Scalable Information Management for the Maritime Enterprise

Topgallant® Information Server

Topgallant® Information Server is a scalable enterprise-level information management platform.

Using Information Server, a distributed information infrastructure can be created that manages virtually any type of data located anywhere in an enterprise. It indexes organisational, product and process data, enabling users to search, access, and manage data from any source.

Information Server is tailored to the needs of the maritime industry by means of an underlying information structure defined by the Atlantec-es' Enterprise Reference Model (ERM) for the Maritime Industry. This Reference Model identifies all relevant types of business objects in the industry covering the organization, facilities, processes, and products. In addition to specific data types, registered entries provide details about data related to origin, time of creation, author, related data, and version. This enables structured queries, which can address dependencies or version history.

Topgallant® Information Server not only operates within a single enterprise but can also be configured to support a distributed environment including cloud configurations, which may include numerous companies, consultants, or agencies. It provides security and authorization mechanisms to ensure complete control of information ownership and access.

Topgallant® Adapters can be used to feed and extract information from or to legacy data sources, databases, files, documents, or network connections.

Topgallant Architecture


Topgallant® Information Server is a core component that implements essential functionality for information management within the Topgallant system architecture.

The following components are included:

  • Information Server
  • Information Server Manager application
  • Project Manager application

All services are accessible for all Topgallant framework based applications and adapters. Access for custom developed software is available through the Topgallant® Toolkits.

 

Information Server

This core component is a server that provides access to underlying database storage systems.

Information Server Components

 

The server

  • can be used as a central data management component for the administration of information,
  • can act as a „broker“, i.e. is able to locate information with out necessarily storing all related data itself,
  • caters for typical engineering application requirements, it offers support fast and complex queries,
  • supports management of multiple versions of objects and their history, efficiently supporting life-cycle related storage requirements,
  • provides access control on organizational, user, group role and context level,
  • builds on a standardized maritime business reference model that covers organizational, product, facility and process information,
  • can store large volumes of detailed product model information by employing efficient clustering techniques,
  • is capable of handling large volume of data.

Project Manager

Information Server Manager

Database creation and supervision is accomplished by using the Project Manager application. This tool allows users to configure and manage database contexts, which are the top level storage unit with Information Server.

For the project administrator, the main tasks concerning the configuration and maintenance of projects are:

  • creating new projects and organizations as database contexts
  • changing existing contexts
  • registering users, their roles, and access rights
  • managing adapters and applications
  • reviewing project data

The Project Manager application can be used to configure database contexts hosted on any active Information Server instances in the network (i.e. it can also be used to access remote databases running on other servers).

Information Server Manager

Information Server Manager
Information Server Manager

 

Administration of Information Server can be conveniently performed using Information Server Manager. This application supports the daily system administration tasks such as

  • creation and modification of server instances
  • starting and stopping of servers
  • configuration and optimization of server parameters
  • backup and restore

 

 

Implementations

Topgallant® Information Server is available in these configurations:

  • TGIS: a full-scale database server environment
  • IMIS: as a light-weight in-memory component for desktop use

TGIS: Server-based Implementation

The server-based implementation operates using one or more instances of a data server component and is accessed via network connections. The server implementation supports a multi-user environment.

Typical configurations will run on dedicated hardware.

IMIS: In-Memory Implementation

A light-weight implementation of Information Server suitable for small-to-medium-scale but high-performance applications. It provides the full functionality of Information Server for desktop installations which do not depend on instant synchronization between many users. At the same time, it has a very small footprint and zero-installation effort.

The high performance is achieved by use of an in-memory storage engine, mapping the database into an application's memory. In combination with state-of-the-art persistent storage devices such as SSDs, high performance rates can be accomplished.

This variant of Information Server is particularly suited for focussed simulation and data analytics applications as well as batch-oriented processing, as it offers a very processing rates for transactions and queries.

Options

To cover additional specific functional requirements, the following options are available:

Notification Server

This server provides a gateway from Information Server to other message handling systems. Using a concise configuration, selected events occuring in Information Server can be forwarded to other receivers such as email, text messages, web services etc.

Similarly, messages can be sent from external systems and by mapping into corresponding Information Server events, e.g. to trigger certain actions or to simply store such events for future reference. Since events can internally be forwarded in Information Server, effectively any connect application can take advantage of this mechanism.

Archive Server

The Archive Server is provided with a specialized storage engine to handle large volume data such as document, drawings. This server can operate in two ways: 

  • provide full storage capabilities using the storage engine included
  • operate as a delegating server that interacts with an extern document-type storage system such as a Document Management System or a cloud-based store.

Effectivity

By including the Effectivity option, Information Server will provide powerful capabilities to support series of similar ships (such as sister ships) with minimal effort. The system will keep track of design, part, or material versions applicable to a specific build no. Changes can be selectively applied to individual ships or groups of ships within the series or propagated from a baseline to successor builds.