Intelligent PDF speeds access to data

A tanker truck crashes into a shopping mall. Fire breaks out. Emergency responders rush to the scene, but they can't go into the structure until they get information about what is inside. Minutes can cost lives.

According to Planet Associates, the New Jersey-based provider of infrastructure management software, its new intelligent-infrastructure PDF, or iiPDF, product should help significantly cut the time required to get information to first responders and other field personnel.

iiPDF gives field personnel tailored access through a Web portal to data in a Planet IRM repository. A user logging in can select from any number of pre-designed iiPDF templates. The selected template goes out to an Oracle or SQL Server repository, and it constructs a PDF file in real time from the database. The results are then delivered to the Web client.

When they design iiPDF templates, system administrators not only define what data layers are accessible to users, they define which users can access the template based on roles and privileges.

William Spencer, president and CEO of Planet Associates, said the iiPDF product solves two problems. It speeds delivery of information from data repositories, and it eliminates the need for training of field personnel. 'The most simple training for the ability to access our data [using the Planet IRM software] can be at least four or five hours,' Spencer told GCN. 'We've got customers like the Pentagon and [Homeland Security Department] that need to get the information out to people, but we just can't train everybody.' Delivering information to users in the field via iiPDF virtually eliminates the need for end-user training.

Spencer said the Defense Department is using Planet IRM for its Pentagon renovation program. 'The iiPDF for them is really huge,' he said. 'They'll be able to make information available [to contractors], but they won't have to worry about training or them getting into the [Planet IRM] application itself.'

About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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