History

The PODS Data Model is used by some of the world’s largest oil & gas companies and stores millions of records for hundred of thousands of miles of pipelines.

In 1998, a small number of application developers were asked by the Gas Research Institute (GRI) to help speed the development of an expanded ISAT data model. These individuals (the GRI Working Group) generously donated their companies’ time, expertise and intellectual property to extend the original ISAT data model by adding important functionality and significantly expanding the original scope of ISAT. The effort has taken a very pragmatic approach with the goal of developing data model standards in the pipeline industry with an emphasis in the area of geo-spatial GIS technology.

As the PODS Data Model has grown in acceptance and adoption across the pipeline industry and around the world, the Association’s membership has also grown to today include more than 170 member companies. PODS membership includes small, medium, and large oil and gas companies, service and software providers to the pipeline industry, industry associations, and government agencies.

Continuous Improvements

The PODS Association continues updating the model to include enhancements recommended by Project Teams to the Technical Committee on Governance.

PODS Association is launching Next Generation, an effort to improve the Data Model and meet the business needs of the future.

Model Enhancements and Growth: A Timeline

Since its inception, the PODS Association has supported continued development of the PODS Data Model in order to meet the needs of the pipeline industry. Government regulation and technological advancement of integrity and risk management applications have driven much of this progress. Below is a brief overview of how the PODS Data Model has been adapted to meet these needs.

1998 – PODS (Pipeline Open Data Standard) 2.0 – Initial Launch:
Originally initiated by the Gas Research Institute (now GTI), PODS brought together pipeline operators and software providers to significantly extend the ISAT data model, and add important functionality focused on the data requirements for PIM:

  • supported the need to form a self funding organization, consisting of both pipeline operating companies, and all the various applications developers, data vendors and service providers representing more than just GIS platforms
  • suggested the adoption of a formal not-for-profit trade association with bylaws, various types of memberships, and membership fees supported by an annual budget
  • suggested an initial slate of officers as interim Board members
  • published a timetable to promote discussion towards initiating the Association
  • published a “White Paper” report to present new ideas and accelerate any technical discussions
    Contained 184 tables, 48 Sub-Models, 1,080 Columns

2004 – PODS 3.2
453 Tables, 146 Sub-Models, 3,228 Columns

2006 – PODS 4.0
645 Tables, 198 Sub-Models, 4,888 Columns

2009 – PODS 5.0
652 Tables, 198 Sub-Models, 4,843 Columns (Reduced because ID columns were dropped.)

2011 – PODS 5.1
678 Tables, 203 Sub-Models, 5,171 Columns

2012 (December) – PODS 6.0 – A Major Release

31 Modularized functional groups were created, and each can be deployed independently:

  • Minor releases of individual modules facilitates incremental additions and modifications
  • Flexibility to develop targeted modules as needs arise
  • Operators can implement only those modules applicable to their operations
  • Ability to adopt only desired updates
  • Fundamental shift in the design of the data model
  • The core module of PODS 6.0 is the foundation set of tables that must be implemented and all other tables depend. It is the only required module.
  • Additional modules (there are 30) may be added as needed to support specific functional requirements.
    For example, pipeline companies located outside the US can drop the US Regulatory tables, and optionally add tables they develop to support their own region’s regulatory requirements.
  • Easier implementation for new adopters
  • Pipeline operators are now more easily able to plan a PODS implementation in phases, perhaps start by populating just pipeline centreline and attributes, and over time add modules to support other functional requirements.
  • A complete list the 31 modules and their descriptions is available on the PODS website.