Geertjan's Blog

  • May 9, 2009

How the NetBeans Platform is Used in Large Commercial Enterprise Environments

Geertjan Wielenga
Product Manager
Commercial NetBeans Platform developer Bernd Ruehlicke, who I interviewed in Oil & Gas Exploration on the NetBeans Platform, sent me a few interesting links about OTHER applications in the oil & gas world that are also written on the NetBeans Platform.

One of these is very well described in this document (PDF):

Building a Standards-Based Visualization Framework for Customized Seismic Analysis and Quality Control Workflows

The document describes INTViewer, a geology and geophysics data visualization software application designed and developed just for exploration geoscientists:

It is created by Interactive Network Technologies, Inc, headquartered in Houston, TX, and is one of a set of products used by leading organizations and Fortune 500 companies in industries as diverse as oil and gas, finance, medical imaging, telecommunications, and defense.

Here's an interesting part, relating to Java and the NetBeans Platform, from the above PDF document:

An important starting point when building the INTViewer to be used as an accessible viewing tool was to write the software in Java and the NetBeans Rich Client Platform to support its plug-in architecture. Java is a cross-platform programming environment with object-oriented language, good developer productivity, and a well established performance track record. The NetBeans platform offered the requisite reliable and flexible application architecture that makes it easy to create robust and extensible applications. A NetBeans application typically consists of a set of modules or plug-ins. The NetBeans runtime environment understands what a module is, manages dependencies and versioning, handles modules lifecycle, and enables the interaction between modules in the same application. NetBeans has a further advantage of being an Open Source project that makes up a very active and diverse community, in which many people around the world are developing blogs, books, tutorials and training material.

By leveraging Java and NetBeans, the intention was to offer a flexible viewing platform that could be enhanced through plug-ins for implementation of new data formats, new processing functionality, new data views, and even complete custom workflows. Each plug-in is packaged as a single jar file (java archived format) that can simply be dropped inside a special folder for activation.

As a result of the abovementioned pluggability, customers of INTViewer are able to extend it, such as in the case of StatoilHydro. Headquartered in Norway, StatoilHydro is an integrated technology-based international energy company primarily focused on upstream oil and gas operations. StatoilHydro has about 30,000 employees in 40 countries. It is also a company that uses INTViewer and its Java Plugin API to create a Velocity Scanning Workflow that helps improve seismic imaging in complex structures:

Customer Stories: StatoilHydro

Thanks again to Bernd Ruehlicke for the above link! There you'll read several cool things, such as:

A Velocity Scanning plug-in for INTViewer has been delivered to StatoilHydro. The new functionality was delivered as a single far file (Java Archived File) that is installed simply by copying it into a dedicated folder inside the INTViewer installation. This straightforward solution was possible because INTViewer is written in Java and uses the NetBeans Rich Client Platform to support its plug-in architecture. Java is a cross-platform programming environment that offers a powerful object-oriented language, offering very good developer productivity and outstanding performance. The NetBeans platform provides a reliable and flexible application architecture that makes it easy to create robust and extensible applications.

As of this writing, StatoilHydro is using the plug-in to process a 4,000sq meters survey, corresponding to 120GB of volume seismic data. The viewer handles synchronized visualization of 3 to 5 of the migrated dataset, visualization of the 100% model and of the new interpolated mode with no difficulty. Only the visible traces need to be loaded into the viewer (usually along an inline or cross-line) and the interpolated velocity is calculated on the fly.

And here's another success story for INTViewer's pluggability on the NetBeans Platform, by Cimarex Energy Co.. Cimarex is a Denver-based independent oil and gas exploration and production company with principal operations in the Mid-Continent, Gulf Coast, Permian Basin and Gulf of Mexico.

Success Story: Cimarex

Cimarex licensed INTViewer, a simple yet powerful solution for viewing large random seismic datasets in a variety of formats, including SEGY. INTViewer also features a Plugin architecture that allowed Cimarex to easily create a number of specialized batch and interactive processes, extending the functionality of the viewer.

INTViewer, with its Plugin architecture, provided Cimarex with a framework that allowed them to create new utilities and applications easily and in a timely manner to answer their exploration needs.

As of this writing, Cimarex has created over 32 interactive and batch applications which greatly contributed to their exploration successes and saved both time and money by reducing post processing requests for their vendors.

And that's how the NetBeans Platform is used over and over again by, at a rough guess, probably hundreds of companies around the world. And why wouldn't they? As Bernd points out in the interview referred to above: "The NetBeans Platform is really the only true Swing based application platform out there."

What that also means is that every screenshot in the NetBeans Platform Showcase is, in fact, the tip of an iceberg. Behind each of those screenshots are potentially dozens/hundreds of other applications that are based on the platforms provided by those applications.

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