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A System Supporting Simultaneous Multi-User Configuration of Intelligent Electronic Devices Configuration

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000212448D
Original Publication Date: 2011-Nov-14
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2011-Nov-14
Document File: 5 page(s) / 187K

Publishing Venue

Siemens

Related People

Juergen Carstens: CONTACT

Abstract

The configuration of IEDs (Intelligent Electronic Devices) is typically done using appropriate IED configuration software or engineering tool. These modern IED configuration tools allow a user to create and configure hundreds of IEDs in a single project. When the user chooses to save the project, all the project details such as the names, description and configuration information of IEDs are typically stored in a vendor-specific/proprietary binary format in a folder on the user’s PC (Personal Computer) or on a remote machine, which is accessible via a network. This project can be accessed from any PC by specifying the location of the projectfile within the IED configuration tool. However, even if this project is saved on a machine within a network, so users can access it from their own PCs, multiple users cannot open this project concurrently. A user who tries to open a projectfile that has already been opened by another user is informed that this project has been locked for editing and hence cannot be opened. In other words, multiple users cannot concurrently work and make changes to the same projectfile. Assumed a project has 400 IEDs and since only a single user can open and edit a project at any point in time, only a single user can at any moment be involved in configuring these 400 IEDs. Hence, the configuration of IEDs is a sequential process and thus it takes a large amount of time to be completed.

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A System Supporting Simultaneous Multi-User Configuration of Intelligent Electronic Devices Configuration

Idea: Girish Suryanarayana, IN-Bangalore; Arunagiri Ranganathan, IN-Bangalore

The configuration of IEDs (Intelligent Electronic Devices) is typically done using appropriate IED configuration software or engineering tool. These modern IED configuration tools allow a user to create and configure hundreds of IEDs in a single project. When the user chooses to save the project, all the project details such as the names, description and configuration information of IEDs are typically stored in a vendor-specific/proprietary binary format in a folder on the user's PC (Personal Computer) or on a remote machine, which is accessible via a network.

This project can be accessed from any PC by specifying the location of the projectfile within the IED configuration tool. However, even if this project is saved on a machine within a network, so users can access it from their own PCs, multiple users cannot open this project concurrently. A user who tries to open a projectfile that has already been opened by another user is informed that this project has been locked for editing and hence cannot be opened. In other words, multiple users cannot concurrently work and make changes to the same projectfile.

Assumed a project has 400 IEDs and since only a single user can open and edit a project at any point in time, only a single user can at any moment be involved in configuring these 400 IEDs. Hence, the configuration of IEDs is a sequential process and thus it takes a large amount of time to be completed.

If this projectfile, which can be in binary format, will be maintained in a standard Configuration Management System (CMS), it is possible for multiple users to use this project in the following two ways:

1. If the CMS supports a lock-based mechanism to protect against concurrent changes, the projectfile can only be checked out by one user at a time for editing. The CMS will put a lock on that file so that other users may either be only allowed to check out that project for viewing or disallowed to check out that file for any purpose. Only after the first user has checked in his changes back into the CMS or conveyed to the CMS his intention to release the lock on the project, can another user be permitted to check out that projectfile for editing. The drawback of this approach is that multiple users cannot simultaneously work on the same project to make configuration changes.

2. If the CMS does not support a lock-based mechanism to protect against concurrent changes, multiple users can check out the project from CMS, make changes, and check the project back into the CMS. However, since the project file is in a binary format the drawback here is that every check-in overrides the changes made by the previous check-in. Thus the earlier changes made by other users are lost; hence, users are unable to make changes concurrently to the project.

A known ap...