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Concept: Using BLS Editor for building a plant model

I have this crazy idea, that with a combination of custom action blocks and running the transaction, you could , given the correct backbone database structure, use the BLS editor as a GUI to build a plant model. A lot of people are using xMII as a suppliment, or replacement to standard MES packages, but plant models are all built internally into a database and vary from site to site, (or skill of the DBA). Most MES packages have a GUI for this.

Any thoughts on this concept? I know there are other visual building tools, but I was thinking of an "all xMII" concept.

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  • Best Answer
    Posted on Jan 24, 2008 at 06:43 PM

    Doug,

    I say build it.......sell it as a composite application....get rich...and then retire early....

    As for the technical suggestions you could probably do it but you have to come up with a plant component hierarchy model that will fit an industry (or many but I'd start small). Once you have that together it's just a matter of generating standard reports which can be done if you build in configuration room to massage the data from the underlying system into your "reporting" format. Don't want to get into too much detail here for obvious reasons but it's definitely possible to standardize.

    I would follow suite with the SAP LO module hierarchy and work from there.

    Sam

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  • author's profile photo Former Member
    Former Member
    Posted on Jan 25, 2008 at 01:14 PM

    Hi, Doug.

    When I first "coded up" the tree control, that was the original intention (to allow creating any number of hierchial models or taxonomies).

    What you're proposing would be pretty straightforward to do. The challenge would be creating a "sexy" UI to manage the model, since drag-and-drop and other related activities are a bit iffy in an HTML world, but it can be done with some AJAX, DHTML, and Javascript magic.

    Rick

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    • Hi there Doug, Rick, Sam,

      In terms of what you're talking about. We've got a project running currently (been running for a year), and until it's signed off, I can't give too many details out. Effectively, what I’m doing is using xMII to retrieve data from various different systems and then populate a data warehouse. The key is in terms of how I’m doing it, and that maybe of interest to you.

      Basically, what I've done is taken the concept of the xMII Metrics one step further in that all the processing happens within xMII BLS. So I’ve got a web form which allows you to define a business measure in the process. This business measure is dependent on one data source or many and there is some form of calculation to get the value for this business measure.

      The configuration form allows you to:

      • Build the calculation of the business measure

      (This could be from more than one data source and it’s the relationship of the inputs to get the one value that’s important.)

      • Define a plant hierarchy of business measures – ie: this measure is a child of that measure, etc…

      (This is configured by selecting the categorised process the business measure is associated with, and the business measure which is a “parent” of that being configured.)

      There is some other data configured too, but the important thing, is that all this data sits in the data warehouse, which is a relational database. When xMII needs to retrieve the data from the data sources (to populate the data warehouse), it uses these stored configurations. This is done by dynamically building up an XPath expression from the calculation configurations. Now, when that data gets published from the data warehouse, all the meta data is available too, so you can build in the plant model into the database and then retrieve it as required when you’re querying the data to present.

      So basically, the plant model is not sitting in xMII, but rather a database, however xMII is able to interpret the database’s configurations if that makes sense.

      PS: making xMII interpret the configurations and building up the dynamic XPaths was a bit of a challenge, however it’s up and running and working now.

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