GE Energy is collaborating with Oracle to expand GE’s geospatial product portfolio by developing a network design and maintenance application based on Oracle Database 10g, Oracle Spatial 10g and Oracle Fusion Middleware. This solution is designed specifically to meet the needs of the small- to mid-size North American electric distribution market.
Oracle is providing the geospatial database and application server mapping software, and GE Energy’s Smallworld business is providing the industry application layer. GE Energy has been working with selected customers in the development of the application and expects beta testing to commence later this year.
Utility market trends show that many utilities are under pressure to lower their cost of ownership for IT systems, including geospatial asset management. In many cases the reduction of internal development staff and IT outsourcing make this issue more severe. As a result, companies increasingly seek products to meet their needs with minimum customization, ease of install/upgrade and low maintenance.
“GE Energy has been a leader in delivering geospatial asset management solutions focused on the unique aspects of modeling utility networks. In order to meet our customers’ needs around IT standardization, our new utility geospatial product line based directly on Oracle Spatial is developed in Java and deployed on a supported industry model without the need for proprietary abstraction layers,” said Bob Gilligan, general manager of GE Energy’s transmission and distribution business. “Our new approach will complement our current offerings and result in products that leverage Oracle’s spatial software.”
GE Energy’s Smallworld Core Spatial Technology remains a key technology for large utilities and telecommunications customers with complex solution needs. No existing products will be retired as a result of this new offering. The addition of applications based on Oracle Spatial will provide more options for companies with specific IT requirements.
In addition to Oracle Spatial, GE Energy application technology incorporates standard Java architectural patterns for heavyweight clients, lightweight clients and integration services found in Oracle Application Server 10g, including Oracle TopLink and Oracle MapViewer. The Java desktop client application provides high-performance, geospatial applications for the end user and includes both the user interface and application logic in the same tier to provide highly interactive and responsive graphical applications.