T&D World Magazine

Lodestar Enhances Customer Choice Suite Software

LODESTAR Corporation has announced significant technical enhancements to its LODESTAR Customer Choice Suite software. The upgrades are designed to give utilities improved ease and speed of access to data.

LODESTAR's CCS is a comprehensive suite of applications developed exclusively to help energy companies drive costs down and increase efficiency in critical business operations. CCS is built on LODESTAR's Energy Information Platform, a robust platform that includes an interval data management tool, process management console, reporting framework, security and the LODESTAR Rules Language (which allows the separation of business rules from applications). The EIP allows for accurate and quick import, storage, organization and validation of large amounts of complex usage data.

LODESTAR's EIP has historically employed Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) and classic ActiveX Database Objects (ADO) for database access. As a result, database requests needed to travel multiple layers between the database and the application, which slowed the entire process. With this announcement, CCS now leverages ADO.NET for database access, which eliminates the multiple layers between the application and the database. ADO.NET enables CCS customers to realize the following benefits:

  • Allows for more direct communication between applications and databases .
  • A performance increase of two to four times faster.
  • The system now can more quickly and easily manage massive amounts of data and allows for users to save large numbers of records simultaneously

"When it comes to utilizing data, utilities are among the most sophisticated companies in the world. As a result, they require world class technologies that let them quickly access data to streamline operations," said John Hovan, chief technology officer of LODESTAR. "

In addition to the new underlying data access technology, LODESTAR also announced several other key enhancements to its CCS solution, including:

  • Revised Interval Data Structure: Lets users associate interval data--such as meter, pricing, weather, etc.--with any entity, allowing for much greater flexibility.
  • Updated Graphical User Interface: Enables users to easily view and edit interval data.
  • Process Management Console: Announced separately, LODESTAR's Process Management Console is completely integrated with its CCS solution, enabling utilities with more robust tools and graphical interfaces to configure and manage the various business processes that are implemented within LODESTAR's system.
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