CAD cloud colalboration from Autodesk, GrabCAD and SolidWorks

February 4, 2014

cad-collab-cloud

Collaboration was always in the focus of engineering software. Started earlier with CAD and product data management, software vendors tried to create an environment where engineers can easy collaborate and share information about design. The boundary of collaboration never been limited to engineering department. You might remember “extended enterprise collaboration” stories back in 2000s. That was probably first attempt to provide an easy way to share information among engineering and other teams. In my view, early collaboration software provided by CAD and PLM vendors had two main diseases – complexity of user interface (or how we call it these days – user experience) and complexity of computer infrastructure needed to be installed and maintained by IT departments.

The situation is going to change these days. User interface is clearly getting in focus of development teams. Most of CAD and PLM companies are recognizing the importance of smooth user experience. The demand of users set by public web giants such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and not by old-school enterprise software vendors. Cloud technologies are going to simplify IT jobs and provide new generation of IT infrastructure.

So, design collaboration space is getting hot. Established CAD vendors and newcomer start-up companies are trying to innovate by providing new environments and collaboration philosophies. I picked up 3 companies that in my view can provide a good example of the future CAD cloud design collaborative environment – Autodesk, GrabCAD and Solidworks.

Autodesk 360

Autodesk introduced Tech preview of new Autodesk 360 product. Core77 blog article Autodesk 360 Tech preview: it’s like Facebook for designers provides a very good coverage and screen shots. Here is the passage summarized what Autodesk 360 does:

autodesk360

The company has created a Facebook-like interface for projects and design teams; collaborators log on to a cleanly-designed dashboard page containing “all of the data, projects, people, tasks, discussions, activities, issues and alerts that are associated with design or architecture projects that they are working on.” Clicking on a project, for instance, is like clicking on someone’s Facebook wall; you get a linear view of all developments concerning that project, with your fellow collaborators’ updates taking the place of comments. People can upload relevant files as updates, and anyone with access can view any file, regardless of whether it’s an Autodesk format or not. (This includes non-design data, like spreadsheets and such.) And yes, Autodesk 360 can also be used from your phone or tablet, just as with Facebook.

GrabCAD Workbench (Partners Space)

GrabCAD is a newcomer in CAD collaboration space. Started as a space for engineers to collaborate few years ago (funny enough, it was mentioned many times as a “Facebook for engineers”), these days GrabCAD is moving fast to become CAD collaboration solution provider with their GrabCAD Workbench product. GrabCAD blog – Why GrabCAD created a next-generation release process? can give you some insight on GrabCAD strategy and philosophy. Here is what I captured:

gc-collaboration-cad

GrabCAD started as a way for engineers to collaborate on engineering projects. Over time, we engineered the secure system GrabCAD Workbench first for external collaboration, then, with CPD, for PDM-style internal collaboration. Unlike PLM systems, which mostly started as CAD-centric data management tools, we have approached the problem by first understanding the social and business problems our customers need to solve. This unique perspective caused us to partition the private engineering workspace from special “Partner Spaces” that make sharing such data secure and foolproof. While the engineering team is working away, each partner has access to the version released to them. The Partner Space also contains a limited and more appropriate set of tools for external collaboration, so the partner sees only what they need to.

SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual (Dashboard)

Last week at SolidWorks World 2014 in San Diego, Dassault SolidWorks made an announcement about new product SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual (SWMC). The product was long awaited and raised lots of discussion and controversy in blogosphere and CAD press. My single best link to follow different opinions about SWMC is SolidSmack’s article – What we found out about SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual and Future of SolidWorks. Another good reference is Graphic Speak article – The business case for SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual. What captured my attention in SWMC announcement is introduction of so called – 3DEXPERIENCE 3D Space. Here is how it was explained by Graphic Speak:

3dexperience-3dspace

Mechanical Conceptual introduces a new way of sharing data that’s integral to the 3D Experience Platform. Called the 3D Dashboard, it functions like the Windows Explorer for SolidWorks or any other desktop application. All models are saved to the dashboard in a so-called workspace that can be shared with co-workers or customers. The dashboard is accessible by a Web browser. Clients who don’t have Mechanical Conceptual can simply log in to view models

What is my conclusion? Customers have huge demand to improve collaboration. People are expecting collaboration should be as easy as sharing your photos on Facebook. However, complexity of design environment is much higher than sharing photos. This is a clear challenge for all vendors regardless on their status and experience. The simplicity is the hardest thing to deliver. However, it is not all about future of collaboration. In my view, cost will become the next important challenge. Who will be able to provide the best combination of features, user experience and cost will probably lead future CAD collaboration space in the cloud. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


CAD-PDM Integration, Transparency and Cloud Pain Killer

January 28, 2014

cloud-pdm-integration

CAD/PDM integration is a very important topic. It is a piece of software that helps to establish a connection between core engineering world using CAD systems and rest of the world using design data. It was a place where lots of data management innovation happened in the past. It is also one of the most frequently debated topic, especially when it comes to how manage connectivity between CAD and PDM/PLM system. It created lot of successes to companies introducing data management to engineering departments and probably created as many failures to companies that didn’t do it well or messed up with management of PDM and CAD releases.

In my view, it remains hot topic these days. Cloud brings new stream of innovation into CAD-PDM space. Cloud and CAD files management is heavily debated among different communities these days. Navigate to read my What end of local storage means for CAD? and catch up on CAD, PLM and Future Cloud File Systems. One of my active opponents in the discussion about how to introduce cloud to CAD data management is GrabCAD’s Hardi Meybaum – Debunking the cons to CAD file sharing tools.

Earlier this week, GrabCAD made an announcement about GrabCAD Workbench availability for SolidWorks. It came aligned with SolidWorks World 2014 that is taking place these days in San Diego, CA. The following two articles provide good coverage of what SolidWorks GrabCAD Workbench integration does – GrabCAD workbench rolls new CAD file management features and Busy Week in the Cloud: GrabCAD and Autodesk 360 . Here is an interesting passage

…GrabCAD Workbench provides a cost-effective and easy-to-implement PDM/PLM alternative for small- to mid-sizes businesses. GrabCAD Workbench now also offers a SolidWorks add-in and neutral file translator, opening up even more options in file types for users. Workbench users can now upload and download files as well as resolve conflicts from within SolidWorks…

SolidWorks user community is hot PDM opportunity for the cloud. I remember my post two years ago SolidWorks, Cloud and Product Data Management speaking about potential cloud infusion of PDM in SolidWorks eco-system.

The interesting part of GrabCAD Workbench / SolidWorks plugin is the way it was integrated in SolidWorks. Below I put few screenshots of different PDM systems providing integration to SolidWorks. All of them are integrating PDM plug-in immersively into CAD (SolidWorks) environment to simplify user experience:

GrabCAD:

GrabCAD-SolidWorks-Add-in-copy

SolidWorks EPDM (formerly Conisio)

pdmworks_enterprise1_lg

SmarTeam:

solidworks-smarteam

Siemens TeamCenter:

Teamcenter-Integration-for-SolidWorks

It made me think about the way cloud is probably going to be introduced to engineering community of CAD users – painless plug-in connecting CAD system you are familiar with to the cloud infrastructure, servers and eco-system. The beauty of the approach is that it helps to hide from engineer "cloud nature of the system". CAD user experience remains the same – familiar to engineers for many years. The potential danger is plug-in behavior in case of network low speed and cloud connectivity outage.

What is my conclusion? Data management transparency is a key for success. To serve users with familiar user experience and to sneak cloud servers into CAD system is a very nice approach that can provide a lot of potential. It holds the same risk old PDMs have – failure of servers or disruption / slowdown of CAD user experience. If it happens, user will boot out PDM system of CAD environment doesn’t matter of future cloud potential. It happened in the past with old PDM systems and won’t be different these days. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


CAD Collaboration: Synchronous vs. Asynchronous?

January 23, 2014

cad-collaboration

Collaboration is not a new buzz in engineering domain. CAD and PLM companies are using this term already few decades in order to explain how their products can help designers, engineers and other people in a company to communicate and be efficient. Recently so called "social technologies" came to disrupt this space. For the last few years, we’ve seen many tries to introduce new type of "social collaboration". However, most of them didn’t change much – it was still about "how people can work together".

At the same time, social technologies and (specifically) communities of users raised again an important question related to the value of "asynchronous collaboration". On my long redeye flight back from San Francisco tonight, I was reading 3DCAD World article – CAD Goes Social. Article speaks about challenges of synchronous collaboration using CAD systems. Here is the passage, which explains potential challenges of "working together on the same 3D CAD model".

Nanosoft’s Evan Yares said, “Previous collaboration features were technically interesting, but they failed to impact the market. However, improved standards along with other more advanced enterprise applications might now make the concept more realistic. In fact, current research at Brigham Young University uses existing high-end CAD packages and ties them together with a ‘game engine’ framework. Students work together as if in a multiplayer game to edit 3D models while wearing headsets that let them talk together as they work. The researchers claim that such simultaneous group access leads to significant productivity improvements.”

To understand the concept better, consider the simple analogy of editing a document in Google Docs, a cloud-based application that lets enabled users simultaneously open and edit a document from anywhere. The approach works well as long as measures are in place to prevent users’ edits from “colliding.” But editing a CAD model poses more challenges because models are often built using a recipe of uniquely related and ordered features. Any change in a defining parameter by an uninformed user could cause the model to crash.

Social networks, photo sharing, professional community and online communication are raising question of increased value of asynchronous collaboration. GrabCAD is a community of engineers, open engineering marketplace and provider of GrabCAD Workbench (Collaborative Product Development) tool. The following passage explains some differentiators of GrabCAD approach (including quotes from GrabCAD VP Marketing Stevens):

“From the collaboration angle, our users are professional engineers who want to share their designs with a small group and work together on a project,” said Stevens. So that everyone in the world can’t see the work, we launched Workbench, a private visualization tool for CAD. GrabCAD is almost like a Facebook because it includes a stream of comments about a design. Users can leave for a day, come back, login and see that ‘Bob’ uploaded a new version of a design, ‘Sarah’ didn’t like the color, and ‘Henry’ says it’s too expensive to manufacture. All this is happening in a secure location.”

According to Stevens, the company provides some synchronous tools that let users see who is online, but users are more interested in asynchronous features. “That’s because it’s rare for everyone to be online at the same time,” he said. “What companies are really worried about is how to move projects forward faster by avoiding the lengthy delay of getting busy engineers to take screenshots.”

These two examples made me think about two approaches and use cases that might stand behind. After all, I don’t think synchronous and asynchronous are mutually exclusive.

The main driver of synchronous approach is to put everybody on the same page at the same time. Time is important because not everything can be written. Sometimes, you need to explain the problem and actually show it in the model / assembly. Complex geometry, decision making, analysis, design suppliers situations – these are typical examples when synchronous access to CAD models will provide huge value. It doesn’t mean people will be actually editing models together.

Opposite to that, asynchronous approach can help people to collaborate around the same context regardless on their time and location. This approach can be invaluable for teams working on large projects to improve communication, track decisions and change management. Asynchronous tools can help to crowdsource ideas and sparkle discussion in global teams.

What is my conclusion? Seamless collaboration is key to success in a team. Global teams is a reality in a modern engineering and manufacturing world. The situation is not going to change in foreseeable future. So, companies will continue to invest in how to improve collaboration. The scenarios and use cases can be different and it will require variety of approaches – synchronous and asynchronous. The simplicity and cost are two key elements of successful collaboration. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


Cloud CAD and PDM will become easier for Android and GDrive?

January 22, 2014

cad-data-android-gdrive

The topic of network performance is one of the favorites when it comes to discuss viability of cloud storage and cloud systems. Will it perform well for slow network and disconnects? In my view, technology is going towards better transparency of network for connected and disconnected apps. And, for the sake of truth, most of us are using it already today. Think about our loved and hated Outlook. It syncs data transparently and practically seamlessly for users.

However, mobile world is a bit different. Mobile device memory, OS and browser capabilities are different. With growing capability of mobile devices, to leverage device storage can be a straightforward solution to solve slowness of network (especially when work with heavy information such as CAD data). Engadget article Google Drive dev tools promise better and more powerful apps shows new capability of Google Drive API available for Android devices. If you are developer, watch next 6 minutes video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quQyZdhPjxc

The following passage is key in my view.

The main attraction is a feature called transparent offline syncing, which, for users, means that cloud storage is treated the same way as local storage. So, you get the benefits of massive amounts of storage provided by GDrive, without needing to spend on more storage in your phone. And, should you not have a good enough connection to the cloud, the API automatically shifts to storing your data locally until it has good enough reception to send it to the servers. Because of this, developers can design more capable, powerful and generally better app user experiences for less endowed (read: cheaper) and flagship handsets alike.

What is my conclusion? As we move forward, technological showstoppers will disappear. I can see CAD viewers application leverage transparent offline syncing to bring better viewer performance and experience. Later, I can see cloud data management apps (read "Cloud PDM") smoothly transfer data from devices to cloud storage. Technological leaders must take a note. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


PLM, CMMS and BOM Hot Potato

January 8, 2014

bom-hot-potato

There is no person in manufacturing universe that can underestimate the importance of right Bill of Material information. However, I can see people responsible for material management in a special league for the context of material management and BOM.

Doug Wallace of Life Cycle Engineering (www.lce.com) speaks exactly about that in his article The importance of an equipment BOM. I found this writeup quite interesting. Here is the passage that defines the importance of BOM:

The main purpose of the materials management organization is to provide the "right parts in the right quantities at the right time." But where do those material requirements come from? Whether or not demand is predictable, whether the materials are for production or maintenance, the requirements are usually generated from a bill of material (BOM). Without a complete and accurate BOM, decisions regarding material planning and replenishment are often made in a vacuum, resulting in excess inventory, stockouts, expediting charges and expensive downtime.

At the same time, I can see a question here – where is that material requirements and BOM information is coming from? Where is this accurate Bill of Material is located? PLM system is one potential candidate alongside with more traditional MRP/ERP system. I debated this topic last year in my article – Will PLM management enterprise BOM? Shaun Snapp of smfocus has an interesting perspective of separate system taking care of all Bill of Materials management aspects. He debates it on his BOM blog here.

Doug’s article made me think about confusion in the way different systems represents and required data related to Bill of Material management. For example, article provides a detailed information about what information should be on (E)BOM – Part Number, Description, Quantity, UoM, Manufacturer, MPN, Supplier related information including Supplier’s Part Number.

This information can be managed by PLM/BOM solution as well as PDM solution combined with design system. I’m sure Excel spreadsheet from engineering department can provide it as well. Since the context of discussion is maintenance and CMMS, the information can come from ERP/MRP system. In my view, the confusion comes even in the name – EBOM. Some people can think about (Engineering)BOM, another group can think about (Equipment)BOM as it was presented in the article. I’m sure some computer geeks can think about (Electronic)BOM too :). Article summary provides some hints on the engineering roots for the BOM as well as importance of collaboration beyond silos:

As a rule, the RE is primarily responsible for providing initial EBOM information and all engineering-driven changes. The planner is responsible for ensuring EBOM accuracy. But the key to overall EBOM effectiveness is to recognize that data creation and maintenance is a collaborative process that requires teamwork and communication.

What is my conclusion? In my view, there is a confusion around BOM ownership and responsibilities of providing a correct BOM information. The level of fragmentation of BOM information is too high. Organization is often handle BOM as a "hot potato" changing hands of different organizations and finally thrown over the manufacturing wall. It introduces a problem that future lead to higher product product cost, expensive maintenance and operation. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


CAD / PLM on Chromebook?

January 4, 2014

chromebook-plm-cad

Our hardware life is much more diversified these days. Smartphones and tablets made a dent in the universe of Windows computers. Mac computers are more visible these days, but still the majority of engineering and manufacturing business systems are running on Windows. However, here is an interesting number I learned from Techcrunch article Google’s Chromebooks Have Hit Their Stride earlier this week.

According to the latest numbers from NPD, Chromebooks accounted for 21 percent of all laptop sales and almost 10 percent of all computer sales to businesses in 2013. That’s up from virtually nothing in the year before. Given that Apple is irrelevant in commercial channel sales (it commanded a whopping 1.8 percent of sales), Chromebook’s increased share is coming at the cost of Windows.

Another article from Forbes – Google Chromebooks Are Now 21% Of Notebooks Sold Through US Commercial Channels brings a specific example of computers.

Of Amazon’s three best selling offerings in the field over the holidays two were Chromebooks. On Thursday, Amazon.com AMZN -0.39% called out a pair of Chromebooks — one from Samsung, the other from Acer — as two of the three best-selling notebooks during the U.S. holiday season. The third: Asus’ Transformer Book, a Windows 8.1 “2-in-1″ device that transforms from a 10.1-in. tablet to a keyboard-equipped laptop.

It made me think about how much of CAD / PLM software is ready to be certified and compliant to Google OS. The straightforward thinking can bring you to the point where everything that runs on Chrome browser should run on Chrome OS. However, looking over few article and materials related to Chromium certification here I don’t think it is very straightforward. At the same time, I didn’t find lots of Google Chrome OS certification guidance.

What is my conclusion? 21% of laptop sales is a significant number. It might be invisible today, but introduce a trend. It is something better to be introduced earlier in the development project to get some pure CAD / PLM projects from full dependency of IE. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


What “end of local storage” means for CAD?

January 2, 2014

cad-files-cloud-storage

We are in the beginning of the year. Happy New Year! The entire internet and blogosphere is full of "recap 2013" and "future trends in 2014" articles. I was skimming some of these articles on my late afternoon flight to Europe. The article 7 Huge Tech Trends to Expect in 2014 caught my attention. Specifically I was interested by the prediction of cloud wars and the expected end of local storage. Here is the passage I captured:

You’ll hear a stronger desktop PC death rattle in 2014, as consumers finally embrace cloud storage. Consequently, they’ll soon need a lot more than the 5-20 GB standard with most mobile services. Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Google will get serious about marketing and advertising consumer cloud storage, access and work options. They’ll also compete more directly, which may result in a price-per-gigabyte war.

In 2014, cloud storage producers will conduct an education, pricing and marketing offensive. By the end of next year, external hard drive sales will decline and cloud storage adoption will have skyrocketed.

It made me think back to one of my posts from 2011 – The future of CAD without files. So, slowly, but surely we are coming to the place where local storage becomes irrelevant and accessibility of data becomes an imperative. I can hear now lots of people saying it is related to consumer place and speed of access combined with security concern will play a differentiation to what engineers are looking for. I agree, for many people it is still make sense and they will be concerned. However, for many of smaller companies, it might be irrelevant. Also, immersivity of "save to the cloud" storage option can play some role too. This trend can play an advantage to some specialized CAD sharing services.

What is my conclusion? It will start from the moment of time you first time think to prefer "save to the cloud" instead of buying next USB drive from Amazon or placing IT request to increase your storage on physical server. Vendors need to take a note, since moving files to the cloud will provide a significant advantage in developing of future collaborative environments. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


CAD, Clouds and New Mainframes?

December 9, 2013

cloud-cad-mainframes

CAD, Cloud, Browser… Since SolidWorks first started CAD in the cloud debates by making SolidWorks in the cloud announcement back on SolidWorks World 2010. Now we know – it was way too early. Autodesk first announced CAD in the cloud earlier this year by introducing Fusion 360 product. SolidWorks Mechanical Conceptual was promised in Fall 2013, and according to last web site announcement will become available in 2014. TinkerCAD was an interesting innovative product the developed online CAD community (assets were acquired by Autodesk few months ago).

Meantime, technology companies are trying to bring a new cloudy way to work with CAD systems using virtualization techniques. Last week in Las Vegas, I spotted a company called Mainframe2. GraphicSpeak featured Mainframe2 in one of their articles last week. Navigate Mainframe2 building cloud platform for workstation apps; shows stuff at AU 2013 to read more. I found the following passage interesting:

The Mainframe2 team has deep expertise in video streaming, the key technology at the heart of cloud application delivery. It’s an area where the Mainframe2 people feel they have a head start on the competition and they understand how to harness GPUs to accelerate video encoding and minimize the latency. The company is targeting the professional workstation industry first, because the Mainframe2 people feel that’s where the gap between the need and capabilities is the largest. By putting resources in the cloud, people can get access to computing resources they could only dream about on their PCs. At the same time, Bozinovic thinks it’s extremely inefficient to have high powered workstations being underutilized at desks most of the time and being used to perform word processing and email handling.

Mainframe2 publication and appearance made me think about few related publications and writeups. A very old (3 years) post on my blog Virtual Desktops and CAD on the cloud – that was just a mark of coming virtual cloud desktop market. In my last week article, I mentioned Amazon Workspaces – another virtual desktop product.

What is my conclusion? New is a well forgotten old. Does it work in computer and tech? Sometimes it does. Sometimes the envelope looks the same, but inside is different. Speaking about CAD, it is a lot about people. It is hard to change engineers and they really like to work with most of current mature CAD environment. This is a game virtual desktop /workstation tech companies are trying to play. To run the same Inventor, SolidWorks, Catia, Creo workstation in the virtual workstation with a different cost can be an interesting option. However, we should not forget that cloud is not only “server / desktop in the cloud”. It is a lot of new capabilities mostly related to collaboration and information sharing. This is where CAD in browser innovators should be looking on. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


CAD, PLM and Fast Data Processing

November 24, 2013

network-computing

Our demand for the software to be fast. We don’t like to wait until computer will perform all actions and produce results. Depends on the situation and use case, speed can be something very disturbing or even more – change the overall working process. Time ago, simulation and analysis software embedded into CAD systems changed the way engineers designed mechanical parts. Another, more PLMish example might be related to visualization of complete product configuration and performing clash analysis.

Nowadays, the computing mindset is taking us towards new approaches in data processing using new processor technologies as well as network computing opportunities. MIT Tech review article Graphics Chips Help Process Big Data Sets in Milliseconds is talking about how to visualize big data on cheap computers in milliseconds. The writeup is mentioning massively parallel database that allows to achieve big speed gain by storing data on the onboard memory of GPUs, which allows 70x performance gain. You can use the following link to use public interface to product tweetmap. Here is an interesting passage I captured:

The can be used to visualize 50 million geocoded tweets posted between September 28 and October 6. The tool allows users to explore different search terms, examine broad geographical trends, and zoom in on each tweet. For each of the 30 frames per second it generates when animating Twitter, Map-D scans all the tweets that have been loaded on the GPUs, constructing visualizations such as maps of how word usage—which could include mentions of a product name or news item—is propagating across a region or around the world in real time.

Watch the following video, which is quite self explaining.

What is my conclusion? Fast data processing can be a key technology to realize the opportunity to change design and engineering process. To visualize design options, analyzes variants and make a final assessment to validate potential mistakes – this is only a very short list of options. Moving forward you can think about analyzing of huge databases for potential failures and customer issues, potential supplier components. Theses days, technologies developed for web, social networks and mobile domain can be leveraged tomorrow to change future landscape of engineering software. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


PDMish, PLMish and other CADPDLM bundles…

November 20, 2013

cad-model

Engineering and manufacturing software is full of interesting TLAs that companies continuing to invent even these days. Only yesterday GrabCAD introduced Workbench enhancement under somewhat that can be considered as a very traditional name – Collaborative Product Development (CPD) Platform.

Chad Jackson, my long time blogging buddy published an article with fascinating title – ENOVIA Data Management: Less PDM-ish, More PLM-ish. Chad made a review of Enovia data management capabilities from Dassault System briefing. Read the article with multiple embedded tweet-quotes. Besides playing PDM vs. PLM naming game, article brings an important perspective of where Enovia data management architecture is going. Here is an interesting passage I captured:

CAD models have never been simple files. Lots of stuff have been, and continue to be, jammed into them. They contain far more than just geometry. They contain part numbers, so drawing BOMs populate automatically. They contain material properties, such that mass properties can be calculated. Over time, as more and more enterprise considerations needed to be taken into account, more non-geometry stuff has been jammed into CAD files. The problem with all this stuff in CAD files was that, unlike many other types of files, operating systems couldn’t understand the structure of information in CAD files.

So, what Enovia is doing differently? According to Chad’s comments -

Dassault Systèmes are trying to liberate all that stuff jammed into the CAD file. Here are some notes from my briefing with them. In short, they are taking non-geometric items in CAD files an turning them into meta-data that lives in ENOVIA. They are being turned into individual pieces of information that can be modified separately and independently from every other piece of information and the geometry. Of course, this meta-data is related and will live as a database item right alongside the file that contains the geometry.

cad-pdm-bundle

It made me think about future trajectories of CAD/PDM/PLM integrations. I’ve been describing possible options in one of the posts last year – Multi-CAD PDM integrations: yesterday, today and tomorrow. The idea of CAD/PDM bundle I expressed there is in my view a reflection of what CATIA/Enovia is doing in data management. As I mentioned there, it solves the problem of version compatibility as well as provide a significant advantages in terms of functional richness. This is exactly what Chad demonstrated with CATIA/Enovia examples.

What is my conclusion? Integration remains a place where lots of innovation is happening. CAD, PDM and PLM integrations is a very challenging space. Customers have a huge demand to have vertically integrated product providing sufficient amount of features and what is mostly important a completely new level of user experience. It sounds like we can see more investment in this space coming from traditional vendors. CAD/PLM companies will try to integrate existing products into vertical suites connecting data and providing support for integrated product scenarios. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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