A Survey and Analysis of Integrated Project Databases
Corresponding Author: Amor, Robert
Author(s): Amor, R.W (+), and, Anumba, C.J. (*)
Organisation(s): (+) Building Research Establishment Ltd, Watford (UK), (*) Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK
Over the last decade a large number of international projects have been undertaken to develop the framework, data models, and components required for an integrated project database (IPDB). These projects range from large EC sponsored collaborative efforts spanning decades of person effort through to national projects of several person year effort, and through to commercial implementations also of several person year effort. However, due to the complexity and size of these projects it is not easy to understand how close we are to the goal of an IPDB.

The UK network of experts in objects and integration (facilitated by the author) has as one of its main goals the task of documenting and understanding what has been achieved by these projects. To meet this objective a survey form has been developed in conjunction with the network to document the achievements of an IPDB project in the broad areas of: its scope; its availability and usability; its development background; and its technical details.

Through surveying a wide range of IPDB systems (initially those developed in association with members of the network) the network wishes to understand what the research to date has accomplished, and areas which require further research. The survey also documents the available components, tools, and data models. In this way new projects and developments should be able to easily identify partners and projects which can facilitate their entry into the development of an IPDB. The surveys should also enable the selection of data models which have previously tackled aspects of the modelling which may be required in a new IPDB development.

This paper provides an update on the surveyed projects described in a paper to the 1998 CIB-W78 conference in Sweden and then provides detailed analysis of the findings of comparisons between the projects. One of the main areas of interest in the analysis is the gap between IPDB systems which are research prototypes and those developed for commercial use.