SmartPlant Foundation authoring is all about using SmartPlant Foundation like any other engineering tool to create and manage data in isolation from the approved plant model and publish items to that model when ready to share it with the enterprise. Users can either create data interactively and via loaders, like the Excel loader, or retrieve data published by other tools, such as Smart P&ID, to form the basis of their design. The data can be published in a number of ways, either on an ad-hoc basis directly from the item via its data sheet, or by first creating a formal data sheet or list document for approval to control the scope of the data published.
Different uses for SmartPlant Foundation
SmartPlant Foundation has long been used to create data, as well as manage data created by the SmartPlant® Enterprise tools. It can be used in stand-alone mode to create data, as a basic integrator to be the file broker among tools in an integrated enterprise, and as a full-blown data warehouse to expose and manage integrated data. In SmartPlant Foundation 2007, there was no clear separation of the data in each of these environments.
SmartPlant Foundation 2008 introduced the concept of domains to separate the data published by the tools and also to separate working data in SmartPlant Foundation from its published data. This introduced different ways of using SmartPlant Foundation. The user’s role controls access to data and ultimately in which mode, or modes, they are working. The following terms are important for understanding the environments in which SmartPlant Foundation is working.
Stand-alone SmartPlant Foundation
SmartPlant Foundation is considered stand-alone when it is used without any tool integration and uses the regular create, update, and delete commands in SmartPlant Foundation to manage data just like in the SmartPlant Foundation 2007 integrated systems.
SmartPlant Foundation can be used to manage data across the integrated enterprise. The data warehouse holds all the data published by the tools, allowing users to browse the data and view inconsistencies across the different tools. They can use SmartPlant Foundation to create support and reference data such as manufacturers, transmittals, and so on.
SmartPlant Foundation authoring
"SmartPlant Foundation authoring" refers to the action of creating data in SmartPlant Foundation and publishing it to the data warehouse. It must not be confused with the creation of data that is not published. SmartPlant Foundation authoring is like a design tool and should be used as a design tool with no visibility to the data warehouse and vice versa. For example, the user’s roles may limit access so that the user sees SmartPlant Foundation as a dedicated application for equipment list generation. Generally, the authoring domains are unique to the different SmartPlant Foundation applications or engineering disciplines.
Before a user can publish or retrieve data, the SmartPlant Foundation authoring application must first be registered with the data warehouse. This is just like any other authoring tool, and the registration identifies the plant into which the data is published.
Mapping and data transformations
The data stored in the data warehouse is defined by SmartPlant schema. This describes the data in a consistent schema to maximize the efficiency of managing the published data by, for example, using common properties for data published by each of the tools. Each tool, such as Smart P&ID, has its own internal data dictionary that can in no way be expected to match the SmartPlant schema. To accommodate these differences, each tool exposes its data dictionary, which is mapped to the SmartPlant schema. As the tool publishes data, it uses this mapping to transform the published data into the SmartPlant schema format and save it in a file. This file is transferred to SmartPlant Foundation and stored in the data warehouse. The data is loaded from the files into the data warehouse once it has been approved.
SmartPlant Foundation domains
Domains are a convenient way of grouping together data of a particular set of classes. Domains can be turned on and off by the roles associated with a user and are used to segregate data. Users in one role may not have access to a domain that is accessible to another user in a different role. To facilitate the different ways of working there are three ‘categories’ or informal groupings of domains that are combined when using SmartPlant Foundation in each of the ‘environments’ described above.
Data warehouse domains
These are the shared and published domains. The publish domains store the documents and data published by the tools, and the shared domain links together the different versions of the same object published by multiple tools.
These are private domains used by SmartPlant Foundation to author equipment lists (and so on) that are then published to the data warehouse. They are used to manage engineering data before it is released to the enterprise through a publish, just like P&ID manages its data. Separate authoring domains may be configured to isolate data by different disciplines in SmartPlant Foundation. Alternatively, a single domain may be configured for multiple roles all working on a common data set, though access can still be restricted to objects or parts of objects using conditions. This usage of authoring domains is discussed in more detail later in the document.
Common or reference domains
These are the core SmartPlant Foundation domains that are used for anything else interactively created in SmartPlant Foundation, such as transmittal, folder, or supplier. Data in these domains is visible by anyone using SmartPlant Foundation in any environment.
As already mentioned, the user’s role controls access to the system, part of which is setting up the different domains to be queried.
When working in stand-alone, the user would have access to the common domains only.
When working in the data warehouse, the user would have access to the data warehouse domains and the common domains.
When authoring data, the user would have access to one or more authoring domains and the common domains.
There is no technical reason why a user cannot access both authoring and data warehouse domains, but a query for a SmartPlant Foundation tag will return both the data warehouse and authored versions of the tag, which might be confusing to the user. For this reason, users should be restricted to working in one or the other.
The diagrams in the sections below illustrate how this works.
Overview of SmartPlant Foundation data segregation
Stand-alone SmartPlant Foundation
The user is working with a set of core SmartPlant Foundation domains to create and manage data.
SmartPlant Foundation authoring
The user is working with one or more authoring domains and a set of core SmartPlant Foundation domains to create and manage transmittals, documents, and so on.
The SmartPlant Foundation authored tag is in the authoring domain and is only visible when this domain is turned on by the user's role, usually only when the user is creating and updating the tags (such as an equipment list). It is then published to the data warehouse, and the tags are loaded into the published domain, which creates new tags that are linked up to the shared object. If other tools have published the same tag, then it is linked by the same shared object. During this process, the authored data is transformed into the SmartPlant schema format so that it can be effectively managed.
The user logs into the data warehouse using a different role that exposes the shared and published domains but not the authoring domain. Now the user sees the published data and, even if another user is logged in and authoring more tags, they do not see changes until that user publishes them.
The user is working with a set publish domains that store the tools' published data, the shared domain linking them together and a set of core SmartPlant Foundation domains to create and manage transmittals, documents, and so on. Note that this diagram shows data published by two tools and also by a SmartPlant Foundation authoring application.