SSP has worked with several home-grown integrations with Schneider Electric’s Responder over the years, but it wasn’t until recently when we implemented a MultiSpeak based solution, not once, but for two different electric utilities.
What Is It?
Very briefly, MultiSpeak, or rather, the MultiSpeak Specification, is an industry-wide standard for application interoperability and is used by hundreds of utilities across the world. It started as an initiative from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association back in January of 2000. To learn more about it and its use, please visit multispeak.org – there is too much information there to replicate here.
Why Use It?
When working with different third-party vendors to satisfy a customers’ needs, it is important to have a good understanding of the message content and how it maps to the different systems. By using a standardized messaging component like MultiSpeak, it allows everyone to speak the same language. An OMS outage identifier could be called many things depending on the systems in place. An attribute name of objectId simplifies those differences. This also saves design and development time, since there is no message contract to write-up and agree upon by multiple parties. The focus becomes on providing the data that is needed between applications.
What’s In It?
There are hundreds of operations specified in MultiSpeak across Electric Distribution. These include system monitoring; operations; business management functions; and engineering, planning, construction and GIS . Since this blog is focusing on OMS integration, we will just briefly mention the ones that we used, and why.
- GetAllActiveOutageEvents – fetch information about all the current / active outages in the OMS. Used to provide a mobile application a list of outages for crews.
- GetOutageEvent – fetch information about a particular outage event based on the outage identifier. Provides near-real time information for a customer or crew.
- GetOutageEventStatusByOutageLocation – fetch information for an outage event based on a location. Useful for querying by customer location information when the outage identifier is not known.
- UpdateOutageStatus – updates the OMS for a particular outage event from the field. Used by a mobile application.
- RestoreOutage – updates the OMS for a particular outage event, indicating that it is restored. Used by a mobile application.
- GetOutageHistoryOnServiceLocation – fetch information about all historical outages for a particular location. Used by CIS to review past outages for a customer.
What Else Is There?
Clearly, a specification can seem to fall short because it cannot include everything for everybody. This is handled quite nicely by the MultiSpeak Specification through Extensions. This allows the contract to be modified (after agreement between the two integrators) to allow for conditions (data passing) that are not covered by the original specification. In our implementations, we used several extensions to handle these conditions. One example was including extended customer data that needed to be passed to the crew.
Finally, if you want to know about SSP’s recent projects using MultiSpeak, come visit us at the 2015 Esri Electric and Gas GIS User Conference this year in Providence, RI.
I will be co-presenting on both projects:
Opening the Outage Door: Integrating OMS into CIS scheduled for Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 2:55PM in Ballroom D
Integrating the Mobile Workforce with OMS scheduled for Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 11:00AM in Exhibit Hall C. Hope you can make it!