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Paper w78-1997-123:
The distributed information service in the VEGA project: an approach towards the harmonisation of STEP, SGML and EDIFACT informationstandards for the support of integrated and distributed construction projectinformation systems.

Facilitated by the SciX project

Debras P, Zarl A, Amar V, Poyet P

The distributed information service in the VEGA project: an approach towards the harmonisation of STEP, SGML and EDIFACT informationstandards for the support of integrated and distributed construction projectinformation systems.

Abstract: Over the past two decades, the complexity of engineering projects has increased. In such a context, havingaccess to the right information at the right time is often crucial. In the area of Information Management,numerous efforts have already been made under the auspices of various major institutes towards theelaboration of Information Standards. Whether it be STEP for Product Data representation and exchange,SGML for documentation structuring and support or EDIFACT for Electronic Data Interchange, thesestandardisation efforts all address complementary aspects related to the representation and communication of engineering project information. However, both at the conceptual and technological levels, end-usersnowadays face a lack of integration among these various existing or emerging Information Standards.Building upon the on-going specification and implementation of a CORBA based middleware layer allowingthe distribution of any STEP SDAI models, the Distributed Information Service of the VEGA EuropeanEsprit Research project addresses the integration and distribution of construction project information systemsat two different levels. First, the conceptual level is concerned with the elaboration of STEP EXPRESSproduct data models supporting SGML documentary models and documents but also EDIFACT messagesmodels and messages. The implementation level is then concerned with the development of dedicatedconverters supporting the back and forth translation of SGML documents and EDIFACT messages towardsthe STEP format, finally providing a remote access to any kind of information for all the actors involved in a construction project.

Keywords: Distributed Information System, STEP, SGML, EDIFACT.

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