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RG&E and Opal Awards

RG&E and Opal Awards

The work at RG&E is highlighted in an article titled Rochester Gas and Electric Relies on CA’s Opal to Streamline Configuration Management for Nuclear Power Plant Operations.

The full article is online at library but is technically an archive since it was from the last century.

The brief description is:

  • Built a SQL replicator for IDMS that updated every 5 seconds
  • Used the SQL source for some data access and screen scraping for others
  • Pushed the app into production in ~ 3 months
  • Earned an award as the best documented plant in America
  • Tibruon earned CA Opal Partner of the Year based on this work

Excerpt’s from the article are below


Without Touching Underlying Code, New York Utility Company Utilizes CA’s Opal

to Integrate Systems for Tracking Power Plant Engineering Information and

Commitments to Nuclear Regulatory Agency

ISLANDIA, N.Y., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ — Computer Associates International, Inc. (CA) today announced that Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E), a $2.1 billion utility serving the Rochester, N.Y., metropolitan area, has begun implementation of CA’s Opal to integrate and streamline a number of systems critical to the operations and management of its nuclear power plant.

RG&E has started revamping many of its business applications supporting the management of its 500-megawatt nuclear power plant on the shores of Lake Ontario. The RG&E IT department is supporting this effort by integrating formerly incompatible systems, empowering end users, and adding needed enhancements — all without touching the legacy code that encapsulates the utility’s business logic.

“Deregulation in most parts of the business has forced RG&E to become more nimble,” said Jim Bodine, RG&E senior analyst. “At the same time, the nuclear part of RG&E’s operations remains heavily regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Agency.” Organizing the utility’s IT group to navigate these conflicting trends created enormous pressures to quickly develop and deploy new business applications.

A complicating factor was the fact that RG&E’s nuclear power plant, constructed in 1969, is in the last decade of its 40-year life span. “As a result, we preferred not to lay out a major capital expenditure to develop a new system to provide the functionality our end users and management required,” Bodine said.

Given this consideration and the legacy of the utility’s diverse architectures, incompatible information systems and heterogeneous operating platforms, RG&E faced a significant challenge. “We needed to integrate our critical applications, make enhancements to existing systems, and do it fast, all without the expense of buying a new system or hiring programmers,” said Bodine.

RG&E turned to CA’s Opal to bring dozens of information systems under a single common architecture. It selected Tiburon Technologies, a Cleveland-based Opal VAR and a CA National Strategic Business Partner, to assist with the implementation. RG&E discovered that Opal could combine functionality among the applications, integrate the overall communications process, provide a common user interface and minimize training. “The beauty of the Opal approach is that we could do all this without touching the underlying legacy code and still retain the full value of the business logic that RG&E had developed over 30 years,” Bodine said.

In just four months after implementing Opal, RG&E had two major systems in production, embracing more than 160 Opal pages mapping over 200 host screens. “We were very pleased with how fast Opal allowed us to deploy applications,” said John Sisler, Tiburon systems consultant.

In its first Opal application, RG&E streamlined a number of programs supporting configuration management for its nuclear power plant. Instead of rebuilding the legacy system, RG&E used Opal to create a new, graphical user interface for several related but disparate applications based on CA-IDMS.

“We made a decision that our emerging configuration management system would allow users to see Business Process Views of the system,” said Wesley Hunter, RG&E analyst. “By running segments of our business processes such as the Software Change Request methodology through Opal, we foresee major benefits in terms of improving productivity and making applications easily deployable on the Web.”

The same system now helps RG&E provide access to more than three-quarters of a million blueprints, engineering drawings, calculations and specifications related to the power plant. In the past, engineers had to work with one system to search for the document they needed and a second one to actually retrieve the document. This two-step process was unproductive. Using Opal as the architecture, the utility combined these two systems, set up the scanned images on a network server and added a search function.

“Opal allowed us to integrate these systems, add functionality with very little effort and deliver a big payback in the form of letting users access images directly from one application,” said Sisler. Tiburon assisted RG&E with the overall deployment of Opal.

“Opal allows RG&E to increase its operating flexibility and enhance its ability to take advantage of new business opportunities in a timely manner. As a result, RG&E is in a better position to adapt to the rapidly changing energy marketplace,” Bodine said.

Computer Associates International, Inc. (NYSE: CA), the world leader in mission-critical business computing, provides software, support and integration services in more than 100 countries around the world. CA has more than 17,500 employees and had revenue of $5.3 billion in fiscal year 1999.

For more information about CA, please call 516-342-5224 or e-mail info@cai.com. CA’s World Wide Web address is http://www.cai.com.

RG&E supplies electric and gas service wholly within the state of New York and is engaged in the production, transmission, distribution and sale of these services in a nine-county area centering on the city of Rochester. On Dec. 31, 1997, the company had 1,958 employees. RG&E’s service territory, which has a population of approximately 1 million, is well diversified among residential, commercial and industrial consumers. In addition to the city of Rochester, which is the third-largest city and a major industrial center in the state, RG&E’s service territory includes a substantial suburban area with commercial growth and a large and prosperous farming area. For more information, visit http://www.rge.com.

Tiburon Technologies is a National Strategic Business Partner and Value Added Reseller for Computer Associates. It was selected as the Opal Reseller of the Year. Tiburon provides services from software consulting to complete project management and implementation throughout the United States and the world. The company also partners with other industry-leading organizations such as IBM, Lotus and Oracle. For more information about Tiburon, please call 216-520-3100 or e-mail http://www.tiburontech.com.