10 years of ADMO: The data management software for PAC systems has celebrated its first big anniversary last year. At the same time, the new release ›ADMO and InSight 6.00 / 3.00‹ introduces two all-new key functionalities. We look behind the scenes and talk to Project Leader Patrick Bär and Product Manager Stefan Schöner.
Let's talk about… 10 years of ADMO: A look behind the scenes
Stefan, Patrick, ›ADMO Box‹ and ›ADMO Projects‹ are the latest additions to ADMO. Why have you developed these functionalities? What’s the story behind?
Stefan: The collaboration between system operators and 3rd parties and contractors such as service providers is getting more diverse, more complex, and more time-consuming. With ›ADMO Box‹, we offer an appropriate solution: now operators can provide external partners with license-free access to their data management platform. As a result, they benefit from consistent asset information with constantly high data quality.
Patrick: With ›ADMO Projects‹, we are also responding to the advancing digitization and standardization in the energy sector. Today, assets exchange information via protocols, and several IEDs (Intelligent Electronic Devices) together represent a common functionality within the system. ›ADMO Projects‹ has been designed for the overall parameterization of such IED networks, and in the future probably of entire system sections, up to the complete facility. This enables operators to keep track of the numerous changes in configurations and operating states of all project-related devices. Unique at this point: In contrast to solutions from IED manufacturers, our approach is universal and manages project files and data of all vendors and manufacturers.
»ADMO Projects is a manufacturer-independent solution, matching the heterogeneous environments of our customers. That is unique.«
(Patrick Bär, ADMO Project Leader)
The software solution got a major update in the year of its 10th anniversary. Was that part of your plan?
Stefan: The fact that we are celebrating ADMO’s 10th anniversary has nothing to do with the major release. That is pure coincidence. We are continuously identifying market requirements and wanted to respond with these new functionalities as early and targeted as possible. This has always been our approach. That’s also why you find ADMO and InSight already in their 6th and 3rd generation, versions 6.00 and 3.00 respectively.
In versioning, you have made quite a leap from 5.10/2.10 to 6.00/3.00. How come?
Stefan: We increase the digits before the decimal point only with major versions. ›ADMO Box‹ and ›ADMO Projects‹ are all new functionalities. They support workflows that have not been addressed up to now. Along with that we have reworked InSight’s data processing power significantly for much speedier performance. Users will notice this boost immediately - especially when analyzing large amounts of ADMO data in InSight. It's just great fun to open InSight and get an answer to your query in almost no time.
» Users will be surprised how quickly InSight processes their requests.«
(Stefan Schöner, ADMO Product Manager)
Thanks to the continuous development of such functionalities, we can today provide an outstanding solution with highest data integrity. A single source of truth. This is a key benefit for our customers. It enables them to respond to events quickly, analyze and understand complex processes, and design their systems in a meaningful way.
Patrick: To do so, however, it is important that the data is entered completely. The data management solution must therefore allow simple and efficient communication following the user’s workflows. It must offer outstanding usability and a great deal of flexibility and customizability. Plus: appropriate performance. This concept has always been the secret of ADMO's success.
Looking at all developments over time: what hasn’t changed and why?
Stefan: Conceptually, the ›look and feel‹ is still the original one. It has been proven repeatedly since the beginning. Navigating through the application still follows the approach we took when we launched ADMO. For example, ADMO’s timeline provides all info about the history of an asset immediately.
Patrick: Our product has been developed and innovated continuously with a state-of-the-art solution in mind for over a decade, which is anything but common in the IT world. This is due to our restless focus on a development process based on highest quality standards. That has not changed since day one as well.
Has there been a highlight during product development over the years, such as a particular challenge you’ve mastered?
Stefan: Yes, definitely: the offline functionality! Finding a solution to sync offline and online data had been a major challenge for us. We’ve decided against the development of an online-only solution, although that would have required much less efforts and investments. The term ›digitization‹ makes you believe that everything is connected and that you are always online. In our field, however, this is rarely the case. Our customers often tell us that the offline functionality represents one of the key benefits along their workflows. That's why it was the right decision.
» The offline functionality of ADMO surely represents one of the key benefits to our customers.« (Stefan Schöner, ADMO Product Manager)
Patrick: Not being online at every location has also an enormous security aspect: exposures to potential cyber-attacks are reduced dramatically this way. Our customers look into security very closely. Here we are talking about managing data of critical infrastructures. Nevertheless, facilities are inevitably becoming more networked. Demand for cloud and online solutions will increase, and the risk of cyber-attacks will rise consequently. We have therefore paid a lot of attention to cybersecurity. This will be a continuous challenge for us that we are ready to take.
Does that mean that you will also continue to focus on cybersecurity for the next 10 years?
Stefan: As a result of the trends mentioned here, new components will find their way into the OT world. Processes, roles, responsibilities, and expertise will all change. Security and reliability are among the most important aspects in data management. That’s why there will always be a focus on cybersecurity. Though, not only. We will keep a close eye on the challenges that we and the industry will be facing until our next anniversary and beyond. In any case, we are convinced that with ADMO we will continue to find innovative solutions right in time.
Many thanks for the interview.
Listen to our podcast
(Length: 21:35 min.)
By the way: In ›Energy Talks‹, podcast host Scott Williams talks to Will Scheibe, Regional Training Manager North America, and Stefan Schöner, Product Manager ADMO and InSight, about the key challenges and benefits of data management in PAC systems.