to the customer, it makes demands and finances activity as we will accept for simplicity that the service IT-service on the party does not render;
- Users, i.e. employees of the organisation performing design works who directly use IT-services. It is not necessary to confuse them to the customer. If not management of the organisation performing design works, and users, let even management level becomes the customer of IT-service, the IT-service ceases to carry out the basic duties;
- The infrastructure of the design organisation rendering to IT-service certain services: financial, accounting, personnel, purchasing, logistical, administrative etc. it is not excluded that the part of this infrastructure can be a part of the IT-service, in what case it within the limits of service too should be operated;
- outsourcers, i.e. specialised design, consulting, promotional and the service organisations. Their role consists that they on a time or constant basis deliver to IT-service a manpower which it is inconvenient the service or is inexpedient to contain in staff. Specificity of IT-service consists that it frequently is hardly probable not the most essential in the organisation performing design works as the consumer outsourcing services that, accordingly, demands special attention from the point of view of management;
- Suppliers of the computer equipment, software, account materials, etc. Basically, operations with them as it was already marked, depending on the model of management accepted in the design organisation can become isolated in full or in part on external after the relation to IT-service divisions. But, in any case, and in contractual work with them the IT-service actively participates in a choice of suppliers.

Let's accept for simplicity that IT-service of the organisation performing design works, one. Anyway, the IT Infrastructure technically represents complete enough system it, hence, copes on-line. Accordingly and tools of management we create for this case.

So, we have found out, what basic external objects should be considered in UIS IT-services.

Let's consider IT-service functions (structure of IT-services).

The IT service is engaged in rendering of services of the design organisation, basically, three kinds:
- Infrastructure building. We will carry them to works on construction of information networks – installation of computers, formation of network connections within the limits of a local network, equipment of computers by the base software, formation of services of a general purpose (the Internet, e-mail, system of protection of the information);
- Working out and introduction. We in this case will carry these terms to the integrated and specialised program applications providing the IT Environment for performance of the basic work of users;
- Operation of all constructed and introduced.

As a matter of fact, from the point of view of the basic toolkits of management first two sorts of IT-services could be considered at certain level in common. But only at certain level for working out and introduction, in our terminology, have huge technological specificity which should be especially considered in a control system of services in relation to infrastructure building.

Let's consider objects of UIS of IT-services and functional modules of a control system of them.
A working out and introduction Branch
Business modelling
The central link of a control system of IT-services are users. The user is characterised by the workplace and the “a portrait”. Tthe workplace it is necessary, according to requirements of the customer, to equip and further to support equipment in working order. The person it is necessary to train and demand to carry out ordered by requirements to the workplace function in the automated information system (AIS) the organisation performing design works.

Whence undertake the workplace? Possibly, information object delivering them, the structure of management of the organisation performing design works, hence, in ours UIS is it is necessary to provide for it a place. A binding of the person to the workplace – an essence the list of staff. At work by turns to one the workplace some workers can be attributed.

Whence requirements of the customer to the functions carried to each the workplace undertake? We will build the following simple logic chain. There is a functional structure of the design organisation as which we understand a tree of decomposition of functions of management – from the general management of business before private operations of type of the press of the electronic drawing or the organic account. Us this structure in this case interests “as should be” (we consider that transition to it from “as is” “on a paper” anticipates IT-services and it is direct to them does not concern). If we construct such structure and we will adhere functions to РМ, we have already something. Something, but still insufficient for the further intelligent management.

Then – the processes providing execution of functions. On their each function, generally, a little. Processes connect the workplace among themselves in a chain or (if at process there is a branching) in a network. Certainly, the workplace can participate in several processes.

We will name these processes by information processes unlike more traditional “business processes”. The purpose of input of this concept – the severity of definition necessary for our problems. Under business processes now everybody understands everything. In the widest sense in this concept include also industrial-technological processes which us in this case do not interest, and the administrative processes which are not mentioning directly AIS. In the light of it we define information processes for our case as some projection business processes on AIS. As it was already marked, information processes is the count, which tops – the workplace, and arches – display of sequence of execution of operations of process. Each top can compare some things: an input (the source data), an exit (information results), toolkit (program processing and the technological instruction). As we see, objects has increased. Let's look more attentively at some of them, and we will promote in creation new, having passed in the following module.

Management of configurations
The input and exit are usual objects of a configuration of a program application – documents, directories, reports, etc. we will name further their objects of the metadata. In some modern appendices level of the metadata is described as a part of a configuration formally, in others it formally is not allocated, but for ours UIS it is necessary, therefore at our system of objects anyhow should be present.

Further there are access rights. From everyone the workplace it is necessary to have the right to read objects of an input and to write to objects of an exit. It is a little simplified (at level of general scheme of information processes) the approach; requirements in addition are possible to cause those or other rights in a context concrete information processes; probably to finish these requirements and to data fields. We will carry these subtleties to the special requirements of the customer realised any more through level of access rights to objects of the metadata, and through actually program codes of processings. These requirements, naturally, should be somehow fixed in system.

Access rights can be realised or individually for everyone the workplace or through templates of roles with a view of economy of expenses for designing. From here there is an object “roles”.

And further, on this branch of reasonings, the configuration of the appendix follows. If level of objects of the metadata is allocated in its description formally, we can automate communication of requirements to a configuration with its condition (if it is necessary, in its different versions) simple enough means. If is not present, this communication either is not automated, or automated with difficulties. Its automation is rather valuable, as provides the extremely demanded, but seldom realised possibility automatically to support in ours UIS the actual structured engineering specifications on a working configuration that essentially cuts expenses on operational support introduced AIS and considerably raises its reliability.

Let's notice that at introduction replicable appendices we define the standard and working configurations, different presence of new objects of the metadata (including and program processings) and, probably, updating of the standard.

The Branch of building of an infrastructure
Here everything, from the point of view of objects UIS, simply enough. For us are available the workplace and requirements to their participation in information processes. Accordingly, there are requirements to hardware-software equipment of everyone the workplace. If they keep within in accepted in the organisation performing design works the standard of equipment of a client place, to it the workplace its standard configuration if is not present becomes attached, there is a requirement of the specialised. No less than with network connections, server configurations, etc., requirements to which arise from set of requirements to all the workplaces, their geographical arrangement, etc. Accordingly there are such objects as networks, servers, client workstations (terminals), the network equipment, the network connections, which description it is necessary as with a view of generation of works for their construction, and for the subsequent operation.

An operation Branch
All buildings of an infrastructure created in processes, workings out and introductions objects are maintained; operation almost does not generate new kinds of objects. A starting point of actions on operational services (or to support and support services) is the operational requirement proceeding, as a rule, from the user. Essential from the point of view of system of objects UIS it is possible to consider here that circumstance that support process generates such phenomena as versions of initial objects.

Management of requirements
It is expedient to allocate two kinds of requirements: requirements of the customer and the requirement of the user. At once we will make a reservation that the structure of their reflexion in UIS is almost identical to both kinds; distinctions are shown at qualitative level and at level of procedures of management.

Requirements of the customer or functional requirements to AIS are characterised by that they arise not on “independent” to the initiative of separate users, and in the regulated process of designing of system. They are documentary made out by working group of introduction, pass the coordination of key users and affirm supervising body of the project (coordination council or similar on functions), authorised to operate on behalf of the customer.

Requirements of the user arise at the initiative of the last exclusively as independent objects. As a rule, they are born during system operation, however, considering that system pre-production operation usually is considered a component of a stage of the introduction, the first such requirements appear at this stage.

Requirements of the user if to speak about them in a general view, it is expedient to divide on design (or business requirements) and operational (service). For design requirements essentially that they for the execution should find the status of requirements of the customer as a result of coordination procedure; accordingly the regulations of management of requirements also should be constructed. It concerns, first of all, the requirements mentioning structure introduced information processes, objects of configurations of appendices, access rights. The requirements of this sort which has done not pass the coordination, are not executed. Operational requirements should to pass, in case of need, unless procedure of the budgetary coordination; if this party of a question does not cause problems, requirements are executed. Requirements of an upgrade or computer repair, cartridge replacement can concern such requirements, etc.; Probably, for example, and insignificant changes of the reports consumed only by the given user. In this business it is a lot of nuances which we here for brevity will lower as us the fact of presence in UIS objects of the given kind and certain modes of work with them interests here, first of all.

Let's consider management of works.

The accepted requirement generates one or several works (a kind of object new to us). Accordingly, necessity to operate execution of works (tasks) generates the whole block of the further objects.

Let's notice that the works treating kindly structured objects, can be generated, in some cases, by system on the basis of the list of requirements automatically; also it is possible to adjust various procedures of verification of completeness of the list of the planned works concerning the shown requirements. This enormous advantage UIS before local use of tools of design management of a general purpose which should be filled the list of works only “from a head”. Undoubtedly, such “irregular” works in any quantity arise inevitably and in our system. But the them it is less, the above quality of activity of IT-service, the it is less risk of that in a smithy at the crucial moment it will not appear nailing. Anyway, the automated system precisely will not forget that before the operation beginning it is necessary to fill with the initial data directories and to enter the rests, to train and certify each user, etc.

Works, especially at stages of building of an infrastructure, working out and introduction, seldom have single character; them is the sense to unite in any complexes (units). For noted stages the standard unit of works is the project, i.e. the complex of logically interconnected works having the general result. The given kind of object is valuable to such further actions, as network scheduling of the interconnected works, distribution of resources, budgeting. Are possible in system and units of works without definition of their logic interrelation. The aspect of network planning. Here leaves, but keep value distribution of resources and budgeting. Such units are expedient for entering, for example, by kinds of operational works. It is clear that works can not only be generated by periodic requirements, but also have procedural, constant character, also influencing loading of resources and on budgets.

Accordingly, there is such kind of object, as resources. For our purposes interest is represented by resources, basically, two kinds – labour and financial; such things as, for example, the equipment or materials seldom limit possibilities of performance of works in a zone of IT-services.

Manpower unites the personnel of IT-service of the organisation, the personnel given outsourcer, and, in necessary cases, resources of users. From the point of view of appointment of executors and scheduling they differ nothing from each other, but for tariffing, budgetings, etc. should have certain distinguishing characteristics. Financial resources are appointed through such objects, as budgets (the general, budgets of complexes of works) and items in the budget in the detailed elaboration necessary for management.

Let's consider the general structure.

The structure and the basic procedures making functional modules of IT-services, can be unified for application both at stages of primary creation AIS, and at stages of operational support. The details specific to these stages, it is simple to reflect in the procedures put in described system, and in characteristics of separate objects. So UIS for all managerial process by IT-services at us it is formed on uniform structure for these stages of functional modules and objects.

The general view of structure received UIS can be presented on the below-mentioned diagramme (the basic functional modules and the objects providing interrelation of modules and maintenance of information characteristics) are specified.

The general view of structure of the received uniform information field
The general view of structure of the received uniform information field

As a result of gathering of wishes working with electronic archive (UIS) its functionality was increased, convenience of work raised. At present, the created software and hardware complex for storage and management of archive of the design documentation, includes:
- hardware maintenance (a server, the network, multiple copying equipment, network printers, plotters, the scanner)
-  software and organised on its basis the scheme of the data storage regulating the documentation.

Now the design documentation developed by the design organisation of the company “Челябэнергопроект” and with partners is located in uniform storehouse – electronic archive under the scheme of a data storage in the form of files of a format graphic, text editors and CAD.

The developed system of conducting electronic archive in the design organisation of the company “Челябэнергопроект” has shown the necessity and utility:
- there is a possibility of reception of the accounting data for a management about terms of performance of design works, internal and external tasks about the projects finished and being in work, about executors of design works etc.
- time of search of the design documentation (on an internal information key, the developer), information (on keywords) is reduced;
- the first sheet of the design documentation containing the general data, is filled automatically, the information key is formed;
- the exchange of the electronic data is considerably facilitated – carried out through system;
- the saved up paper archive by scanning is translated in an electronic kind and brought in electronic archive in graphic and text (after recognition) formats, according to the storage scheme;
- listing and documentation reproduction occurs from electronic versions;
- at modification of the design documentation the previous versions of documents remain;
- the principle System works provides the reliable protected storage of electronic design documents and excludes possibility of their loss and unapproved access to them.

All work in system is carried out by experts through the workstations according to access rights and the actions defined in regulations for each group of users.

The developed system of a data storage is based on the base (free) version of system of electronic document circulation NauDoc with an open initial code that allows to improve system: to expand features and to improve convenience of use of the interface taking into account wishes of users forces of IT-experts of the company.

1. Vasiliev K., Stolberg E. The concept of UIS in the management of IT services. – 2008 []
2. Paliyanov P.A. Intranet a way the organisation of a uniform information field of project institute. From materials of the fifth conference of GIS-association Geoinformatics and education” (Moscow, on June, 5-8th, 2001).
3. Bubnov M. The electronic archive is created//Vyksunsky Metallurgist. – 2009. – #34 – P.2 []

The author: Челябэнергопроект
Date: 03/23/2010

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