8 September 2005
EDMS. All of us in the ILC design community need to become familiar with this acronym.
In a generic sense, EDMS stands for 'Electronic Document Management System,' and it is used for software systems that provide an orderly way of organizing a large number of documents over the lifespan of a project, providing mechanisms for revisions, traceability, searching, etc. This is a need we are all familiar with and for those of us in the ILC design effort, we recognize the need to provide and organize all the work that has already been accomplished, as well as the work that will be done in the future. However, in a more specific sense for high energy physics detector or accelerator projects, this acronym has come to be mean 'Engineering Data Management System.' In this sense, such a system also provides the basic design tool environment (CAD/CAM etc), document management system, and work flow that are needed to conduct and carry out a complex project design and implementation like the ILC.
Designing the ILC presents many challenges, not the least being how we will coordinate the design when we are geographically so dispersed. A key to our being able to successfully do this work together relies on our having a very good set of collaboration tools, beginning with a common website having all information available in a timely way, and including collaboration tools for scheduling, videoconferencing, etc. Finally, we need a commonly accessible system that includes all the engineering design tools and documentation that will be needed to carry out the ILC design and implementation.
There are many such EDMS systems out there, including ones developed in some of our high energy laboratories (CERN, DESY and Fermilab) and others that have been developed commercially and are broadly used in large engineering operations. Selecting which system of collaboration and engineering tools are right for the ILC is a complex decision. In order to help us select a system for the GDE, I have appointed a committee of experts, who have much relevant experience, including familiarity with the EDMS systems developed in our high energy physics laboratories. The committee that will be charged to make a recommendation to me consists of Tom Markiewicz (SLAC), John Ferguson (CERN), Lars Hagge (DESY), Rich Stanek (Fermilab), Nobu Toge (KEK) and Harry Weerts (Argonne). Tom Markiewicz will serve as chair. This committee will create a special web page for this task on our ILC website, so you will be able to follow and give inputs as their work unfolds.
We are presently in the process of writing a formal charge for this EDMS committee. We will post it on our Website as soon as it is available. I expect that our ILC system will be implemented in stages, but the overall time-scale is short because we would like a fully operational system by the time we begin the reference design early next year.