About the SONRIS System
DNR has undergone a project to re-engineer and redesign its information systems for all offices of the department. Specifically, DNR has implemented Strategic Online Natural Resources Information System, SONRIS (pronounced “Sunrise").
DNR uses its Administrative Web Server as the electronic access portal to information about DNR stored in static pages on the Administrative Web Server, and to dynamic SONRIS information available from other DNR Web servers. The public now has access via their Web browser to various tool sets within SONRIS:
- Data Access: retrieve oil and gas information, and coastal information, from the DNR Oracle database using sophisticated queries, and view pre-built reports such as the Conservation Scout Reports. Choose from either SONRIS "Classic", a robust form-based query capability, or SONRIS "Lite", an HTML-based capability designed for low-bandwidth users.
- Document Access: query and view millions of electronic document images, e.g., Office of Conservation oil/gas production cards and field orders, and Office of Mineral Resources lease records.
- GIS Access: retrieve information using interactive, geographically oriented, map capabilties, and select from a variety of layers of backgrounds.
These servers provide this service to the public via dynamic pages generated on a number of Web Servers. For more information on how these Web servers fit into DNR's computing architecture and future direction, you are invited to review the project overview for the Strategic Online Natural Resources Information System below.
SONRIS has been designed to take optimal advantage of the latest, yet appropriate, information technology. By adopting an open systems architecture, DNR can maximize the options it has in building applications while minimizing its reliance on the whims and fortunes of a single vendor. Knowledge engineering theory and practices are being used to develop a business model of all DNR business processes, entities and their relationships. Actual design and build functions are accomplished using the latest computer-assisted software engineering tools and techniques including Oracle’s Designer and Oracle Developer Suite.
All enterprise data is stored in one database, built around the Oracle relational database engine, warehousing textual data, GIS data, and electronic document images. This central database allows total flexibility in information retrieval by many types of users using various software products and tools. In order to provide timely throughput to all DNR business functions, and also serve the public via Internet access of public records, the project is using a high-end, highly-robust, scalable database server using the Intel-based Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) architecture. In addition to Oracle database and NUMA technology, SONRIS uses fiber-optic networking, remote discrete sensoring, satellite transmission of data, LANDSAT images, surface water modeling, electronic document imaging, optical storage, and distribution of data to the public via the World Wide Web.
The geographical information elements of the system are built around a full suite of advanced products from Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), including Arc/Info, Arc/View and ESRI Internet Map Server, all connected to the Oracle enterprise database via spatial data techniques. In addition, SONRIS features include sophisticated electronic document imaging and document management capabilities also provided by Oracle Corporation.
SONRIS is built on a three-tier computing architecture. The first tier is the enterprise database server running the UNIX operating system, while the middle tier includes application servers and specialized servers, mostly running Microsoft Windows Server 2008 software.
The third tier includes end-user machines, either “thick-client” PCs running Microsoft Windows XP or Windows 7 graphical user interfaces within DNR, or “thin-client”, Web-browser-based PCs on the Internet.
Previous DNR systems, including those related to oil and gas accounting, were designed and implemented in the 1970s, and did not have the advantage of as-yet “uninvented” technologies such as personal computers, document imaging, satellite telemetry, optical networks, graphical user interfaces, terabyte disk storage arrays, and the World Wide Web.
While there are complex, emerging technologies behind SONRIS, the interface to the end-user community is one with which users feel comfortable. Users within DNR interface with SONRIS via the familiar Windows XP/7 graphical environment, while users on the World Wide Web view SONRIS from the comfort, and familiarity, of their own Web browser.
The Department of Natural Resources was nominated for its development of SONRIS as a technology innovator for the 1998 Innovation Award sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and Computerworld Magazine. In addition, the National Governors' Association (NGA) showcased the SONRIS/LIWR Web site at its annual meeting in August, 1998.
SONRIS was envisioned by DNR to be an innovative approach to conserving the natural resources of Louisiana, by using alliances with high-technology organizations to implement a state-of-the-art information system. This vision continues to be fulfilled, beyond the sunrise of the 21st century, as DNR proudly supports SONRIS.