Raima’s data management systems prove more than a match for SCADA applications

Schneider Electric is to embed the latest version of Raima’s RDM database management system into the next generation of its EasyXOS Operator Station.

The EasyXOS is used for customizing SCADA HMI displays, and has been the backbone of many automation systems since the introduction of the original product 20 years ago. Schneider has always used Raima technology for management of the EasyXOS data, initially stating that it fit their requirements better than other product available.

Schneider is currently defining the requirements for the next set of developments of their EasyXOS product line. Its plans include scaling beyond the current number of users on one database, and making the databases more available through redundancy.

Raima’s next release will perform with higher transaction rates and an optimized database size. Higher transaction rates will allow more users to be active on the same database. The reduced database size will allow significantly more data to be stored in the same space, reducing access times. Database availability and scalability will be facilitated through data replication. By sharing updates between separate databases, the user load can be spread out between them, and if one database is offline for a period of time, the other database can be used temporarily.

When developing the EasyXOS Schneider wanted its XOS component to be responsible for the data stored in the system, rather than the alternative of using a separate database component. By linking RDM into the program, the database functionality is hidden (embedded) into the Schneider code, simply doing its job under the control of the program. The database lifecycle is completely controlled by XOS – creation/initialization, updates, and queries.

In use operators draw from graphical information stored in the RDM database to create and store configurations for their installation. Objects in the database have visual representations that form diagrams on the operators’ screens. Each change on the screen is sent back to the database for safe storage. This makes for a continuous flow of queries and updates to the RDM database, which has sufficient capacity that it never creates a bottleneck.

Representing connected objects on a diagram in this manner is a natural capability of a network-model DBMS. The database is defined with over 130 different table types with dozens of set definitions between them. Using sets to represent connections between objects, relationships can be captured in the owner/member connections between records, whether they are one-to-many or many-to-many.

A typical Schneider EasyXOS installation may end up with a database between 5 and 10 gigabytes in size. Not only does RDM access the contents of these databases in quick order, but scanning and navigation of objects in the databases is also very quick because of the efficient indexing and the direct-pointer access between members of network-model sets.