Program for Synchronization of Energy Measurements

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The seriousness of a project a company is working on can be expressed in many ways. The estimated time needed for its realization, the forecasted cost, the size of the development team... All of these are very good starting points. But the real seriousness of the project is determined by the importance of the task the final solution will have to fulfill and the severity of consequences in case of its malfunction or failure. If an on-line cinema ticket purchase software fails, it is unpleasant. But if the software running a nuclear power plant fails, the consequences can be fatal.
We have not developed any software running a nuclear power plant (so far). But we were working on a project which was fulfilling a really serious task. The power engineering sector has always been close to our hearts. So when a partner from abroad came to us with a request for software development for this field, we accepted it with pleasure. There was a need to create a software extension for a data warehouse solution that was collecting and processing data from energy measurements. Nothing complicated, each warehouse is collecting data from up to one thousand electricity meters simultaneously. Every 15 minutes. There are more data warehouses of that kind in use and the task of „our“ software would be to ensure that the data from various data warehouses could be compared and synchronized mutually. All of this has to be done automatically. Should any discrepancies occur, the operator´s intervention would be necessary. This operator will be using our software to access the system and be able to control the process of synchronization of the data in cooperation with the operator of the other data warehouse involved. As soon as these measurement data are synchronized, „our“ software will ensure their transformation into invoicing data and these, using a similar process, will be synchronized and compared between the warehouses. Again, it will be a task for the operators to resolve any issues. When they succeed, they will confirm that the invoicing data are correct using a special button. This will issue an order for our software to send the data „to some higher authority“, for „some processing“. So we were told.

It all sounded very clear, so we didn´t hesitate and began designing the solution. In cooperation with the client we were specifying the functional requirements and we were solving technical issues. The technical side of the case swallowed us completely. The project surely was very interesting. We were glad when all the questions were answered and all that was left to do was the work itself. The technical details were clear, but with the curiosity typical of us, we wanted to know a little more about how the system will be used in the real life. The results of our work are always better if we can see beyond the technical specification of the project.

So, during one discussion, we asked exactly this question. We got an answer after which we almost choked on our coffee. „Our“ software will be installed in data warehouses spread across various European countries. It will be used to aid the billing of electric energy transfers between countries. This project suddenly gained a completely new dimension.
All went well, the software is ready and is being gradually set to work. At the acceptance meeting our customer recalled how we almost choked on the coffee back then. When we were leaving after the successful presentation, with a smile on his face, he told us the following words: „I am glad that everything is ready. You know, by pushing that confirmation button, you will issue an order to transfer millions of Euros.“ We were lucky that our coffee had already been finished this time around...

Technical information about the project

 

 

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