Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any issues transferring data from the Datawise native binary format to another database in the event of a system migration?
All data in the DataWise native database can be easily transferred to any relational database in which an ODBC connection can be made. Known databases that can be used are MS-SQL, Oracle, Access, and MySQL.
All data in the DataWise native database can also be easily transferred to a HEC-DSS.
Additionally, data can be exported to text files in a variety of formats suitable for importing to various databases.
What is involved in configuring the Datawise system to perform back up to an external DB?
The following steps are all performed from a menu-driven, DataWise Dialog:
1) Specify an ODBC data source name.
2) Specify the sensors for which it is desired to store data into the external DB.
3) Specify the form in which the data is to be stored. That is, a) in raw data form as it is received, b) in processed form after it has been converted to engineering units, c) whether period values for rainfall should be stored (e.g, 15-minute rainfall, hourly rainfall, etc.) Note that data for a single sensor can be stored in multiple ways.
Once the above steps are performed, data transfer to an external DB is automatic and performed in real-time unless the user specifies that it should be done periodically at some user-specified interval or on demand.
How often do you need to migrate data to an external DB that is used for queries?
DataWise can be configured to:
1) "migrate" data to an external DB in real-time so that whatever data is in the native DataWise data base is also in the external DB at all times.
2) "migrate" data to an external DB at any user-specified interval.
3) "migrate" data to an external DB on demand.
The preferable way is usually to populate an external DB in real-time so that at any time the external DB is queried it will contain up to date data.
Why does Datawise store data to a binary database? (advantages and disadvantages)
1) Relational databases are not efficient in storing un-evenly spaced time series data, which is what data in an ALERT / IFLOWS system is. This becomes especially true as the time series becomes long. The native DataWise database is highly optimized for rapid handling of long time series data for multiple sensors. As a point of interest, even though the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has invested heavily in optimizing the Oracle RDB for storing time series data for its hydrologic operations, the non-RDB HEC-DSS still outperforms the optimized Oracle RDB by nearly two orders of magnitude.
2) The DataWise native database has been optimized for detecting and correcting erroneous data (which can and does occur in ALERT systems).
3) The DataWise native database is optimized for detecting sensor data that has gone into user-specified alarm conditions and for performing some external function when alarm conditions occur.
Clearly, accessing the native DataWise database cannot be performed directly using standard RDB methods. If DataWise did not populate external databases, this could be considered a significant disadvantage. However, since DataWise can easily maintain a "parallel" data set in a RDB, the disadvantages are relatively minor.
Who helps us establish proper backup procedures for the Datawise base station?
DEC DataSystems personnel provide this service as part of the support provided when DataWise is purchased.
Could you review the process for creation and modification of display maps for the base station?
1) Select the type of map background for placing sensor data on. Up to 100 different maps can currently be supported in DataWise. Map backgrounds can either be raster graphics (e.g., .bmp, .jpg, .gif files) or vector graphics. If using a raster graphic map background, the user must specify the coordinates (latitude / longitude) of the map boundaries.
2) For each map to be displayed, specify the sensors to be displayed on the map. Sensor positions are initially determined by their coordinates although sensors can be re-positioned on a map-by-map basis if desired.
Review the analysis capabilities of the base station. What applications will we be able to transfer data to and what special configuration requirements will need to be met to make them work?
Analysis capabilities include, but are not limited to:
1) Tabular data in fixed-format displays (static or realtime)
2) Tabular data in user-specified format displays (static or realtime)
Note that a wide range of statistical analysis can be performed on any tabular data value before it is displayed.
3) Tabular reports displaying statistical analysis of rainfall data including maximum observed intensities for various time periods, hourly, daily, monthly, and yearly rainfall reports.
4) Time series plots of data from single or multiple sensors. Plots can be either static or dynamic.
5) "Animated graphics" displays in which users can design their own graphic displays (maps, schematics of weather stations, etc.) These screens can contain a wide range of "widgets" including gages, dials, thermometers, stream cross-sections, time series plots, simple text values. All displays update in realtime.
6) Extensive mapping capabilities including isohyetal maps which display rainfall similar to radar intensity maps.
Note that all displays that are also available remotely either through the DataWise client software or via a standard browser.
What is required to integrate QPF data into the base station for the generation of alerts?
A connection to a data stream (e.g. NOAA-port) that contains NWS-QPF data.
How does the station handle visual alerts? What do they look like?
DataWise generated alarms (alerts) can be delivered in numerous ways, from visual alerts on computer screens to text messages to controls of an external device. Station visual alerts can be delivered to not only the master DataWise base station but also to every computer on the network running the DataWise client software or every computer with a browser pointed to the DataWise Web server. Visual alarms can be customized or standard. In standard mode, an alarm display will pop up over the top of any and all applications currently running. The display provides a tabular list of all sensors in alarm condition and clicking on a specific sensor in the list will show the reason for the alarm condition. If a map is being displayed and the map contains a sensor that is in alarm condition, the sensor data will turn red. Note that an audible sound can be associated with an alarm. The sound can be customized to execute any desired .wav file on a sensor / condition by sensor / condition criterion or just a standard alarm tone.
Does the station log both meteorological and administrative alerts that are triggered?
All alarms (alerts) are logged.
How do we access the logs?
Through standard DataWise displays.
NWS alerts what is required to configure the station to ingest data from the NWS? Would there be firewall issues associated with collection or transfer of data from outside sources?
Through the TCP/IP socket mechanism over the internet using NOAA-port or something equivalent. DataWise comes standard with software to ingest such information. A port will need to be opened through the firewall.
Integration with web and GIS.
DataWise comes standard with a Web server which allows access to all displays, both tabular and graphic (including realtime updating graphic) displays, using a standard browser. The DataWise Web server code can be modified / customized by any web programmer if desired.
GIS integration has been done through a RDB. Best to talk about this on the phone or in person.