We are always looking for new ways and insights to develop functionalities that make sure that our users are as effective as they can be in their regular usage of the product suite. We feel that we are on the right path with the products, but still the most common feedback we receive is that; although you can do so much with the product it's always hard to start. With the new range of articles and video's we want to try to take away that starting hurdle and make sure that best practices and experiences are shared more effectively within our user community.
This first article is meant for the users from the telecommunication market and is dedicated to getting started with data from GE Smallworld Physical Network Inventory or PNI for short (more information about PNI can be found here)
With the help of Nayona Duncil from GE we configured a standard PNI project that will enable you to open the Versioned Managed Data Store (VMDS) where PNI data is stored and perform your first visualizations and analysis in the Professional or Ultimate versions of the products.
- Basic knowledge of the product is required
- This project is best used with GSA 5.1.1 and newer versions
- The project has been created against the Smallworld demo PNI 5.1.2 database and there may be some variation if used with an older demo database especially with Analysis collections
- Using this project and changing the database paths will not copy the user-configured styles from PNI. Styles for each geometry object can be adjusted in the GSA application manually
- Analysis collections has been ‘cached’. To remove cache and read live data from the database, click the database icon to delete snapshot
1. What needs to be configured
The first thing that the user must configure are the featured sources. All the featured sources should be replaced with the correct PNI database paths – such as GIS, Internal Tables, Dynamic Enum and Template (usually under modelit_lt but not always)
Press configure, highlighted in red
Replace with the appropriate database paths for each featured source.
2. Construction status field
This has been configured for all Business Collections that are in the standard PNI data model. If there are any additional objects, this topic explains on how to configure this field.
Objects such as cables, buildings, utility boxes etc. will contain the field ‘Construction Status’. This field will be populated with abbreviated construction code. The ‘Construction Status Type’ table from Template.ds contains the definitions for each code. Customers will have different construction status for their business but below is an example of one.
Example of a Construction Status Type Table
1). Add the table Construction Status Type from Template.ds as a look up table reference
2). Form a table join where Object.ConstructionCode = ConstructionStatusType.ConstructionStatus
3). Add a new field to contain the full Construction Status
Conduit results list before the join (Construction code showing)
After the table join is formed, the result list will be able to show the full construction status type instead of the construction code.
Conduit results list after the join (Construction status showing)
3. Spec ID & Specification field
This topic explains how to modify the Spec ID/Specification field.
If not previously configured, the business collection will contain the field ‘Spec ID’ which is a foreign key and refers to a primary key to another table (Specification in Template.ds). By forming this join, you can expand and include information of the Specification in the current table.
Specification table in Template.ds
Some objects will also have their own Specification table that will contain more information on the specification of that object. For example, Sheaths will have a Sheath Specification table, Copper will have a Copper Cable Specification table and so on. By forming this join, you can include more relevant information on the records.
4. Cable configuration
This topic explains how to configure the different cables to including geometry.
PNI data model taken from Training Materials
Fibre, Copper and RF cables will all need to be configured to expose their geometry. A table aggregation can be formed between the tables by following a structure similar to the PNI data model. After this has been done we can ‘gather’ the geometry field from Underground Route or Aerial Route for the child objects (e.g. Cable, Conduit, PRM route etc)
5. Support entered equipment
This topic explains how to configure the different equipment entered in Objects
Sheath Splice Type
One of the fields that Sheath Splice contain is the Splice type. When first linking GSA with a PNI database, the splice types will be shown in code such as ‘brk’ and ‘non_brk’. There is a table called ‘String String Enumeration’ in the Dynamic Enumerator database (which will need to be added as a feature source) that contain the full definition of the splice type – breaking, non-breaking and volatile. A similar technique that was used for the Construction Status type can be followed to link the tables.
Equipment that are placed using the ‘Place mode’ in PNI will contain their own location geometry on the map but other equipment that are entered using the ‘Enter mode’ will not contain any geometry on GSA and will need to be joined with their parent object to expose geometry. The table called ‘Structure Equipment Relationship’ in GIS will have the information of what equipment are inside objects. This table can be used to link the objects together using parent/child properties. The list below shows of which equipment are already configured in this GSA project. If there are additional equipment, then they can be joined by following this configuration.
- Sheath Splice – Access Point, Terminal Enclosure, Point of Interest, Pole, UUB
- Copper Terminals – Lockbox, Pole, UUB
- Sheath LOC Terminal – Access Point
- Copper Splice – Access Point, Terminal Enclosure, Pole, UUB
- Repeater – UUB
- Pair Gain – UUB
Analysis: Cable Visualization
Thematic map analysis of the different cables
Using the analysis function, a thematic map can be produced to show all the different cables in different colours on the map. This can be done by doing the following:
- Configure each of the analysis collection on the left-hand side. Check that Underground Route and Aerial Route are available as an output field for each one.
- Add a new theme on the right-hand side and choose the Analysis Collection field created. The appearance of the object on the map can be customized in the next page
- Repeat for all the Analysis Collections
Analysis: Free Fibres – based on Fibre Attributes
This analysis checks and lists fibre attributes that have their owner field empty (or unset). User will be able to see Routes with the free fibres and the amount differentiated by thickness of blue line (It can be configured using themes on the right-hand side)
Free Fibres Analysis on the map
Query and Reports: Sheath Splice/Copper Terminals
Sheath Splice query
Sheath Splices all contain the field Specification. This query can be run to list all the Sheath Splices from the selected Specification from the drop-down list. Queries can be found in the ribbon bar under the Search tab. All objects that is from the same selected Specification appear in the result list at the bottom. This allows the user to create a report using the result list.
Sheath Splice report
Analysis: Sheath/Copper cable length in Areas
Copper cables and length in Service Areas
This analysis is used to find the total length of all the Sheaths within a Service Area. The user can choose a certain Service Area by filtering the results or can choose to view the total length for all Service areas available as shown above.
This has been done as an analysis on the map. The intersection is found between the two analysis collections (Service Area and cable). The analysis looks for the underground/aerial routes of the cables that is inside the selected Service Area and calculates the total cable length and presents this in the results list.
Themes can be added to the analysis collection to show on the map of which cables are being collected in the results list.
Analysis: Copper Terminals/Sheath Splice
Sheath Splice on the analysis map
This analysis counts all the Copper Terminals or Sheath Splice inside a Service area and divide these into different Specification (as shown in the results list above). Specification will need to be recalculated before use by configuring the ‘Number of Copper Terminals by area’ groups under Additional Fields and using the ‘Get’ feature to collect the name of the different Specifications to be used as groups.
Copper Terminals report