Implementing an Engineering Data Management System for the LHC Accelerator and Experiments: The CEDAR Project

Paper: 266
Session: E (talk)
Speaker: Rousseau, Bertrand, CERN, Geneva
Keywords: CAD/CAM, object-oriented methods, electronic data management, world-wide collaboration, WWW applications

Implementing an Engineering Data Management System
for the LHC Accelerator and Experiments:
The CEDAR Project

Bertrand Rousseau for the CEDAR Team
Programming and Information Technology Group
ECP Division


The design, construction and operation of the LHC and its experiments
will generate a huge, complex and multi-disciplinary collection of data.
This data cover documents and pieces of information such as CAD drawings,
technical reports, product configurations, catalogues of components,
simulation and analysis results, calibration data, software source code,
meeting minutes and slides, detectors images, project plans, etc. Data
production will be performed in many different institutes, located all
over the world using a whole variety of methods and tools, ranging from
word-processors to CAD systems.
The need for ease of access, for consistency maintenance, for permanence
and for rational organisation of the work with such a large and complex
amount of data dictate the use of an Engineering Data Management System,
an EDMS.

The objective of the CEDAR project is to select, purchase and implement
an EDMS at CERN, for LHC experiments and accelerator.

An EDMS provides an electronic data vault in which all types of
information used to define, manufacture, and support products are stored,
managed, and controlled. The basic idea is that "Private Files" produced
by users with various applications (e.g. Euclid, FrameMaker, MS Project)
are made known and referenced by the EDMS, to become "Managed Files".
Once known by the EDMS, a file can only be requested or updated through
the EDMS. The EDMS may be accessed by users providing and/or consulting
files. Users may be located at CERN, in external institutes or in companies.
Users of the EDMS can browse and request the data vault with the native
EDMS user interface, or through a WWW interface that guarantees world-wide
access. The EDMS stores not only files, but also objects that gives structure
and semantics to the set of controlled files. For instance, The various
components of a detector can be modelled as a "Product Breakdown Structure",
whose nodes are associated with the corresponding CAD drawings, Specifications,
project plans, ... This kind of structure, made of links between objects,
constitutes the basis for navigating the EDMS. Users are automatically
notified by email of new releases and changes in the data vault that may
affect their work. For instance, at the occasion of releases, managers and
coordinators are requested by the EDMS to approve, reject or comment the

The CEDAR project is driven by a Task Force whose members belong to several
CERN divisions and/or represent all LHC experiments. Started in 1995, the
went through the phases of market survey, user requirements, call for tender
and evaluation. The selected product, Matrix from ADRA Systems Inc. is now
being intensively used in 3 pilot projects which will conclude about the
suitability of the product and the applicability of the EDMS approach in the
LHC environment, at the end of 1996.

After a short history of the CEDAR project, we will present the objectives
and the requirements for an EDMS at CERN. We will then describe the activities
held in the pilot project, the lessons learned and the conclusions reached
this phase, form the point of view of both users and administrators. Attention
be paid to the impact of an EDMS on work's organisation. We will conclude by
outlining the plans for the implementation of the EDMS at CERN