WO2010028696A1 - A method, an apparatus and a system for synchronization of data from disparate sources - Google Patents

A method, an apparatus and a system for synchronization of data from disparate sources

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Publication number
WO2010028696A1
WO2010028696A1 PCT/EP2008/065809 EP2008065809W WO2010028696A1 WO 2010028696 A1 WO2010028696 A1 WO 2010028696A1 EP 2008065809 W EP2008065809 W EP 2008065809W WO 2010028696 A1 WO2010028696 A1 WO 2010028696A1
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WO
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Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
metadata
method
data
publishing
database
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/EP2008/065809
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Senthil Kumar Vadivel
Anandamoy Pal
Sharath Hegde
Original Assignee
Abb Technology Ag
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q10/00Administration; Management
    • G06Q10/06Resources, workflows, human or project management, e.g. organising, planning, scheduling or allocating time, human or machine resources; Enterprise planning; Organisational models
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F17/00Digital computing or data processing equipment or methods, specially adapted for specific functions
    • G06F17/30Information retrieval; Database structures therefor ; File system structures therefor
    • G06F17/30286Information retrieval; Database structures therefor ; File system structures therefor in structured data stores
    • G06F17/30575Replication, distribution or synchronisation of data between databases or within a distributed database; Distributed database system architectures therefor
    • G06F17/30578Details of asynchronous replication and data reconciliation

Abstract

A method is presented for electronic publishing of technical data of a technical apparatus. The method comprises the steps of: receiving a request for publication of a specific metadata; obtaining access to at least two metadata sources using authentication; merging metadata from the at least two metadata sources into one single publishing server; and synchronizing the metadata to be published to the one single publishing server. A corresponding apparatus and system are also presented.

Description

A Method, an Apparatus and a System for Synchronization of Data from Disparate Sources

Field of the Invention The present invention relates, in general, to the field of online data synchronization of publishing database from disparate sources within a global company. Documentation of technical equipment in digital form from different factories located in different locations is imported into a global repository, functioning as an Enterprise Content Management System (ECM). This is a publishing process which is called EDP publishing in this description. The method proposed is aimed to harmonize/ synchronize the data such as metadata, product, customer, library and Global Identification Service (GIS) information at one location.

Technical Background

In the electronic document publishing conventional systems, general information about customer details, order numbers and so on and product information exist in many scattered systems and are not harmonized. The general information from different sources is present in different formats. As a result, cross checking and validation of given information against a reference data is not feasible.

US Patent No. 7,028,190 discloses a method and related system which obtains consent from a user for electronic delivery of sensitive information. The system includes a server that is programmed to send the communication to a user, the communication including instructions for a user to consent to electronic delivery of sensitive information; receive consent from the user; store the received consent; and cause sensitive information to be sent to the user. However, this system sends the communication including instructions for user consent to electronic delivery of sensitive information to a user. This method deals with getting permission for sensitive data publishing, has a number of interesting flow charts for communication with customers, but always in context of Supplier/investor relationship. WO2005072191 discloses a system and method for collecting and converting documents sets and related metadata which accepts a file or set of files that represent the content of a work and collects and manages metadata associated with that work. The system then automatically converts the work into a variety of different output formats, including embedding or attaching necessary metadata, and distributes it to other internal or external organizations (like wholesalers or retailers) along with any further metadata required by the recipient organization. However, this method deals only with creating documents from tagged text components, using the Rosettanet specification. It also specifies how to create metadata. This system is restricted to the printed media.

WO2002003189 discloses a system and method for distributing viewing electronic documents that provides a user with the ability to view pages of a document, such as such as a magazine, in a format that looks the same as the conventional printed version of the document and which permit the user to interact with portions of those pages in ways that may not be possible with the conventional printed version of the document. However, this method is globally formulated and contains major Electronic Documentation Program (EDP) components, but restricts itself to magazines; it also provides more workflow sheets which are useful for EDP.

WO2001010090 discloses a system and method for reliably verifying, via secure and tamper- proof documentation, the content and delivery of an electronic message such as an e-mail. Ideally, the invention gives e-mail and other electronic messages a legal status at par with, if not superior to, that of registered United States mail. This system is documenting delivery and content of electronic message has e-mail message received from message sender via internet on at least one designated electronic delivery address where message is to be sent.

US Publication No. 20040004636 discloses an interactive electronic equipment document production system and method for building an on-line documentation system, provided with hyperlinks and queries, collectively called links, that allows dealing with text documents in combination with drawings and other non-text documents and that can be build in a highly automated way. It includes a browser, which allows simultaneous viewing of related information in the IEED system. However, the patent deals only with tagging and composing intelligent documents from various sources.

US Publication No. 20040255246 describes techniques for automatically detecting similar subsets (e.g., fragments) in electronic documents such as dynamic content-based data, e.g., web pages. The techniques performs a systematic analysis of the web pages with respect to one or more of their information sharing behavior, their personalization characteristics and their change pattern over time. The invention also comprises techniques for publishing electronic documents with automatic fragment detection. However, the system does not address the issue of detecting data from web content nor does it comprise of any kind of data analysis,

US Publication No. 20040225751 discloses systems and methods to construct and transmit a run tickets to facilitate a publishing process transactions within an e-business environment. A run ticket comprises business input (e.g. a purchase order) that has been translated into a suitable representation (e.g. XML-based) and bound to associated information (e.g., configuration data, processing rules, instructions and/or actions).

US Publication No. 20060206814 discloses an electronic document creation support apparatus for displaying the explanatory text corresponding to a "model document" only when desired by the operator, a computer readable medium containing electronic document creation support data component and program for operating a computer as such an electronic document creation support apparatus, and an electronic document creation support data component creating apparatus for creating this electronic document creation support data component. Thus the invention relates to document creation strategy.

Though different approaches are reported in the prior art for publishing database from disparate sources. Consideration is now being given improve the prior art systems to harmonize the data such as but not limited to metadata, products, customer and Global Identification Service (GIS) information at one location for quality check at fixed frequency interval.

In basic concepts of Electronic Documentation Systems and related Electronic Documentation Programs (EDP), as disclosed in Proceedings of IDETC/CIE 2006, ASME 2006 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, September 10-13, 2006, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, DETC2006-99194 "MOVING PRODUCT INFORMATION ALONG THE VALUE CHAIN: OVERCOMING CHALLENGES OF DISTRIBUTED ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE AND A HETEROGENEOUS INFORMATION ENVIRONMENT" by Harshavardhan Karandikar, Bruno Schilli, Wolfgang Schelhhammer, Roar Karlsen, and as disclosed on the International Conference on Product Lifecycle Management PLM06, July 10 -12, 2006, Bangalore in "Cost- effective Electronic Delivery of Product Data and Documentation" by Bruno Schilli, Wolfgang Schelhhammer and Harsh Karandikaηthe sender of information publishes documents and meta-data into a specific file directory, which is supervised by a so called EDP Publishing Services using a procedure called Batch Conversion Service (BCS). The EDP Publishing Services collect, upload and transform the project specific documents and data into a document repository, which consists of a database server and a file server. While delivery specific project specific documents are copied to the file server of the EDP Repository, type specific documentation, that is technical documentation for a specific type of technical equipment, will remain in the central documentation library. In order to inform the customer about a documentation delivery, EDP Publishing Services creates a notification to the receiver of the respective documentation, which contains a link to the relevant documentation set. With this link the customer can access individual documents and properties of one delivery through a web interface.

However in the above system, documents for uploading must be specified manually by a sender or publisher. Technical documentation for equipment typically requires uploading a plurality of digital files comprising huge and bulky documents. Also, in a large organisation different versions of the same technical documentation for a given product may exist at the same time, for example on different servers or in different regional systems. It is a demanding and time consuming process to identify the correct version for a specific delivery. It is also a demanding and time consuming process to coordinate the publishing of technical documentation for a specific delivery because a plurality of factory sites are often involved in providing parts or systems for a specific delivery of equipment. It is also often difficult for companies within a group of companies to get information about customers on a complete set of relationships, market segments and company-internal classifications. As a result some of the customers may be associated with more than one identity. This can lead to an inaccurate view of the market and cause duplicated efforts and may lead to errors in publishing complete and accurate electronic documentation for a specific delivery. There is a growing need for communication of customer data due to transactions between different systems. That requires a harmonization of the basic data which is held by separate systems A consistent identification of customer as well as the responsiveness to dynamic operational requirements is a prerequisite to be competitive in a constantly changing global market.

Summary of the Invention

The present invention is applicable to industrial context and hence the information is suitably contained in an XML format as metadata. Thus there is no translation of information required. All the information is that is maintained in an enterprise resource planning system (ERP) such as the ERP system supplied by SAP, that is, the required information about a specific delivery obtained from a SAP system may be generated in an XML format, which forms a metadata for such a specific delivery.

An object of the present invention is to provide a method for online data synchronization and harmonization of publishing database from disparate sources.

An object of the present invention is to provide a system and method of importing electronic documents efficiently from different locations to a global repository, dealing as Enterprise Content Management System of the enterprise, e.g. Documentum supplied by EMC Corporation and configured suitably for the EDP publishing process

Another object of the present invention is to harmonize the publishing data such as but not limited to metadata, product, customer and GIS information at one location, allowing quality checks.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a novel method which converts general metadata information in a single format after receiving request of publishing.

Another object of the present invention is to provide system capable of carrying out the process of updating such as additional data entry, modification/ correction of earlier data entry as well as deletion of obsolete data entry.

Yet another object of the present invention is to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the publishing process.

Accordingly the present invention relates to harmonizing the data such as but not limited to metadata, product information, customer information and Global Identification Service (GIS) information at one location for quality check at fixed frequency interval. The metadata used for publishing is synchronized to the publishing server from different data sources such as but not limited to a library, GIS, customer information, people or factory user information etc so that live and correct data is available for publishing. A Single Sign On (SSO) facility is provided to authenticate different metadata sources by mapping the multiple user identity (ID) and password to the single user ID and password in the SSO server. The metadata in different location/ region runs in different source format in different operating system platforms. The present method brings or merges them into one single format SQL server 2005 database. This ensures high end security and at the same time enables easy implementation.

According a first aspect of the invention a method is presented for electronic publishing of technical data of a technical apparatus, said method comprising the steps of: receiving a request for publication of a specific metadata; obtaining access to at least two metadata sources using authentication; merging metadata from said at least two metadata sources into one single publishing server; and synchronizing said metadata to be published to the one single publishing server.

The process may be repeated daily at said predetermined time.

The predetermined time may be a time of day when network utilization on average is less than a threshold usage.

The sources may be selected from the group consisting of a product library, a global identification service system, a customer database, a people database, a product database and an order database.

The authentication of metadata may be carried out by means of a facility for single sign on. The facility for single sign on may operate by mapping multiple user identities and passwords to a single user identity and password in a single sign on server.

The method may further comprise the step of: validating incoming content of the metadata against a local reference database.

The validating may include: validating said incoming content against a local reference database; and when required validation information is missing from said local reference database, calling a web service for data lookup in an individual disparate line of business data source.

The method may further comprise a step of updating said metadata of said publishing server.

The step of updating said metadata may comprise adding a new data entry, modifying or correcting an existing data entry or deletion of an obsolete data entry.

The method may merge data from different locations running in different operating system platforms into one single format.

The method may further comprise the steps of receiving user input to set said predetermined time; and setting said predetermined time according to said user input.

The method may further comprise the step, prior to the step of receiving a request, of: when required data is missing from a local database, sending a request to retrieve the missing data.

The method may further comprise the step, after said step of merging, of: storing said metadata in a cache.

The method may further comprise the steps, after said step of merging, of: checking the incoming metadata in extensible markup language format; and validating the incoming content of the metadata against a reference database. A second aspect of the invention is a merging apparatus for electronic publishing of technical data of a technical apparatus. The apparatus comprises: means for receiving a request for publication of a specific metadata; means for obtaining access to at least two metadata sources using authentication; means for merging metadata from said at least two metadata sources into one single publishing server; and means for synchronizing said metadata to be published to the one single publishing server.

A third aspect of the invention is a system for electronic publishing of technical data of a technical apparatus. The system comprises: a merging apparatus according to the second aspect; at least two metadata sources; and a single publishing server.

It is to be noted that, where appropriate, any feature of any aspect of the invention is applicable to any other aspect of the invention.

Brief Description of Figures

It is to be noted that the appended drawings illustrate only exemplary embodiments of this invention and are therefore not to be considered for limiting of its scope; the invention may be embodied in other equally effective embodiments.

FIG. 1 illustrates a schematic representation of a system for synchronization of electronic documentation in an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates basic services of Global Identification Service in an embodiment of the present invention.

Detailed Description of Preferred Embodiments

Various steps involved in the periodic online data synchronization and harmonization of publishing database from disparate sources as disclosed by the present invention are given in an embodiment as detailed below:

Figure 1 illustrates a schematic diagram of an electronic documentation synchronization system 1. The system in this embodiment is used to gather data required when product is to be delivered. For example, data regarding products and customers need to be retrieved. This system solves the problem of gathering such data in a consistent and safe way from a variety of data sources.

A local database 5 is assigned to the site of where the delivery is to be shipped from, and may be physically located at that site. The database contains data relating to customers and products, being a subset of all available data. Typically there are a plurality of local databases, one at each site where deliveries are shipped from. The local database interfaces with a publishing server 16 via a Database Server 17.. The publishing server is responsible for retrieving data when necessary from disparate data sources and making this data available for the local database in a single format, so simplifying the interface for the local database to get data from disparate data sources. The publishing server 16 is also connected to a database server 17, which is used for checking data quality, as described in more detail below. One data source is a group of data sources here denoted general publishing metadata 11. This general data can be in the form of a structured text document, e.g. XML, or any other suitable format. Furthermore, sources of product information 10 are provided, which may be numerous and comprise a variety of document types and formats such as a Products 15 database with specifications and other information for individual products; a Library 12 and a Common Configuration Platform (CCP) database which provides Sales related information a in a preconfigured format. The general publishing metadata 11 , a customer data source 13, a people data source 14 or a product data source 15, containing technical documents, manuals etc so that live and correct data is available for publishing of delivery documents. A Global Identification Service GIS is used to check and/or update information in the local reference database 5 by comparison with information held in the non-local databases and libraries as described in more detail below in respect of Fig 2..

Furthermore, as explained in more detail below, the publishing server makes use of a single sign-on (SSO) server 8 with an attached single sign-on (SSO) database 9 to simplify access to the various data sources.

There may be a plurality of publishing servers 16 globally, each connected to the same, overlapping, or distinct data sources. Nevertheless, each local database 5 is typically only related to one publishing server, e.g. for one region. However, for reliability, each local database 5 could also be arranged with access other publishing servers, e.g. from other regions.

Upon receiving a request of publication of delivery documents at a local site, the local database is first checked to see if the necessary details and documents are available there, e.g. customer data, name, address, delivery address and so on; and the required product documentation for the technical equipment, specifications, manuals and the like. The request for publication of technical documentation a specific delivery may be obtained from a from a ERP / SAP system; where SAP (Systems, Applications and Products) is an enterprise resource planning system provided by SAPAG, of Walldorf, Germany. If the delivery data is not available in the local database, a request is sent to the publishing server 16 to obtain the necessary data. In one embodiment, a client application of the user sends the request directly to the publishing server 16. In another embodiment, the client application interfaces with a server application (local or regional) which in turn interfaces with the publishing server 16.

When the publishing server 16 receives a request for data, the publishing server first checks a local reference database 5 for data. If the requested data is available in the local database, this is retrieved and sent to the local site. On the other hand, if the requested data is not available in the local database, the data needs to be retrieved from an appropriate data source. As different data sources run on different technology or database, a business process management server system is provided with custom or application-specific adapters, e.g. implemented as a web services. Such a structure can for example be provided using a BizTalk server 2006 with built-in and/or custom adapter technology 16. The synchronization of data to the publishing server can be performed at a predetermined time, defined according to a well defined global time standard such as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), optionally when there is less network traffic. The synchronization updates data on the publishing server, which includes adding new data, modifying or correcting earlier data entry as well as deleting obsolete data.

The metadata 11 in different locations can be provided in different source formats on different operating system platforms. The present method brings or merges them into one single format, stored on a database server 17, implemented for example as a SQL server 2005 which supports service requests for quality checking. This leads to improved accuracy and efficiency of the publishing process. A Single Sign On (SSO) facility is provided to authenticate different metadata sources by mapping the multiple user identity (ID), meaning multiple log-on credentials for the different applications or systems for the same person or function, and password to the single user ID and password in the SSO server 8. This helps to maintain high end security with easy implementation. The control helps to visualize the process and BizTalk 2006 16. This transformation and mapping concept gives an additional benefit of pushing the required data into SQL server 2005 database 17 using built-in or custom SQL adapter. Credentials are looked up in the SSO database 9 by a SSO server 8. The SSO server 8 stores an encrypted mapping between a user's Windows user ID and his credentials for one or more affiliate applications in an SSO database 9. When this user needs to access a Line of Business (LOB) application, such as the metadata applications 13, 14, 19 or product information sources 12, 15, 18, the credentials for that application can be looked up in the SSO database by a SSO server using a standard method. When a receiver adapter gets a message, the adapter requests an SSO ticket from SSO server, say server A. To get the credentials, the send adapter contacts a SSO server, say server B. This operation causes SSO server B to validate the SSO ticket, and then look up this user's credentials for that application. SSO Server B returns those credentials to the send adapter 25, which uses them to send an appropriately-authenticated message to the affiliated LOB application.

Once the data has been received from the data source(s), this data is written to the publishing server 16 cache and sent to the local database 5. The local database makes the data available for the publishing of delivery documentation. Furthermore, this data is stored in the local database for use if the same data is requested in the future for another publication of delivery documentation.

Figure 2 illustrates basic services of Global Identification Service (GIS) 21 , allowing customer data to be subscribed to by global applications, reporting systems and/or regional customer repositories. The main purpose of these services is to provide a common facility that enables the import and export of customer data for content upload, exchange and synchronization between connected applications. The functionality of this interface is to deliver services that enable:

1. Submission of customer records for clearing (Clearing Request 22) or the announcement of already cleared customer data to the GIS 21. This triggers an intelligent investigation in GIS 21 to find out if different data refer to the same or different companies. This service also enables the client system 23 to inform GIS 21 about changes of customer information such as name changes, address changes etc.

2. Supply of correct customer data to different applications (Publish Service 24). This service distributes the latest information, e.g. when legal changes are detected for a customer, due to a company merger or an acquisition. This synchronization is performed on a regular base, for example, four times a day, and may also be performed at a predetermined time according to a well defined global time standard such as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

3. A searching facility that enables the export of customer information (Get Service 25). This service in addition, subscribes and publishes the customer record to the client system 23.

GIS information is pulled for the quality check during a publishing process related to the specific delivery. The delivery contains both product documentation, specifications, manuals, operating instructions and so on and customer references such as legal name, delivery address etc. In order to publish the documentation for delivery, the customer details, such as address, delivery conditions, etc, need to be obtained. Such customer data is stored in XML files on local reference database 5 (on the side of EDP, Electronic Documentation Program) and EDP looks at Global Unique ID (GUID) of the delivery order before calling a GIS web service. The GIS web service is called only if such GUID does not exist in EDP yet. The GIS web service is the method exposed by the GIS information system. This allows people in factories to visit a GIS lookup application and look for a particular customer details.

If the customer cannot be found in GIS, the document is simply not published, i.e. any retrieved product information is not published. However the information is traced and written in log file, which can for example be handled manually at a later stage. The EDP carries out a web service query to GIS after having the GUID to obtain complete customer data. After the web service response is received, the EDP calls ASI (Adapter Support Interface, XML over HTTP) to register a new customer with a clearing request, containing all data obtained from the web service. The GIS immediately answers with the GUID, complete information, and acknowledges that the record has been subscribed for EDP. EDP establishes a receiver in the database server 17, to which GIS sends update requests every time the customer data has changed. This allows the EDP process to always be updated. Based on a time interval specified in a configuration file, the control invokes or synchronises by connecting to the GIS database and provides all updated information to the local database 5.

All quality checking related to a product in a specific delivery is initially validated against the local database, e.g. using XML schemas. If the product data is not validated yet, then the product web service tries to carry out a lookup in a product information system (PIS). A PIS web service allows the product information system to be accessed. The PIS web service is then called by passing required parameters, e.g. product ID, with a unique ID and gets product related information/ properties, in this embodiment using BizTalk orchestration. The PIS allows integration to external applications by giving downstream application support, and optionally upstream support. Downstream application supports scheduled export in the form of XML/ BDO (Business Data Object) and BizTalk/MQ (Message Queue). This allows synchronization with up-to-date information about the product, which can be used for quality checking. Based on the time interval specified in the configuration file the publishing server 16 synchronizes by connecting to the product database 15 and receives all updated information and stores this in the local database 5. The quality checking is initially validated against the local database. If required information does not exist in the local database, then the publishing server 16 calls a corresponding web service for each individual disparate resource, eg (LOB) via a LOB adapter, a software tool adapted to suit a line of related technical products manufactured or otherwise provided by the enterprise, the LOB adapter providing communication between the EDP publishing process and databases with information for a LOB of related products of the enterprise, such as the GIS web service for Global Identification Service system, the PIS web service for Product Information system (PIS), etc. It is to be noted that it is not required to use web services to acquire the desired data; any suitable way of requesting and receiving data from a remote data source is applicable in this case. Other, non-limiting examples, are: SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol, one web service protocol), Java EE (enterprise edition), or RPC (remote procedure call). Thus synchronization and harmonization of data from disparate eg LOB data resources can be achieved using SSO for authentication, as explained above. Credentials are looked up in the SSO database by a SSO server. Transformation and mapping concept gives additional benefit to push the required data via an SQL server 2005 database server 17 into the local database 5 by using built-in/ custom SQL adapter in one format in one location, as the merging server.

The methods for electronic publishing of technical data or technical documentation of a technical apparatus to an electronic document publishing system EDP and an enterprise content management system ECM as described in this specification may be carried out by a computer application comprising computer program elements or software code which, when loaded in a processor or computer, causes the computer or processor to carry out the method steps. The synchronization and/or merging functions of the modules of the EDP system may be carried out by processing digital functions, algorithms and/or computer programs and/or by analogue components or analogue circuits or by a combination of both digital and analogue functions.

The methods of the invention, as previously described for example in respect of Fig 2, as well as processes indicated in Fig 1 may be carried out by means of one or more computer programs comprising computer program code or software portions running on a computer or a processor. The microprocessor (or processors) comprises a central processing unit CPU performing the steps of the method according to one or more facets of the invention. This is performed with the aid of one or more said computer programs, such as, which are stored at least in part in memory and as such accessible by the one or more processors. The or each processor may be in a module, a server or hub or router unit or may as well run in a local or central computer system in a local or regional distributed computerized system.

Various other modifications and alterations in the structure and method of operation of this invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Although the invention has been described in connection with specific preferred embodiments, it should be understood that the invention as claimed should not be unduly limited to such specific embodiments. It is intended that the following claims define the scope of the present invention and that structures and methods within the scope of these claims and their equivalents be covered thereby.

Claims

Claims
1. A method for electronic publishing of technical data of a technical apparatus, said method comprising the steps of: receiving a request for publication of a specific metadata; obtaining access to at least two metadata sources (10-15) using authentication; merging metadata from said at least two metadata sources (10-15) into one single publishing server (16); and synchronizing said metadata to be published to the one single publishing server (16).
2. The method as claimed in claim 1 , wherein said process is repeated daily at said predetermined time.
3. The method as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein said predetermined time is a time of day when network utilization on average is less than a threshold usage.
4. The method as claimed in any one of the previous claims, wherein said sources are selected from the group consisting of a product library (12), a global identification service system (21 ), a customer database 13, a people database (14) , a product database (15) and an sales/order database(18).
5. The method as claimed in any one of the previous claims, wherein said authentication of metadata is carried out by means of a facility for single sign on.
6. The method as claimed in claim 5, wherein said facility for single sign on operates by mapping multiple user identities and passwords to a single user identity and password in a single sign on server (8).
7. The method as claimed in any one of the previous claims, wherein the method further comprises the step of: validating incoming content of the metadata against a reference database.
8. The method as claimed in claim 7, wherein said validating includes: validating said incoming content against a local database (5); and when required validation information is missing from said local database, calling a web service for data lookup in an individual disparate line of business data source.
9. The method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein said method further comprises a step of updating said metadata of said publishing server 16.
10. The method as claimed in claim 9, wherein said step of updating said metadata comprises adding a new data entry, modifying or correcting an existing data entry or deletion of an obsolete data entry.
11. The method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein said method merges data from different locations running in different operating system platforms into one single format.
12. The method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, further comprising the steps of: receiving user input to set said predetermined time; and setting said predetermined time according to said user input.
13. The method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, further comprising the step, prior to the step of receiving a request, of: when required data is missing from a local database (5) , sending a request (25) to retrieve the missing data.
14. The method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, further comprising the step, after said step of merging, of: storing said metadata in a cache.
15. The method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, further comprising the steps, after said step of merging, of: checking the incoming metadata in extensible markup language format; and validating the incoming content of the metadata against a local database (5).
16. A merging apparatus for electronic publishing of technical data of a technical apparatus, wherein said apparatus comprises: means for receiving a request for publication of a specific metadata; means for obtaining access to at least two metadata sources (10-15) using authentication; means for merging metadata from said at least two metadata sources (10-15) into one single publishing server (16); and means for synchronizing said metadata to be published to the one single publishing server (16).
17. A system for electronic publishing of technical data of a technical apparatus, said system comprising: a publishing server apparatus merging apparatus according to claim 16; at least two metadata sources (10-15); and a single publishing server (16).
18. A computer program product directly loadable into the internal memory of a digital computer comprising software code portions for performing the steps of claim 1 when said product is run on a computer.
PCT/EP2008/065809 2008-09-12 2008-11-19 A method, an apparatus and a system for synchronization of data from disparate sources WO2010028696A1 (en)

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