Repository: communication and data storage


The Repository was developed in cooperation with the Computer Science Faculty of the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen. It serves as storage for all emerging process data, which are provided by the multitude of systems using standard communication mechanisms.




The various customer systems (such as navigation-, bridge- and control systems, engine controls etc.) connect to the Repository using bus systems and their respective communication protocols (such as OPC, Modbus, ProfiNet, Canbus, etc.) to write data to and/or read data from the Repository.

An adapter is needed to store the varying data structures of the communication protocols. The adapter serves as a "interpreter", which writes the data to the Repository using the interface. This data can be used by different user interfaces (e.g. visualization).

The key characteristics and user benefits are:

  • Persistent storage of all data in NoSQL databases
  • Data distribution to all involved applications
  • Redundant communication between the involved systems
  • Fail safety due to several standby-servers
  • Capable of running on standard desktop hardware (no dedicated servers necessary)
  • Encapsulation of data storage and communication using an object-oriented interface



Benefits using NoSQL-databases

  • Easy horizontal scalability: NoSQL-databases can easily be expanded by adding additional servers, which can be time and cost efficient and can often take place without interrupting operation. Therefore they are outstandingly suited for the storage of large amounts of unstructured data.

  • Good performance under continuous load: NoSQL-architectures perform well with many simultaneous read/write requests which make them ideal for highly frequented web platforms, media streaming platforms or big data analysis.

  • High fail safety: NoSQL-systems automatically distribute data to many servers, store them redundantly and can therefore compensate server breakdowns without administrative interventions even making data backups unnecessary.