With engineer firms from the Aachen region they created qkan. Qkan is:
- A data structure.
- Plugins for Qgis.
- Direct access. Not a specific application with restricted access, but unrestricted access from within Qgis. (He noticed lots of interest among the engineers to learn qgis during the project!)
It has been designed for the needs of the engineers that have to work with the data. You first import the data from the local sewer database. Qkan converts the data to what it needs. Then you can do simulations in a separate package. The results of the simulation will be visualized by Qkan in qgis. Afterwards you probably have to make some corrections to the data and give corrections back to the original database. Often you have to go look at the actual sewers to make sure the database is correct. Output is often a map with the sewer system.
Some functionality: import sewer data (in various formats). Simulate water levels. Draw graphs of the water levels in a sewer. Support database-level check ("an end node cannot occur halfway a sewer").
They took care to make the database schema simple. The source sewer database is always very complex because it has to hold lots of metadata. The engineer that has to work with it needs a much simpler schema in order to be productive. Qkan does this.
They used qgis, spatialite, postgis, python and qt (for forms). An important note: they used as many postgis functionality as possible instead of the geographical functions from qgis: the reason is that postgis (and even spatialite) is often much quicker.
With qgis, python and the "qt designer", you can make lots of handy forms. But you can always go back to the database that's underneath it.
The code is at https://github.com/hoettges