Success Story: EHA Energie-Handels-Gesellschaft mbH & Co. KG
Interface concept for an energy data management system
The EHA Energie-Handels-Gesellschaft mbH & Co. KG is an energy service provider and the specialist for chain stores in Germany and Austria. Customers receive a comprehensive package of energy services “from one source”. These include the procurement and supply of green electricity and gas, energy controlling and energy consulting. The results are sustainable reductions in consumption and costs as well as practiced climate protection.
Grid usage management - a new challenge
The EHA takes the dynamic changes in the liberalised electricity market into account, among other things, by expanding its range of services to include supply via “grid usage”. This results in new challenges for EHA – “specialists for chain stores”. For example, EHA takes over the registration for grid usage for its customers, i.e. it ensures that the grid operator supplies the customer with electricity. For this purpose, all relevant data is exchanged between EHA and the network operator, and a network usage contract is concluded. On the basis of historical or planning data, EHA forecasts the energy consumption for each of its grid usage customers. This activity is called “schedule management”. All necessary data about customers and their contracts up to physical meters were managed up to this point in an in-house developed company-wide application and associated database. This application is the leading system for all applications and systems at EHA. In order to support and improve its business processes in the field of grid usage, EHA has decided to use a standard software for energy data management (EDM). Accordingly, the entire schedule management will be carried out with the help of the EDM software in the future.
The interface realised by the PTA between the EHA application and the EDM system now allows for the timely and efficient use of central information in different systems. PTA’s many years of experience and the good cooperation with the employees of the “Network Usage” and “Systems Engineering” departments have led to this success.
The task of the PTA
The requirement for PTA GmbH is to design and implement an interface to the EDM system that is fully integrated into the existing or developing system landscape. A system-spreading unification and/or synchronisation of the business processes is the condition for smooth communication. The systems to be coupled are located in a very heterogeneous system landscape. EHA’s self-developed application consists of an Access2000 frontend and an MS SQL2000 database server on a Windows2000 server. The EDM system is programmed in Java and is operated with an Oracle database on a Unix server. The BizTalkServer from Microsoft is to be used as an EAI tool. The data exchange is to take place via XML files. On this basis, PTA GmbH analysed the complex business processes in close cooperation with the employees of the “Network Usage” department and developed and implemented an interface concept with the objective of a large degree of automation.
The interaction of partners and systems of EHA
Functionality and transparency
Based on the analysis of the business processes, the process-relevant events in the application and database were identified and adjusted. As soon as business processes relevant to the EDM system are triggered, the corresponding data is first saved before it is exported as an XML file. This procedure enables the desired high level of traceability and transparency as well as fine control of the data processing. Communication with the EDM system is asynchronous, i.e. feedback on the status of processing does not have to take place immediately. Regularly executed monitoring routines check the interface functionality and alert in case of malfunctions. Extensive tests have been carried out to ensure that the interface functions correctly. The PTA test database used for these tests enabled a complete documentation of the tests and the analysis of the results.
“It pays off for the EHA to have a professional partner, the “PTA”, at its side.
The PTA’s professional approach to project work has definitely paid off for EHA.”
Olaf Büttner, Head of Information Technology EHA