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The role of Data Exchange Standards

Customers are eager to deploy best-in-class technology for their software-supported projects and for the collection and processing of data from the digital oilfield. To make this a reality the transfer of data from one system to another must be straightforward and efficient. Developing solutions that need to interface to myriad different proprietary platforms is a huge drain on ressources both for the initial development and for the many updates and maintenance needed to keep all these connectors current and operational. An industry standard format means that the development of a single "read" and a single "write" interface will give your product access and compatibility with all the other systems supporting the standards. This frees up capital and resources to improve the most important aspects of your product: performance and innovation.


What does the adoption of data exchange standards entail?

The development of data input and output modules needs to be completed for the applicable data standards, and this is certainly an investment in time and resources.  However it pays off very quickly by reducing the number of interfaces to other proprietary systems that would otherwise need to be developed and maintained. Working on a single data format also makes it cost-effective to include rich  metadata in the transfer process, which is of great value to the customer.


Why does a software or technology company need to support standards?

Moving in the direction of standard data exchange formats makes strong business sense when one considers the number of large customer organizations, notably multi-national majors, large independents and National Oil Companies (NOCs), that are have been and continue to be strong backers of the standards organizations. For projects where the customer is designing workflows involving multiple vendors, industry-standard data transfers greatly reduce the cost and effort for the customer to make the workflow operational. Products that do not support standards could well be dropped from consideration. See the result of a recent pilot project for reservoir model sharing involving 5 software vendors, 2 cloud providers and 2 major operators here. Standards are developed using the efforts of Work Groups that bring together experts from member organizations (operators, service and technology companies) to develop the specifications for data standards in a collegial manner.  Being a member of one or more SIGs allows software developers and digital solution company experts to take part in the process, ensuring that new standards incorporate items relevant to company-specific activities or products.


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