Monday, 5 October 2009

iPres 2009: Wilkes on preservation in product lifecycle management

Wolfgang Wilkes is part of the EU Shaman project, running from 2008 to 2011, working in libraries & archives, e-science, and engineering environments; this talk covers the latter. Different phases of a product’s life generate different data; lots of thi is required to maintain a product through its life. Important for long-lived products: cars, aeroplanes, process plants. Many jurisdictions have strong legal requirements to keep data; there may also be contractual requirements. There are also economic reasons: a long-lived item needs modifications through its life, that will be helped by such information.

However, these data are very complex, structured data, often in tools with strongly proprietary data formats. Also the players in different phases of the lifecycle are very different. So ingest becomes a process, not an event. And close control over access will be essential because of high IP value.

The project’s focus is to look at the interaction of the Product Lifecycle Management systems and the digital preservation system. So there is a Shaman information lifecycle.

Pre-ingest: creation and assembly, important for capturing metadata and data. May need to transform proprietary information into standards-based (may lose some information, but that’s better than losing all of it!).

Post access: adoption and re-use. May need to transform back from standards to tool-specific formats.

Need to use the PLM system (which captures stuff in its own repository). The preservation system can’t work o its own; needs preservation extensions to the core PLM system. So need additional PLM functions, but also additional DP functions. Open research topics: detailed spec of DP service interface, dealing with distributed archives, capturing & generation of metadata, linking to external ontologies, etc.


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