Process Integration 4 December 2008, by Johnny
Some elements of enterprise systems are very small - sometimes deliberately so.
For example, we have produced a system for gathering details of printing production line processes at a minute-by-minute level. The in-built recording in the Technique MIS software, used in printing, overwrites a small status file every minute, with the latest data. Our system must copy these files (from about 30 production machines) within that minute, then extract the data into a database, and produce appropriate live production graphs for last 12 hours. The live graph can be displayed on the factory floor machines and even tablets.
The critical action is copying the file; it is gone in 60 seconds. Copying files is easy, but the tactics for keeping it going 24/7/365, and recovering from the various ups and downs of a corporate network, takes great software engineering thought.
86,400 tiny files per day are turned into a dynamic and useful intelligence graph. That's the power of connected systems.