New system to replace mainframe as TransGrid adopts SOA

Commander Communications Limited has been appointed by TransGrid, the owner and operator of the New South Wales high voltage electricity transmission network, to develop an electronic outage system to more efficiently manage planned outages and maintenance across the state.

Commander won the project in a competitive tender after providing TransGrid with a new architectural design for an automated outage system to significantly improve the accuracy of information available on planned outages.

Called THEOS (THE Outage planning System), it will replace multiple systems, including a mainframe based system.

THEOS will further complement TransGrid's new service-oriented architecture (SOA), which is based around the Microsoft .NET (version 3.0) framework and Microsoft Windows Smart Client. THEOS is to be built using the latest in agile software development methodologies.

When operational, THEOS will allow TransGrid to capture critical information required to review and action planned outage requests automatically.

Planned outage requests will be converted into official access requests by THEOS, which if approved by management will go to form part of TransGrid's published outage plan.

In any outage case, THEOS will prompt TransGrid's outage coordinators to notify all systems involved of next steps, drastically automating and streamlining processes.

TransGrid CIO, Gordon Dunsford, said that in later development stages, THEOS will exchange outage plans and notifications using NEMMCO's Business-to-Business electronic exchange facility.

It will also enable greater automation of the reports the Australian Energy Regulator require.

Dunsford said THEOS will meet world class levels of reliability, by providing business critical information to complement TransGrid's maintenance program.

Commander's enterprise group general manager, Steve Evans, said this is a very significant software design project in NSW this year which supports world's best practice.

TransGrid is a state government-owned corporation, which owns, operates, maintains and develops New South Wales' $3.7 billion high voltage transmission network. TransGrid's 12,500km transmission line powers the NSW economy by linking cities and towns, mines, agriculture, business and industry.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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