Specification of system architecture

Report investigating the requirements for the technological infrastructure of the FutureFarm Farm Management Information System (FMIS).

Year of Publication2010

Executive summary:Following the determination of the user requirements and the functionalities, the technological infrastructure of the FMIS must be selected. It can be concluded that a single proprietary monolithic software system cannot meet all the identified requirements, and thus, a web-based approach to the implementation of an FMIS that fulfils these additional requirements are presented. By adopting such an approach, the system has a so called core FMIS that includes basic functionalities (like FMIS logic) and a central database. In addition to the core FMIS, the concept of the envisioned future FMIS also includes a set of modular elements (like Rules manager and Rules Application), which can be software components as well as manual or automated services linked to the system, providing tailored functional features. The FMIS has a web interface so, that its components e.g. database can be accessed via the Internet from different locations and by different authorised users. An important part of the quantification of the designed management information system is to derive a reference information model. A reference information model expresses the data content needed in a farm management information system and provides an explicit representation of the semantic and lexical connections that exist between the information carried in the fields of exchanged messages. A reference information model is essential for increasing precision and reducing implementation costs. AGROVOC thesaurus should be further developed to perform also as a reference information model of future FMIS and to meet the data exchange needs. By inferring from the FMIS functionalities to the actual FMIS architecture, a network of distributed web services which offer the required functionality comes up as a possibility. The implementation of these services may vary and will depend on elaborated information flows. A major requirement would be that all services communicate via well defined and agreed upon vocabularies. In one case, the functional requirements could be addressed by standard (non SOA) software architectures; however the functionality range of these services (financial, agronomic, optimisation, modelling, etc) renders such an approach unlikely. A scenario where specialised services are implemented by companies competing against each other, by governmental or non-profit organisations would be more likely.

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Additional keywords/tags

farm management information systemffd3 6knowledge management
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