What’s new in the pipeline industry in terms of field automation and information systems technology? What impact are these technologies having on the business environment and how will they affect the way we do business in the future? How can we leverage these technologies to support the demanding business requirements of today and tomorrow?

The paper takes a quick look back at the origin of the first field control systems and office automation. Through a chronological progression we arrive at what’s on the leading edge of information technology today.

Based upon current architectures we identify how systems are implemented and some of the issues affecting the integration of field and office information systems. From small scale compressor control systems to large scale pipeline information systems we look at the informational requirements and how systems currently implement the required functionality.

Within the business environment we examine the need for corporate-wide information access. Considering both operational and business/economic levels, we identify some of the key informational requirements for the effective operation and management of a pipeline.

Based upon a corporate-wide information access model and current business and technology trends, we present an enterprise application architecture that would meet the operational and business requirements of a pipeline company.

Finally, the paper takes at look at some of the business and management issues associated with implementing new information technology. It offers some basic guidelines on helping managers reduce the risks and ultimately deliver successful projects for their company.

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