In the renewal process of its technical information system, the distribution part of Gaz de France was lead to define an innovative strategy to design its system. The stakes for this renewal process are to design an integrated system such that efficiency and security are optimized. The innovative approach followed by the Company differs from the conventional approach followed by most of energy suppliers when designing their geographical information system. The Company decided to integrate, in the initial design phases, the requirements of adjacent tools and information systems inherent to its business. The purpose of this approach is to ensure that the Geographical Information System (GIS) is the only referential for the company's assets. The GIS also had to be sufficiently open to provide easy access to its data and to allow flexibility in the implementation of interfaces with other information systems. The present paper focuses on the systems related to calculation softwares: for network reinforcement and extension, as well as for decision making dedicated to network operators. In order to realize an optimal interface between these softwares and the GIS, not only the patrimonial description of the network was taken into account, but also other required data for network calculation such as topology or consumption data. The single object description renders the entire process from data update in the database to the use of the data to model network calculation coherent. Such a design does not require any additional shaping of the data, which is time and resource demanding, as their initial description is compatible with calculation tools requirements.


In France, energy distribution is mainly taken care by two large companies: Électricité de France - for electricity - and Gaz de France - for gas -. Until last year, both companies were state owned; while as of today, eventhough the state remains the major shareholder, some shares are in the hands of private holders. Both companies share a common Division in charge of distribution network operation. A couple of years ago, the distribution network operation (electrical and gas networks) division faced challenging difficulties to maintain its technical information systems: hardware and software. It appeared essential to overhaul these technical information systems, before they became obsolete. This process had to take into account the migration of large existing databases, cover the existing functionalities as well as allow the evolution of the new system to answer new challenges in the changing energy world on the European market.


The perimeter of the GIS project for the network distribution operation division is the following:

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    the technical solution has to be based on a commercially available software package,

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    the technical solution has to be coherent for gas and electricity eventhough differentiated access may be implemented upon request,

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    all the existing data (located in local databases) have to be migrated into the system: no data lost in the process (Figure 1),

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    all existing functionalities have to be reproduced into the new system, in an integrated manner as much as possible

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