Research FMIS and standards

Authors: 
Jan Willem Kruize Robbert Robbemond
Country of origin: 
Netherlands
Year: 
2011
Abstract: 

In this study various data standards for data exchange between Farm Management Information Systems (FMIS) and other applications used by arable farmers are identified based on desk research. Differences between geographical regions, business processes and the users of these different data standards are taken into account. The research aims to give insight into the current state of data standardization in arable farming. Results are presented at the web-site https://sites.google.com/site/agrilabreferences/ and in this report.

These FMIS are the main focus of this research. An overview of current commercial available FMIS has been provided by making an inventory of available systems. 264 different farm management applications of 143 different software vendors have been identified. Based on these applications, a shortlist is created consistent of interesting vendors who have both state of the art applications and an international focus. In addition, one vendor is chosen from the region North-America, Oceania and Europe as a comparison of vendors that operate internationally. To get an overview of the local market, different vendors that support farmers in the Netherlands are analysed. For each selected software vendor an overview is created of the applications (FMIS) that support arable farming.

A reference model has been created to analyse different applications. By using this reference model differences between FMIS are revealed in a standardized manner. The reference model defines relevant functions for arable farmers. For each function, relevant processes are described in detail. This reference model is used as the starting point of the analysis of each selected application. Of each application the services that are offered to a user are identified. These services describe the functionality of the application. The relation between the application services and the reference model is visualised by a ‘used by’ relation. This analysis provides insights into which functions and related business processes are supported by the different applications.

The use of data standards has been researched by analysing one application of each vendor. This application is selected on being able to exchange data with other applications. Each analysis of the application data exchange functionality shows with which exchange actor the application can share data, which file types are supported, and if the message and file types are imported or exported.

We conclude that the selected applications focus on the support of the business function product management. When all identified processes from the reference model are taken into account, integrated solutions that support a variety of business functions are not very common. Furthermore, there are a variety of different file types and formats that can be imported or exported by the FMIS available worldwide. The application of the vendors with a regional focus can import and export less file types, but do offer automatic interfaces with processors and in some cases with suppliers and the government.

The aim of this research is to gain insights into the current situation of FMIS and used data standards. This research neither provides a complete overview of all the functionalities offered by applications in the market nor identifies all the messages and used data standards of these applications. If the results of this research can be generalized to the whole market is a point of discussion. To acquire more insight, relevant standardisation organisations and relevant data-standards should be researched. In this kind of research not the identified FMIS would be the focal point of research, but the type of messages that are exchanged between the different applications. Furthermore, this research can be extended with research on the task controllers and terminals and the exchanged messages that are imported and exported. The created website can be used to continue building knowledge about FMIS and data exchange standards on an international level.

Keywords: 

FMIS Standards file type farming BMS farm management information system business management

AttachmentSize
Final report about the use of datastandards for data exchange of FMIS (44).pdf4.04 MB