Over the past few months we’ve received questions about two of the utility network data models available from Esri; the Utility and Pipeline Data Model (UPDM) and the Gas Utility Network Configuration. We wanted to use this opportunity to provide an overview of our gas and hazardous liquids data models and to discuss our plans for the future.
The Utility and Pipeline Data Model (UPDM) is a widely adopted data model for operators of standalone or vertically integrated gas and hazardous liquid pipe networks. The genesis of the UPDM traces back to 2001. Over the years the model has been continuously updated based on community needs and technology changes (including linear referencing management). In ArcGIS, the UPDM has become the default data model for gathering systems, transmission systems, and distribution systems.
In 2018, the UPDM was updated to begin to leverage the new ArcGIS Utility Network Management capabilities. As part of this work the data model was divided into modules to simplify deployment for gas and hazardous liquid organizations for those situations that do not need all of the rich functionality of the UPDM. However, the UPDM does not yet take full advantage of the simplified deployment methods and other features of the Utility Network Package Tools.
Gas Utility Network Configuration
In 2018, with the release of the new Utility Network Management capabilities, Esri released the Gas Utility Network Configuration. This data model includes a baseline schema to make the new utility network capabilities suitable for typical gas or hazardous liquid distribution systems. This configuration also provides maps to publish the utility network service and to support editing, workflow examples, documentation and sample data. However, this configuration does not yet have complete integration with the richness of the UPDM.
The Future of the UPDM and the Gas Utility Network Configuration
In 2019, at the next major update of the UPDM, the Gas Utility Network Configuration will be the basis for gas and pipeline data models, and will be easily extendable with UPDM capabilities. This integration will improve the ability for you to easily configure and deploy the data model suited for your needs, as well as making it easy to take advantage of the complete ArcGIS system capabilities including web and mobile support. At this point the UPDM will move from being a community supported data model to a fully supported aspect of ArcGIS.
Until this new release, you may be asking– should I go UPDM or Gas Utility Network Configuration? There is no simple blanket answer, it will depend on what aspects of the system you want to use, your technology path, and specific needs. We suggest you reach out to your Esri account rep to discuss these points in detail. We are working to make any transition as seamless as possible no matter which path you are on now.