Editor-in-Chief Elisabeth Lisican showcases a handful of features to read in the April 2017 issue of Water & Wastes Digest.
Public works sees increased operational efficiencies as a result
The Department of Public Works (DPW) in Waterford Township, Mich., implemented Cityworks Work Order API to facilitate SCADA integration, increasing functionality, improving data sharing and amplifying operational efficiencies as a result. Implemented in one week, the Web services-based approach proved to be advantageous for Waterford DPW’s integration.
In 2011, DPW began standardizing workflow procedures while simultaneously integrating the department’s supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system with Cityworks. The solution involved transforming years of user knowledge and experience into best practices that could be used to develop electronic standard operating procedures (eSOP) for specific scenarios detected by SCADA data analysis. A user would receive the procedures and corresponding work orders in Cityworks as part of a workflow generated by condition-based triggers from SCADA.
Waterford DPW’s plan for integrating SCADA with Cityworks was different from the normal integration process as it utilized the Cityworks Work Order API. The system provides developers with a set of web services to generate work orders in Cityworks. Using the program, data sent to the Web services can automatically trigger both routine and emergency work orders.
“After implementing the Cityworks Work Order API at Waterford DPW, the API’s functionality increased, which means that even more data can be shared between applications,” said Frank Fisher, DPW engineering superintendent. “This further empowers the functionality of any application that leverages this powerful method to embed the core work order functionality of Cityworks within itself. One of the core business principles for Waterford Township is to harness technology that will increase operational efficiency, and the Cityworks Work Order API has filled a major role in providing additional efficiencies.”
The Waterford project involved Waterford DPW’s SCADA system and GE Proficy iFIX, passing real-time operational data to the DPW’s workflow application, GE Proficy Workflow. Leveraging Cityworks Work Order API, Workflow sends Cityworks key information necessary to create work orders, such as feature information and the type of work order needed.
Many advantages are provided by the Web services-based approach. Primarily, the application developer is able to develop a component to create work orders in Cityworks without having to develop complicated methods to replicate the Cityworks work order creation process.
The initial Waterford Township DPW project consisted of developing two workflow processes with corresponding eSOP workflows and triggering appropriate work orders. Waterford DPW quickly realized the benefits of this Work Order API-based approach, as the entire design, development, and implementation of the project was completed within two weeks. The straightforward design of the integration allows DPW staff to create new workflows internally, thus leveraging the ability to automatically generate eSOPs and associated work orders without a developer.
Waterford DPW continues to develop additional eSOP and workflow processes that leverage this powerful integration between their core business applications, and looks forward to continuing to leverage the Cityworks Work Order API in this integration as well as in future integrations wherever possible.
“Cityworks Work Order API is a powerful tool used to empower integrations between business applications,” said Brian Haslam, president and CEO of Cityworks–Azteca Systems Inc. “As exemplified at Waterford Township DPW, it is easily leveraged and provides significant benefits. While Cityworks coupled with Esri’s ArcGIS has become the GIS-centric platform for public asset management, APIs allow other software systems to access data and expose functionality, creating a composite of diverse software systems to provide customized solutions that improve operational efficiencies, prioritize actions and improve planning.”