Flexible Data Model Explained

May 18, 2016 — Brian Higgins  [7:01]

Brian Higgins provides a simplistic explanation of the Fiber Manager™ utilization of the flexible data model. The video summarizes relationships between the fiber optic cable and its child objects (buffer tubes and strands).

Are you new to fiber optic cable management? Check out this tutorial article here that breaks down everything you need to know if you’re a novice to fiber optic cables.

Learn about more of SSP Innovations’ offerings for telecommunications organizations, including logical provisioning and web GIS expertise and services, here.

Interested in how SSP Innovations approached a recent logical provisioning project at Tri-State? Read how the project went here.


Hi, my name is Brian Higgins. The topic of this presentation is the Flexible Data Model explained. In short, the Flexible Data Model is used by Fiber Manager™, and it’s been that way for 5-6 years, in terms of what’s been done.

What I want to do, is put in the context of a fiber optic cable, and this is a really bad drawing of a fiber optic cable. In terms, the whole circle, that is your cable. The circles around, these are representing the buffer tubes. The red in here are actually the fibers, the individual fibers that are transmitting light, transmitting data.

Now, the Flexible Data Model is used, pretty much, by Fiber Manager™ to set up a parent – child relationship between various objects. In essence, we can pretty much build any type of equipment that is presented to us. If we wanted to, we could set up a fiber optic cable to not even use buffer tubes by setting the parent of a strand to the cable. A little bit of a warning, a lot of times when messing with the Flexible Data Model, the end resulting model will not be compatible with Schneider Electric’s Wavepoint™. So typically staying in the box with the standard model that is used is generally recommended unless it is deemed warranted.

There are five fields that are utilized by the Flexible Data Model. First, is GLOBALID. GLOBALID is assigned by the GIS. We have no control over it. The second, FIBERPARENT. That is the GLOBALID of the parent object. Number three, THISFIBERCLASSMODELNAME. THISFIBERCLASSMODELNAME is pretty much going to be set up where the default value, that is set by Esri properties, must equal the Object Model Name.

Let’s talk a little bit about this. From our cable, the out of the box model has the model name of “SHEATH.” So, the Esri default value for THISFIBERCLASSMODELNAME is “SHEATH.” The child, as we’ve already talked about, which is the buffer tube, so the model name for buffer tube is actually “BUFFERTUBE.” So, the value that is going to be entered here for the buffer tube object, well, it is “BUFFERTUBE.” Then the child of a buffer tube is “FIBERSTRAND.” The key thing, is whatever is put here as the default value, you must have the Object Model Name assigned to the object or feature class.

The fourth field is FIBERPARENTMODELNAME. That will be the model name that is assigned to the parent object. Lastly, the FIBERCHILDCLASSMODELNAME. That’s the model name, as you would expect, of the child.

So, when we’re setting this up, you set these values up to work, and it’s pretty straight forward. When we’re setting up the sheath, we just have to set up THISFIBERCLASSMODELNAME equals “SHEATH,” the FIBERCHILDCLASSMODELNAME is going to be set to “BUFFERTUBE.” When we’re talking about the buffer tube table, the THISFIBERCLASSMODELNAME is “BUFFERTUBE,” where the Fiber Child is equal to “FIBERSTRAND.” When we’re talking about the fiber strands, pretty much the only thing we have to assign is THISFIBERCLASSMODELNAME equals “FIBERSTRAND” because there is no child of a fiber strand.

Now, there is one exception to the rule. In my presentation, we were showing panels. You could have multiple devices possibly within a rack. In a rack, if you have a rack object, you could have two different related objects, or actually two or more. You could have a device, you could have a panel, etc. So, explicitly setting the child of a rack is not applicable. We’ve got to give it the fiber multi-container model name, and then assign the FIBERPARENTMODELNAME to the two sub-related objects.

This was an extremely quick summary of the Flexible Data Model. It can get complicated. So, I have written three or four blog posts. I encourage you to utilize this for additional reference material. I hope this was beneficial to you.

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Brian Higgins

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