New STO planning software emerges
App Developer Magazine article, written by Stuart Parkerson. View original article.
STOlogix has announced the launch of a new front-end software solution which streamlines the functionality of complex and disparate software applications required for STO planning. The new software solution, STOplanner, is being developed by KAP Project Services, a leading project controls and project services provider for the oil, gas and petrochemical industries.
According to the STOlogix team, the software industry has lagged behind in providing an easy to use, collaborative STO software platform that offers a simplified front end. This consolidated platform provides for effective estimating, planning, scheduling and management on the total event for maintenance turnarounds and capital projects.
Blake Powell, Business Development lead for STOlogix says, “STOs are expensive, complex, high-risk events that must be scoped, planned, scheduled, and executed with precision – it only takes one significant overrun to severely impact a company’s financial bottom line. By optimizing the planning process with our transformational single software platform, we bring visibility to all stakeholders driving improvements in communication and team collaboration.”
According to Powell, the only solutions previously available for STO planners have been complex and expensive applications which are used for many of the required functions for identifying the proper event scope work-list and planning work performed in corrective, preventative, and predictive activities. Each of these applications are often not integrated and require expensive licenses, extensive training, and difficult analysis to ensure readiness for STO event schedule development and work execution – presenting a significant barrier for organizations seeking to improve scope and planning operations which are often shared between in-house and contract personnel.
STOplanner eliminates these pain points as it is designed to bring the ability to budget, plan work activities, plan required materials and personnel requirements into a single, intuitive platform which offers streamlined efficiency and visibility across the STO stakeholders. There is a very low threshold of training to use STOplanner, and with role-based permissions, data cannot be corrupted but easily communicated to everyone with a stake in the event. There is no limit on assigning users into the system which ensures all the data is available to everyone who needs it.
According to Powell, “Companies will benefit from more efficient planning and estimating, along with quicker transfer of job plans into the schedule saving time and money. Perhaps more importantly, better data is generated and organized to help the team make better decisions regarding the turnaround event earlier in the timeline than with traditional methods. The ability to have all this organized information that is easily shared across the entire turnaround organization leads to better results, shorter learning curves, better data, and ultimately, better outcomes for the whole event.”
He continued, “Ultimately, by implementing STOplanner, companies will see a significant positive return-on-investment as efficiency and functionality gains are realized.”
To create this solution, STOlogix selected Ayoka Systems for custom software development – not simply for technical know-how, but for Ayoka’s domain and industry experience with industrial software development projects and their local, Texas development team.
The tech stack behind STOplanner is comprised of .NET MVC5, Entity Framework 6 (EF6) and a MSSQL database, deployed to AWS (Amazon Web Services). At its core, these technologies are proven with stability and a healthy ensemble of plugins and extensions that assist in making robust web applications. Incorporating .NET Identity provides a framework for User Management that is highly customizable allowing for greater control over authentication and authorization with traditional methods of roles and permissions, as well as implementation of Claims-based authorization.
Taking a Code-First approach allows for fluid modifications to the Database structure to a enterprise application without requiring a dedicated DBA to monitor and administer changes to the datastore.
On the client-side, the STOplanner software is grounded in Java/JQuery(3.2.1), and Bootstrap(3.3.7) CSS. Although this is not a mobile application, Bootstrap provides a responsive UX (User Experience) that allows for a user to access the application from a mobile browser without diminishing their experience. This technology allows users to dynamically group, sort, filter, aggregate, compare, and export to data to EXCEL, through a drag and drop user interface that eliminates the need for most SQL data queries or custom reports.