Version 33 (modified by gordonrachar, 14 years ago)


How To Implement ISO 15926 - Introduction

Status of this document: Working Draft

This document is open for feedback, please post questions and comments in the forum at the bottom of this page. You will need a login to post in the forum.


  1. First Thing - Read the Primer
  2. Second Thing - Have a "Problem"
  3. Getting Started
  4. Next

Only a few years ago, the most commonly asked question about ISO 15926 was "What is it and why should I care?" That question is still there, but nowadays it is mixed with "How do I implement ISO 15926?" This How To manual is written to address this question. The intended audience of is someone who is considering implementing ISO 15926 at an organization, but wishes to know roughly what is involved before writing a proposal or committing funds. This guide does not attempt to be a step-by-step, screen shot-by-screen shot "Software Installation" document because the manner in which an organization implements ISO 15926 is, to a large degree, dependent on what needs to be accomplished.

First Thing - Read the Primer

The first things you need is an understanding of what ISO 15926 is and what it intends to do. A really good place to start is the ISO 15926 Primer. It will give you a good background to the huge pent-up demand for digital interoperability that is driving many different approaches (ISO 15926 being one of them), and introduction to many of the organizations that have worked, and are working toward, digital interoperability, the various pieces that together make up ISO 15926 and how they are becoming common factors in the many different efforts, and some ideas to get you thinking about a good starting point.

Second Thing - Have a "Problem"

The second thing you need is an idea, otherwise known as "a problem" that you want to solve. But at the current stage of the development of ISO 15926, you will be forgiven for asking "What kind of problems can I realistically solve with it?" Some of the early claims of the potential of ISO 15926 sound magical, as if all you have to do is say ISO 15926 and the computer on your desk will start acting like the ones in the movies. Some of these stories may eventually come true, and perhaps even be surpassed. (Do you think that Orville and Wilber Wright, on the day of their first flight in 1903, could have imagined the fleets of modern passenger aircraft, the global air traffic control network, airport terminal services, and the reservation systems that let a businesswoman book a flight with no more thought than going downstairs to the deli and choosing her lunchtime sandwich?)

The future of digital interoperability my well be more than we imagine (and indeed more than we can imagine), but we've got a bit of work to do. It will be a few years before James Doohan can say "Computer! Transfer the design of the new transparent aluminum futtocks for the modified orlop to the fab shop for cutting!"

Getting Started

There could be a number of different reasons for wanting to know how to implement ISO 15926:

  1. Perhaps you have some interest in an industrial plant under development, and would like to convert the 3D models and associated databases from the various systems of the consortium of EPCs to one particular commercial plant design system with which you will maintain the plant. You would like to do this efficiently as possible without having to "reinvent the wheel", so to speak, and have heard that ISO 15926 can help you do this.
  1. Perhaps you are in the middle, between many other players in the plant design industry, and constantly have to remind yourself to ask "what do you mean by this?", even for simple terms. You would like a common way of describing plant objects that removes the ambiguity, and have heart that ISO 15926 does that.
  1. You have a particular interoperability problem you wish to solve. (For example, you would like to be able to populate a purchase order directly from a 3D plant design system.) You could write your own software to do this, but you would be forever tied to a particular purchase order system and a particular plant design system. You would like more flexibility and have heard that ISO 15926 can help.
  1. Perhaps you are a player in the plant design industry and have heard of the magical power of ISO 15926. You don't have a particular problem that you know about, but you can remember the debate about converting to Windows from DOS ("Why would you ever want to run two programs at the same time?") You don't want to be left behind, but you don't know where to start. You want a clear (or at least clearer) picture before you commit significant resources.
  1. Or perhaps you are an individual who seed ISO 15926 as an opportunity and want to know where you can contribute.

We will discuss all of these, and more, but first it will be helpful to describe the current state of development of ISO 15926 and how it came to be. Later will use this to show the best place to start, depending on what you want to do. The following diagram is a (very) simplified depiction of what has lead to the current state of ISO 15926.

History of ISO 15926

Evolution of ISO 15926



You have no rights to see this discussion.


About PCA
Reference Data Services