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Architecture for Energy
(Above) Telvent GIS Product Architecture


ArcFM™ is a powerful extension of ESRI's ArcGIS® platform that provides a complete, enterprise utility solution geared to the needs of utility end users. ArcFM consists of a family of models and a set of sophisticated tools that provide a comprehensive application for energy and water/wastewater utilities. ArcFM allows maintenance and viewing of data, using company specific business rules, and includes applications to configure the data models and tools to work together. ArcFM takes advantage of industry standard architecture and programming environments, an easy-to-use interface, and powerful cartographic tools, giving utilities an optimized solution for the entire organization.

ArcFM supports the vertically integrated enterprise, making it easy to view, edit, map and manage spatial data in a multi-utility context. ArcFM fits into the overall information technology through the use of open databases, industry-standard programming environments and Component Object Model (COM) architecture.

Open Architecture, Open Database, Open Development Tools

ArcFM is implemented within the ArcEditor environment using an object-oriented architecture. The supported hardware platforms are Windows 2000 and Windows XP. ArcFM was developed using VB6, C++ and C# and these languages can also be used for customization and extension of the application.

ArcFM is an extension of ArcEditor which relies on the effective use of components. ArcInfo, ESRI's professional GIS, sets the standard for applying geographic requirements and supporting spatial decision-making. From project GIS to a large spatial enterprise, ArcGIS is the scalable solution that provides a complete, integrated platform for creating, managing, and disseminating geographic information.

ArcInfo is a true component-based software system that consists of a collection of powerful objects for geo-processing, display and editing, all implemented in COM. ArcInfo has three user interface "containers" that provide access to different sets of components. ArcCatalog allows users to view and manage geographic datasets much like the Microsoft Explorer.

ArcToolBox is the interface to most of the geo-processing and analysis components. ArcMap is the user interface for the query/display/edit environment, and is the foundation for ArcFM. Its foundation is the data management system of ArcGIS Server, which implies an RDBMS used as a data repository.

ArcFM/ArcMap Menu Interface

ArcFM Menu Interface

ArcFM Toolbars

When selected, toolbars appear by default beneath the menu bar. To display a toolbar, right-click in the gray area and check or uncheck the desired toolbar. Toolbars are dockable. There is a single main interface containing tools applicable at all points in the application, and several additional toolbars with special-purpose tools.

ArcFM presents toolbars when their use is appropriate given the application context. For example, the editing toolbar will normally be inactive when no layer in the map document can be edited. Users can right-click in the menu bar or on any toolbar, to display a pop-up menu for selecting any toolbar available. If a toolbar is shown when its tools are not valid, the individual tools will be disabled (grayed-out).

ArcFM Extensions to ArcMap (List)

The following describe some of the key features within the ArcFM solution:

ArcFM Extensions to ArcCatalog (List)

Data Validation

A geodatabase supports three broad types of validation rules: attribute validation rules, network connectivity rules, and relationship rules. Both the ArcMap Editor and the ArcFM QA/QC tools help the user identify invalid features.

Editing geometric network feature classes is one of the most tightly integrated geodatabase editing tasks. When the user creates new network features, topology is maintained on-the-fly, and is continuously updated as the user modifies network features.

When snapping network edges together, the editor uses the connectivity rules the administrator has defined for the network to determine the correct junction type for connecting the two edge features. When the user adds junctions or connects edges to complex edges, the geometric network is automatically updated.

Using the editor with the network analyst tools in ArcMap helps maintain correct connectivity while geometric network features are being edited.

Types of data validation include:

  • Domain Values - range and domain values for attributes
  • Default Values - predefined default values for attributes
  • Connectivity Rules - rules to ensure valid feature connectivity
  • Split/Merge Rules - rules to ensure valid features may be split or merged
  • Network Properties - definition of what features are within an electric network or gas distribution and therefore may be traceable
  • Relationship - high voltage lines can connect to low voltage lines through a transformer, or different pressure systems can be joined through a regulator station
  • Custom - developers implement in ObjectClassExtension

Electric, Gas, and Water Object Models

ArcFM provides a gas or electric enterprise object model from Telvent or a water model from ESRI. This formal model, specified using Unified Modeling Languages (UML), represents electric, gas or water distribution facility features. Included within the model is a complete specification of all custom features, relationships, validation rules, domain specifications, default values and subtypes. Additionally, users can build an instance of the model within a GeoDatabase using the ArcInfo CASE tool wizard.

ArcFM Extensions to ArcMap (Detail)

Attribute Editor

The ArcFM Attribute Editor is the key to editing and placing features on the map. The Targets tab displays the attributes of feature classes to be placed on the map, and the Selection tab displays existing features selected for editing. When a feature is selected, a right-click context menu provides options including highlighting and zooming to existing features as well as creating related features and objects.

Users can perform validations using the QA/QC tool. The QA/QC tool utilizes basic database validation principles such as relationship and connectivity rules to validate attribute values. Users can also customize the editor grid to serve specific business processes. Attribute editor also includes automated behavior features. ArcFM autoupdaters automatically generate an attribute value at the onset of a specific event such as adding or deleting a feature.

The Mass Attribute Update Tool allows users to quickly and easily modify group of features and update attribute fields for features that have the same subtype.


ArcFM Attribute Editor
The ArcFM Attribute Editor


Feature Tab Tree

ArcFM provides a tab in the Table of Contents from which the user selects features. Users can also pre-set feature attribute values (and those of related features and objects), by creating user or system favorites. Users can also create composite favorites with ArcFM's feature tab. A composite favorite includes multiple features to be placed on the map as a single item. For example, a service line composite favorite could include the fitting, service line, and meter setting. This functionality saves editing time.


ArcFM Feature Tab Tree
The ArcFM Feature Tab Tree


Session Manager

Session Manager gives users the power to establish and enforce particular version workflows and user roles tailored to their own business needs. Using Session Manager, a user may create a session, which travels through an approval process before ultimately being posted to the geodatabase or deleted from the system.

The Process Framework Administration Tool allows an administrator to create new workflows for use in Session Manager (in ArcFM), and Workflow Manager (in Designer). The Process Framework Administration Tool can be used to add/remove users and change role permissions.


The ArcFM Session Manager
The ArcFM Session Manager


QA/QC Tool

The ArcFM QA/QC (Quality Assurance/Quality Control) tool in ArcFM ensures database integrity and validates features based on coded domain values, range domain values, connectivity rules, relationship rules, contingent validity rules, and the user's custom validation rules. Clicking the QA/QC tool on the ArcFM toolbar starts the process of verifying the validity of the selected set of features. Results and messages display on the QA/QC tab. Messages displayed with invalid features provide information to correct errors.

After running the ArcFM QA/QC tool, users have several reporting options. Users can create and print a report listing selected features with a valid/invalid message. Users may write to file and save information to track invalid data in a database, and they can read from file and retrieve information saved using Write to file.


The QA/QC Options
The QA/QC Options


Query and Locator Tool

ArcFM query tools include the Locator, with several strategies for finding features including the Attribute Query, Feeder ID, and XY coordinates pointer to locate features within a user-defined search distance. Once the results of a search are compiled, users can utilize right-click tools to highlight, zoom to features on the map, or add features to the selected set.

Page Templates

Page Templates let users define and store standard map page elements to the ArcMap layout view. A page template defines the size, orientation, and map elements that are stored in the database for easy access. A user can select a template for their layout without closing/opening a new document.


Page Templates
Page Templates


Stored Displays

Stored Displays allow users to change a large number of parameters in one step, so that they can switch back and forth among different views for different purposes. Users can set map views including standard symbology, save them in the database, and retrieve them when they log in.

Documents combine Stored Displays and Page Templates so you can store multiple maps and multiple data frames.


Stored Displays
Stored Displays


Map Production

Map Production allows the user to select the templates, stored displays, documents, and map sets that precisely define layers, scale, and map elements. Users can then select polygons (map grids, for example) and create map sets to be stored for easy retrieval and printing. Maps can be previewed in final format before printing. For convenience, plotting can be scheduled at a time that puts less demand on resources.


The ArcFM Map Production Tool
The ArcFM Map Production Tool


Map Grid Generator allows users to generate customized map grids for use with Map Production, including determining the area covered by the map grid as well as the size, orientation, and scale of the map sheets that compose the grid.

Map Insets is an ArcFM feature placed on the map and is visible within the map data frame in the Layout view. It allows users to identify a specific portion of the map as a source, and then enlarges the source in a destination window on the map.

The Autotext Elements allows users to easily create sources of updateable text (such as date, user name, and page number) without implementing a new custom page element every time. A user can place Autotext Elements in the Layout view and use Map Production to print maps containing text, which updates dynamically.

The Inset Frames tool allows users to pull specific features from the current view and display them individually in separate windows in the Layout view.


Abandon Tools

This tool represents the process of abandoning pipes (or other features), removing them from the network, and converting them to conduit. Administrators can configure the Abandon Tool in ArcCatalog defining which features can be abandoned, whether they remain on the map, and whether they can be converted to conduit. Features are then displayed in the Abandon Tool Options dialog in ArcMap.


The ArcFM Abandon Tool Options
The ArcFM Abandon Tool Options



The Favorites feature provides an efficient way to manage and edit often-used features. The administrator can set system-wide favorites in ArcCatalog, and users can view system-wide favorites categories in ArcFM. Users can also create their own favorites categories from the Features tab in ArcFM. As users add categories, the Features tab is dynamically updated.


The ArcFM Create Favorite Dialog
The ArcFM Create Favorite Dialog


Composite Features

Composite Features help users add sets of features more productively. In the electric domain, users can place switchgear cabinets or substations that contain internal busbars, switches, and fuses. For pipe networks, users can add stations with internal pipes and fittings. ArcFM allows the user to set the attributes for each feature and then place the composite on the map with one click.

Network Tracing

ArcFM's Trace Solvers are a collection of tracing tasks. These trace tasks are meant to complement existing trace tasks provided within ArcMap (such as find connected, trace downstream, trace upstream, find loops, etc.) by providing the ability to perform trace operations that are specific to certain data sets. Tracing is allowed on any version including edit transactions.


Electric Trace Tasks

  • Upstream Protective Device - traces from a user-specified point upstream to user-specified protective devices.
  • Downstream Protective Device - traces from a user-specified point downstream to user-specified protective devices.
  • Electric Distribution - traces electric distribution equipment and feeders by phase.
  • Downstream Trace - traces all devices in a feeder system, by phase that are downstream from the trace flag.
  • Upstream Trace - traces all devices in a feeder system, by phase that are upstream from the trace flag.

Gas Trace Tasks

  • Gas Distribution System - encompasses all the pipes and devices that can be reached from a town border or regulator station.
  • Gas Pressure System - traces gas pipes and devices within a specific pressure system.
  • Cathodic Protection System - identifies sections of a gas distribution system that utilize cathodic protection devices.
  • Gas Valve Isolation - identifies valves or other devices that need to be shut off to isolate a specific area. Users are allowed to include or exclude specific valves from the trace as necessary and place temporary sources and interruptions.
  • Squeeze-Off - determines whether pinching the pipes at a selected location will disrupt the flow of gas to a specific area.

Water Trace Tasks

  • Water Distribution System - encompasses all the pipes and devices that can be reached from a tank or a pumping station.
  • Water Pressure System - traces water pipes and devices within a specific pressure system.
  • Cathodic Protection System - identifies sections of a water distribution system that utilize cathodic protection devices.
  • Water Valve Isolation - identifies valves or other devices that need to be shut off to isolate a specific area. Users are allowed to include or exclude specific valves from the trace as necessary and place temporary sources and interruptions.


Analysis Options
Analysis Options


Feeder Manager

ArcFM Feeder Manager helps users to easily manage complex feeder systems using ArcFM data. They can easily generate a circuit map, locate all features or tie devices associated with a feeder, select features belonging to a particular feeder or group, and show feeder information graphically in a map display (loops, islands, and double feeds or extra feeds). As feeders are reconfigured and maintained Feeder Manager automatically manages the Feeder ID for all features.


Select a Feeder System
Select a Feeder System


ArcFM Extensions to ArcCatalog (Detail)

ArcFM Properties Manager

The Properties Manager in ArcCatalog is the key to configuring ArcFM functionality such as Feeder Manager and Conduit Manager. It offers advanced methods for setting field characteristics. Users have the ability to set characteristics at the feature class or subtype level. Administrators also use the Properties Manager to reorganize the appearance and behavior of feature attribute fields.


The ArcFM Properties Manager
The ArcFM Properties Manager


Feature Autoupdaters

Administrators use the ArcFM Properties Manager to set specific behaviors (enabled by COM autoupdater objects) at certain events such as when a feature is added, updated, or deleted. For example, the "Manual Angle Setter" provides a rubber band so the user can define the angle of a point feature, and "Structure Relate" automatically relates features like a valve and an enclosure. This can greatly increase a user's productivity.

Field Autoupdaters

Similar to feature autoupdaters, administrators can set rules to fire when a single field is updated. One example is setting the angle of a point feature based upon the line it is snapped to. Field autoupdaters also maintain metadata such as recording the last user and the date a field was edited.

Field Display

Administrators can define the order in which fields are displayed on the Attribute Editor providing the opportunity to put the most important fields at the top of the grid where they can be seen easily.

Custom Field Editors

Custom Field Editors provide the implementation/customization programmers with the ability to create specialized field editors that are specific to their needs. The ArcFM installation provides default field editors.

Custom Validation Rules

Custom validation rules offer users the ability to define a set of rules for determining the validity of any object in a geodatabase. These rules help users to build a database that conforms to their specific business domain and maintains data integrity.

Snapping Manager

The ArcFM Snapping Manager allows administrators to set and store the required snapping environment for network and non-network features in ArcCatalog. The snapping environment in ArcMap is dynamically updated based on the currently edited feature class. This relieves the user from having to change the snapping environment as each new feature is added.

System Favorites

ArcFM System Favorites lets users group and define the attribute values of frequently used features. Administrators can create favorites that are used but not edited by users. Users can then place the feature on the map using the Attribute Editor Targets tab.

Database Extraction Utility

This tool provides a way to transfer user-defined features and object classes from an existing enterprise or personal geodatabase to a new personal geodatabase. Users can identify the template, which is the empty personal database that will contain extracted feature and object classes, a destination for the new personal geodatabase, and values that define the polygon area for extraction.

XML Import/Export Tools

The ArcFM XML Import/Export utility lets users transfer model name, snapping, properties, and domain information between geodatabases. The export tool allows export of an entire geodatabase, dataset, or individual feature class. The import tool will import a database, dataset, or feature into a selected geodatabase. Both tools are on the ArcFM Solution toolbar, which can be found in ArcCatalog.


Other functionality included as well. If interested, contact to order the ArcFM White Papers.