Global Catalog

The benefits of a global metadata catalog

global common metadata E&P

Key Benefits

  • Improved global access to multiple repositories for thousands of users.
  • Search is quick, precise and accurate and uses industry knowledge to understand user queries.
  • Search leverages an industry taxonomy, and returns results based on relationships that a full text index without understanding would miss.
  • 12,000,000+ files and documents available irrespective of storage medium.

The challenge

Sharing information across the globe to users with diverse needs and search requirements proved to be a major challenge for Flare’s client – an international energy company in operation for more than a century. With the client’s exploration and production interests spanning 40 countries, and employing around 35,000 people, Flare was asked to provide an IM solution that was capable of supporting these huge numbers.

Flare’s Approach

From the outset, Flare helped with the identification and categorisation of a wide range of E&P information across multiple internal and external systems. This was achieved by utilising one of Flare’s key products: The Catalog 

The Catalog used a number of global servers which replicated on a regular basis – so an item added in a system in the USA would be visible to Malaysia within an hour. A key principle was that all items should be visible to all people – although access to the content would depend on security and regulatory policies. In this way, the system ensured that a user could be made aware of the metadata for an item, without having full access to it.

The Catalog integrated seamlessly with other software in the client’s technical ecosystem, such as their Electronic Document Management System (EDMS), Full Text Search Engine and Map Search based systems.  Content for the index was populated either manually or automatically, depending on the sources and business requirement.

Once implemented, users were able to perform simple “Google-like” searches across multiple internal and external repositories, which were transformed by the taxonomy with its industry knowledge into intelligent, focussed searches


  • The Catalog greatly improved users access to information across the company. Many people began to discover information that was never visible before.
  • Searches are now quick, using ranking, precision and recall algorithms to ensure the results meet the needs of technical users.
  • The client’s search technology now understands industry terminology, finding items via:
    • Aliasing, e.g. Well “49/3a-B12” is also known as “Seinter AD Slot 4”
    • The use of hierarchies, e.g. a search for content in the “Carboniferous” will also yield results tagged with the “Albian”
  •   Note that these searches would have been missed by full text indices.

  • Stacked versions, folders and renditions that minimise results overload.
  • Integrated digital documents and data with hardcopy and physical samples, so that the whole story about a well or field is now made available.
  • Flare has now supplied web-based information management software to the client since 2004, and the platform is used by thousands of staff in its subsurface and wells line of business.


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