The ACS PRISM Portal solution is an integrated set of applications designed to deliver a broad range of information, graphics, and data not only satisfying the needs of all functional departments within the utility enterprise, but also answering the expectations of demanding users in an ad-hoc manner. Built
entirely in Java it provides complete report management, distribution, and administrative functionality while providing users with a simple and intuitive interface for interacting with reports.
The solutions architecture is based on the typical 3-Tier Data, Application and Presentation layer model. The out of box solution provides the utility with the following:
- PRISM Historian – this is the archiving application that is standard on the PRISM system and records changes to the RDBMS continuously
- Utility Data Model
- Reporting Server Modules
- Cost-Effective Integration
- Rich capabilities such as scheduling, security and publishing
- Zero Client-Side deployment
A comprehensive array of reporting and graphing capabilities, network operation views, export formats and flexible scheduling features offers unparalleled value. The heart of the Portal solution is the ACS Utility Data Model (UDM).
Utility Data Model (UDM)
The UDM is a type of information model that represents the distribution operations/management system (SCADA, DMS, OMS, and EMS). Within the field of software engineering a model can be abstract or a formal representation of entity types (company, regions, substations and devices) that includes properties and attributes of these entities as well as the relationships and the operations that can be performed on them. The entity types in the model represent your real-world system assets. Typically, this is used to model the system domain in a way that removes the complexity of the underlying database structures, allowing you to model your operations and expose a user-friendly interface for reporting and analysis to the enterprise user.
UDM structure definition
ACS provides this semantic layer as part of our enterprise reporting solution; we provide customers a means of populating the UDM via Microsoft Excel or we can migrate the SCADA real-time database to the UDM. The user then has the ability to enable/disable point archiving and make edits to the semantic information in the model without any programming efforts. The underlying structures or details of the model are not exposed for user modification.
The Report Designer is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that enables sophisticated report design and presentation of critical business data. It provides an intuitive interface, reusable report components, flexible layout, and a toolset for designing and testing reports. With the designer, you can build reports using simple drag and drop techniques or by using the Report Wizard. Data can be accessed from any data source to design and preview reports in order to deliver information to end users in the most relevant and intuitive manner. Rapid creation and modification of report templates is accomplished by toggling between design mode and view mode where the report will be displayed with the actual dataset. Once report design is complete, the template can be published to the server for generation, delivery, and management.
The Report Designer supports report development. It provides the following key features:
- Interactive IDE
- Sophisticated report design
- Precise, flexible layout
- Reusable report objects
- Access any data source
Portal report designer
Dynamic Cube Technology
Making use of business and report cubes removes the obstacle of a business user trying to understand the data’s physical structure, thus making it easy for them to build and modify reports. As a result, the users acquire a business-oriented view of the data that they can manipulate and customize with ease to fit their needs. Multi-dimensional cube technology empowers business analysts, enabling them to understand and explore data, similar to using an OLAP tool and takes some of the strain away from developers/designers by giving users control over the report design.
With the power to build reports and analyze data utilizing Dynamic Cube Technology, there is no need to differentiate where the data source is from as it can be local or remote from any data source. The server provides pivot-table like functionality combined with slice and dice capabilities removing the need for multi-dimensional data sources. It also enables designers to maintain control of business data to ensure its security and integrity, while presenting end users with an intuitive view of the underlying data structures.
Report Server Engine
The Report Server is a 100% Java report generation and management tool. It enables efficient management, sharing, scheduling, versioning, and delivery of reports. The high-performance engine can scale to any workload. Report results can be saved to a versioning system, sent to enterprise/workgroup printers, or e-mailed. With the Portal, reports can be viewed in any modern enterprise format including DHTML, HTML and standard business documents, such as PDF, Excel, and RTF.
The server supports report generation and management. It has the following key features:
- High performance engine
- Scale to any workload
- Pure Java EE deployment
- Scheduling, distribution & versioning
Dynamic, browser based reports go beyond the limits of static, traditional PDF or HTML reports. The ACS solution supports many advanced features for browser based such as interactive report design and actionable report components that work together to create an intuitive, user-friendly reporting experience.
Interactive Report Design
The platform supports creating tabbed reports, allowing a single window to contain as many reports as needed to see all the data in one place. The Portal also provides flow layouts allowing users to easily assemble multiple components into a report. Parameters can also be used to qualify and restrict the data shown in the report. Users can rerun the report using different parameter values without ever exiting the report. Additionally, there are many options for the user to save or share a report as they can be exported to PDF, Excel, text, etc or sent to printer, fax or FTP destinations.
Actionable Report Components
Almost all report components can be modified by the end user when permission is enabled. End users can drill up, down, to other groups and dimensions and even change grouping in tables and crosstabs with a user friendly interface. Drill down reports empowers end users with the ability to automatically drill into details from any summary report. Additionally, a report can provide component navigation so that users can navigate through pages within a component, without losing the context of their data.
Ad Hoc Reporting
The Portal extends traditional reporting by delivering actionable, ad hoc reports. Utilizing any Web browser, users are able to:
- Define report criteria at run-time
- Customize data views
- Run ad hoc queries to generate highly specific reports using existing report templates
Via the intuitive wizard shown here, the platform allows you to create an ad hoc reporting environment that is completely interactive, allowing users to dynamically modify data views to glean useful business information.
Reports can be output to an interactive format, giving users the ability to dynamically sort and filter data to create unique and personal report views as seen here. This level of interaction provides users with the ability to quickly view data in a meaningful way, empowering them to make accurate, timely, well-informed decisions. Modified report views can be saved as individual report results and shared with others in any format.
Users are able to perform enhanced visual analysis by utilizing the easily convertible component types. For example, crosstabs can be converted into dynamic charts or graphs and vice versa. Additionally, components types can also be converted between each other. For instance, pie charts are readily converted into bar charts, or any of the other 40+ chart types within the reporting interface.
The PRISM Portal includes Report Viewer and Report Studio that enable reports to be accessed through a web browser dynamically. Reports can be modified using dynamic filter, sort, and drill capabilities. Using the Viewer and Studio's advanced capabilities, users can drag and drop columns to and from an existing report, dynamically change chart types, pivot crosstabs, add groups, convert report components or create an entirely new report.
Web Report supports information delivery. It has the following key features:
- Interactive DHTML technology
- Dynamic sort, filter, drill, pivot, convert
- Ad hoc reporting
- Flexible output formats: PDF, Excel, XML, RTF, e-mail and more
Analyzing reports is as simple as clicking or dragging within a Web browser. The visual data presentations able to be generated from the ad hoc reporting feature facilitate user interactions with data. Working through a Dynamic HTML (DHTML) report sustains analysis functions designed to support business users allowing them to rotate, pivot, and move components around the report screen and change component dimensions to create fully customized and desired report views. Drill actions are also able to be implemented letting uses see a more detailed data outlay by looking deeper into summary presentations. Report creators are provided the option to insert and remove details directly into their report screen so that only the most essential pieces of data are contained in the display for more business intelligence.
Advanced visualization features are critical to presenting data in ways that are easily interpreted, provide different data views, and dig deep into details. This interactivity enhances typically static components like charts, tables, crosstabs, graphs, and maps, bringing the data to life.
Visualization is central to getting valuable information into the hands of all information consumers. The ACS solution has improved data visualization that include more charts and intuitive on-screen interactions to add to a user experiences, providing them the tools to create powerful yet easy to use reports and dashboards.
The Portal also includes a Dashboard that delivers information using a user portal interface rather than a report. Users can freely choose the objects they want to display in the dashboard, without having to know how these objects were created, what data sources to use, what styles to set, etc. A dashboard can hold multiple data components so that when browsing the dashboard users are able to see multiple data aspects. Within a dashboard, some data components are able to communicate with each other. This allows actions such as common filters to be applied to all the components of a dashboard even when coming from different reports.
Library components used in the dashboard can be dynamically connected so that every part of the dashboard will refresh to reflect user interactions and keep a consistent data view.
Using ACS Reporting Server to generate interactive ad hoc and DHTML output, reports can be dynamically created, modified, and viewed using an advanced RIA (Rich Internet Application) technology. The solution provides complete report management, distribution, and administrative functionality able to quickly and seamlessly integrate with the Historian, OMS or DMS applications. Most Enterprise Business Intelligence Solutions will require the purchase of separate applications for design, reporting and dashboard use – ACS provides a comprehensive solution to tie all these applications within the context of the Historical Analysis, Outage Management and the Distribution Management System Reporting and Visualization.