Oil & Gas and Mining

Microsoft's Upstream Reference Architecture

Upstream operators are demanding software solutions that enable them to work smarter and take advantage of new technologies including cloud services, apps, mobility, social computing and platforms that unlock the potential of Big Data. Microsoft is at the forefront of these technology advancements. Through the Microsoft Upstream Reference Architecture (MURA) framework, we are leading the industry to the next generation of solutions and working alongside our global oil & gas industry partners to ensure that the latest versions of these technologies provide the foundation for their oilfield solutions.
The key Guiding Principles grouped into five ‘pillars’, help ensure consistency and technical integrity for upstream oil & gas solutions built upon the Microsoft technology platform. In turn, global oil and gas companies can realize maximum value from their existing investments in Microsoft technology – helping them save on further IT costs. (See The Microsoft Upstream Reference Architecture for more information on the scope of the MURA, the role of these pillars and how the principles within them map to Microsoft technology).
  • Role-Based Productivity & Insights
  • Natural User Experience
  • Social Enterprise
  • Connected Business
  • Secure, Scalable, High-Performance Infrastructure
  • Through role-based productivity & insights, upstream operators can draw insight from a vast amount of business-related data and maximize the productivity of workers. Capabilities include real-time analytics, which offers rich statistical and analysis packages for data mining, discovery, and reporting for diverse information consumers, and complex event processing, via capabilities of SQL Server or Windows Azure Business Analytics and using Complex Event Processing technology like StreamInsight. Differing software tools and systems that workers use daily should be seamlessly integrated to allow for continuous importing and exporting of business data from one system to another in order to complete workflows. They should also be able to perform detailed ad-hoc data analysis and other business intelligence functions on their own and without, for example, having to define a report and request their IT to provide it for them using powerful, easy-to-use tools like PowerView, PerformancePoint, Data Explorer, and PowerPivot. These principles also include methods for storage and master data management of repositories to capture and enable analysis of operational and business data – located on-premise, in the cloud, or a hybrid mixture of both.
  • By understanding enhanced user experience, the host oil and gas company understands how participants experience the world and how technology fits into that experience. New technologies take advantage of rich user experience, intuitiveness and ease of use across a multitude of devices – from smart phones and tablets to PCs and expansive operations command centers. New programming technologies, such as Windows Presentation Foundation, Silverlight or HTML 5, are opening new possibilities for applications in the business domains that run on many form factors. Intuitive interfaces now feature rich, composite dashboards and are accessible from mobile devices. These interfaces also incorporate natural human interaction with the software allowing workers to use gestures, voice, and touch.
  • Collaboration allows people to work together more closely, coordinate their efforts, follow detailed business processes, and respond to events as they happen. The oil and gas industry will require even-greater collaboration to account for a globalized and evolving workforce, as well as increasingly complex and mission-critical exploration and production. Communications technology is keeping pace with today’s global and on-demand collaboration – including real-time communication networks, mobility, Web conference, voice over IP (VoIP), and of course, social media. Collaboration services and the Microsoft technologies that support them can include Lync, SharePoint, Yammer and Office 365.
  • For the MURA to successfully deliver cost-effective, integrative benefits, it must enable comprehensive interoperability – both on-premise and in the cloud. As a result, features including industry standards like the PPDM and the standards stewarded by Energistics along with published interfaces and information models are of critical importance. Connected, agile businesses require solutions that integrate the workflows of the business workers and the systems they use, their process and procedures, and the information those workers create and manage as part of their work-day across all the upstream systems they interact with.
    Microsoft offers many tools and technologies to help solve the interoperability issues for its partners and customers. Many of these tools and technologies follow open industry standards, such as Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), OData and Web services. Some of the technologies offer data-based integration and others offer document-based integration or a hybrid of both. Some of the tools offered by Microsoft that support a Connected Business include BizTalk Server, Windows Azure Service Bus, Windows Communication Foundation.
  • The MURA Guiding Principles capture the need of an underlying technical infrastructure that at the foundational level enables many business processes. Principles of this infrastructure include scalable support for more users, larger models, and increased transaction volumes; securely deployed components, functionality, and information protected from unauthorized access or malicious attacks; and services that are location agnostic for anywhere deployment and which can be accessed on any device. Integration through messaging and database technology links together workflow, processes, and data optimization. Domain-specific infrastructure incorporates trade-specific infrastructure connections using unified communications to manage compliant devices, from down-hole sensors and well heads, to pumps, intelligent bits, compressors, and other plant equipment. A secure, scalable, high-performance infrastructure should also take advantage of global high availability, app and data marketplaces and software as a service. Microsoft technologies supporting these principles include Windows Server, Active Directory, Windows Azure and System Center.



Solution Information

Solution Sheets & White Papers