What is the Common Database (CDB)?

The Common Database (CDB) specification is an open synthetic environment database specification managed by Presagis. CDB was developed specifically to solve recurring database issues related to publishing speed, correlation and database re-use. The CDB Specification addresses these and other issues through a common database specification. It is intended as a simulation specification for use in producing a unified synthetic representation of the world. A database built to the CDB specification is referred to as a Common Database (CDB). A CDB is a single-copy data repository from which various clients are able to simultaneously retrieve, in real-time, relevant information to perform their respective runtime tasks, either for simulation or other purpose.

What is the history of CDB?

CDB was originally developed for the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) by CAE in 2004. A key driving factor for CDB is SOCOM's requirement for very rapid database generation for on-the-fly mission rehearsal in flight simulators, primarily special operations helicopters.

What is the value of CDB to the Modeling and Simulation community?

CDB solves the long-standing database problems in the market related to database re-use, correlation, and publishing speed. Using CDB, developers may create databases which can be openly exchanged, quickly updated and stand the test of time. The value for the end user is represented in the form of speed of updates or changes to the database based on new requirements, as well as the ability to add new clients without having to redesign the database or develop an entirely new database. This translates into faster updates, lower costs and a better simulation end product.

What is unique about CDB?

CDB is unique in that it is an open database format, a source data repository and a runtime publishing format all in one:

  • Open Commercial Specification
    • End users have direct access to the specification and may benefit from it. The specification will be governed and improved on over time with input from the user community. By being open, users have the option of adding support for CDB to internal tools or 3rd party tools, using Presagis CDB-enabled tools, or a combination. Other standards on the market which are not open tend to fulfill only specific requirements of specific users and do not benefit from market input. This limits wide market adoption and thus the underlying value of an open database standard and the notion of reusability.
  • Source Data Repository
    • The native format for CDB is comprised of pure source data formats, including TIFF, GEO-Tiff, OpenFlight, Shapefile and XML, thus there is no ‘conversion' of data. This greatly speeds up the database creation and publishing process, and allows for the rapid modification of databases.
  • Runtime Format
    • Clients can read CDB directly in runtime. CDB is designed to be read by all of the possible runtime systems, including but not limited to visual systems, Navaids, sensors, and SAFs. This means changes in the database are immediately represented in the runtime systems. Because of these runtime systems are using the same database, they are naturally correlated.

There are no other common database formats that include all three of these characteristics.

What market problems does CDB address?

The overriding goal for CDB was to dramatically reduce the time it takes from the receipt of new source data to rehearsing a mission in a simulator. Today, CDB solves five key market problems related to database creation and maintenance:

  1. Size of the Synthetic Environment Storage - Because CDB consolidates the synthetic environment into a single data repository that provides a static representation of the earth, there is no need for redundant databases for each runtime client. Thus the size of storage needed is drastically reduced.
  2. Scalability of the Synthetic Environment Database - A CDB can be built to a size or a density that far exceeds the capability of current and future client devices. CDB can be scaled to take advantage of future simulator technological improvements.
  3. Environment Database Correlation - Since CDB content is unique (without data duplication), runtime source level correlation errors among clients are eliminated, thereby ensuring coherence and simulator interoperability.
  4. Database Availability Timeline - The CDB generation process allows for small database incremental updates, thereby shortening generation and build process times. Furthermore, the translation step into CDB format is rather straightforward since the CDB specification is based on industry-standard native tool formats.
  5. Configuration management - Configuration management effort is reduced, because a single CDB corresponds to the synthetic environment of all the client-devices in the simulator.

Why did Presagis adopt CDB?

The company believes in the value of open standards and CDB provides the ideal database standard to complement its existing portfolio. The company views CDB as an enabling technology to facilitate integration between its COTS products and provide a common platform that will translate into tremendous productivity gains to customers. Customers will see CDB adopted by key flagship Presagis COTS products in the near future.

Is it possible to have a propriety software tool or application compatible with CDB that is not provided by Presagis?

Yes. CDB is an open standard and any third-party may choose to develop to the standard and provide software applications and tools compatible with CDB.

Will Presagis maintain and improve the CDB standard going forward?


Will Presagis continue to support existing standards?

Absolutely. Popular standards such as OpenFlight and TerraPage will continue to be maintained and improved as long as the market requires.

As a Presagis customer, will I be forced to adopt CDB to use Presagis software?

No. Customers who wish to continue using Presagis tools with existing standards such as OpenFlight, TerraPage or other may continue to do so. The Presagis goal is to drive adoption of cutting edge technology and solutions while continuing to meet the needs of the broader market. Presagis sees CDB as a standard that will drive new, more innovative and efficient ways of working. The goal is to enable our customers to leverage this type of advanced functionality when/if they are ready to move in that direction.