Pintrest will teach CAD companies to search

April 29, 2014

pinterest-guided-search

Search is a difficult problem. Especially when it comes to enterprise and organization. According to researches, more than 2/3 of people searches are not returning satisfactory results. Enterprise is messy, complicated and contains lot of unstructured data these days. CAD and other 3D files are part of this messiness. For many years, we generally thoughts of web and enterprise search as a place where text begot text – you input some text, press search, and get a bunch of relevant results, also in text form. However, in many places, and 3D and CAD is one of them, search by keywords is not very efficient.

Company have been trying to innovate in 3D or Shape search for the last decade or so. Read my old blog – 3D Shape Search in CAD and PLM. Despite many available solutions in 3D search, I can see a low adoption rate. In connection to that, I saw the opportunity to rethink 3D search.

The following article caught my attention earlier this week – In Challenge To Google, Pinterest Launches Guided Search. Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that people use to collect ideas for their different projects and interests. People create and share collections (called “boards”) of visual bookmarks (called “Pins”) that they use to do things like plan trips and projects, organize events or save articles and recipes. According to the article

At an event at Pinterest headquarters Thursday evening, CEO Ben Silbermann announced Guided Search, a new visual way to explore Pinterest’s more than 30 billion pins—links or images chosen by users and assigned by them to topical collections. Unlike most search engines, where you must choose a precisely constructed string of keywords for what you want to find, Guided Search offers suggestions as you go, based on the associations Pinterest has learned to make between all the objects in its database.

You can learn more about how guided search works here and on the following video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DHxkoXR0RM

The idea of "discovery" is very compelling in the engineering discipline. In many situations it is very hard to formulate a specific keyword based query to find a result. Therefore the ability to classify, categorize, slice and dice data can be very powerful to search and navigate 3D data.

What is my conclusion? Guided search is not a completely new idea. You can see that in some old enterprise search systems. However, to combine together with visual data corpus provides some fresh experience in results. The combination of technology and experience is important. Web is slowly becoming a future platform for engineers. We are spending more time online and getting additional web experience. Some web tools are providing ideas, technologies and solutions that can be re-used in engineering and product development. I think Pinterest guided search is one of examples. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


CAD is half pregnant by cloud

April 1, 2014

cad-cloud-pregnant

The usage of cloud is growing every day. Started as an option to simplify collaboration and data exchange, it is proliferating into spaces such as backup, computation and many others. CAD and design are remaining one of the most conservative zone of the cloud and engineering software. Commonly agreed opinion – desktop is the best place to run CAD system in terms of resources, performance and tasks designers want to accomplish.

With such CAD desktop paradigm, you might think CAD users are completely independent from cloud. Actually, it is not so true. My attention caught by Cadalyst article – Advocate for Internet Access for CAD Tools by Robert Green. According to him CAD is no longer an island and significantly depends on cloud services and public internet infrastructure. Here is the passage, which explains that

Like it or not, our CAD users are becoming more and more dependent on tools that reside outside our company’s internal network. The types of systems we use may vary, but they typically include the following: FTP access sites for file uploading and downloading, Remote access of workstations for technical support; Remote log-on sessions to run compute-intensive tasks, such as rendering or analysis, on powerful remote workstations; Enterprise data management (EDM) and product data management (PDM) systems for CAD/BIM models and files; Cloud-based services on vendor-supplied servers. Whether you use one, several, or all of these Internet-based resources in your day-to-day CAD system, the fact remains that using CAD is no longer something that you alone can control. And when you must reach out over the Internet to complete your CAD tasks, IT becomes a crucial part of your workflow.

It made me think again about future of cloud and CAD relationships. In my view, cloud won’t be introduced to CAD users as a single lifetime event. Instead of switching designers and engineers to cloud CAD overnight, companies will introduce some cloud based services to maximize cloud value proposition to existing CAD-based workflows. You can navigate to some of my earlier posts – The future of CAD without files?; A moment before CAD files cloud mess…; What “end of local storage” means for CAD?; CAD, PLM and Future Cloud File Systems.

I can identify 3 main zones of existing CAD system enhancements that will leverage cloud eco-system to provide additional benefits to engineers:

1. Cloud based backup and file exchange. This is mainstream scenario that requires very little from CAD and other engineering software vendors. Cloud services such as Dropbox, Google Drive and some others can provide it today without even disrupting current workflows.

2. Viewing and collaboration. This is more complicated, but still very feasible scenario. Think about services such as GrabCAD Workbench, TeamPlatform and some others. These services can solve basic revision management needs and collaborative viewing of files.

3. Computation and special engineering design services. This is the most interesting case, in my view. In this scenario, desktop CAD systems will use services running from public cloud to solve simulation, analysis, and more complicated design tasks. Some of them can leverage elastic nature of cloud and some of them can be collaborative by allowing several engineers working together.

What is my conclusion? Can you be ‘half pregnant"? Actually, you can, if you think about CAD and cloud services. In my view, existing and new design tools will be leveraging hybrid resources (from desktop and cloud) to support optimal workflow and implement best user experience in the future. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


Web and DIY Future of PLM Integrations

September 16, 2013

Application integrations is a complicated topic. Especially when it comes to enterprise. I can confirm decades of different attempts to simplify integration tools and create an easy way build integrations. If you are long enough in enterprise software domain, you can probably remember the variety of buzzwords like EAI (Enterprise Application Integration), ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) and many others.

There are three main components in every integration solution – data retrieval (often called connectors), integration infrastructure (middleware) and specific business code to support your integration scenario. It is complicated and can fail in many ways. Navigate to one of my historic posts to read more – PLM integration failures.

There is a chance things are going to change these days. We are getting web-like more and more every day. Which means the technology we use (also in the enterprise) is getting more similar to technologies used to build regular web sites and applications. The amount of data on the web is skyrocketing. To have technologies that can help you to deal with this data (also for integration purposes) is important. The technologies can be applied in enterprise space as well and change they way we do integrations. I want to bring few examples of tools today to explain what I mean.

Import.IO. Few days ago, I learned about interesting company Import.IO. Navigate to the following link to read more – Import.io Turns Web Pages Into Spreadsheets For Getting Out The Data That Matters Most. Spreadsheets is a good thing. Since most of enterprise organizations are overflowing by spreadsheets, the ability to convert your data into spreadsheet is good. However, the most interesting past of Import.IO is an easy way to scrap data out of web pages. Imagine if you can scrap data from your enterprise web applications. That would be cool thing to do.

Import.IO is not alone in the game of scrapping and re-purposing data on the web. There are two other products that came to my mind when I was listening and thinking about the problem Import.IO is trying to solve.

Yahoo Pipes. According to Yahoo website, Pipes is a powerful composition tool to aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web. The idea of pipes is coming from Unix operation system. Yahoo developed quite interesting and nice infrastructure how to create pipes for scrapping and integrating data.

Google Fusion Tables. Another interesting piece of data re-purposing tools – Fusion Tables. This is an experimental tools created by Google Research. Navigate here to learn more. Fusion tables provides you another way to scrap, import, mix and re-shape data.

What is my conclusion? DIY integration tools is an interesting category. For the past decade, all DIY integration efforts in enterprise and manufacturing failed. Very few manufacturing companies embarked into integration development. Most of companies used services and integration providers that dedicated to develop integration solutions (with high $$ value behind the effort). Cloud technologies and web applications are open new era in both requirements and needs for integration. Native web tools can get some advantage. There is a possibility to open a new page in DIY integrations. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


Why graph analyzes will rule PLM in the future?

August 23, 2013

PLM is all about data. It is about products, requirements, configurations, Bill of Materials, CAD Models manufacturing instructions and zillions of other documents. What is specially interesting about product lifecycle is the fact how data is interconnected. When you think about CAD model, assemblies and drawings, the relations are mostly obvious. Even so, PDM systems are working hard to maintain these relationships during the change process. However, let think beyond design and engineering department. Think about the whole lifecycle of the product. Think about usage of components on a global scale.Think about supply chain and design suppliers. Think about product behaviors in a socially connected world.

Data is complex. To "understand" data and find right relationships is a complex tasks. Try to use these relationships and contextual data to drive better decision process is even more complex. This is a right time to start thinking about graphs and this is where graph models come to place. This is a good time refresh your university notes about graph theory :). My recommendation is to add some practical sense to that and look on every day use cases like Facebook friends model and Page Rank.

I’m getting lots of graph-related links from big data publications these days. If you feel uncomfortable with the term big data (it trails too much hype these days), just think about data complexity beyond the level we can handle today with relational databases and excel spreadsheets. Earlier tonight, on my plane from San Francisco to Boston, I was reading Infoworld article – Graph analysis will make big data even bigger. Here is a passage I specifically liked:

Social networks transformed the Internet into a complex web of relationships; social graph analysis offers a way to understand those relationships. When it comes to social graph analysis, that task can be simple if you’re only interested in a few individuals, only investigating one type of connection among them, and only mining one static pool of behavioral data associated with them. On the other hand, if you’re trying to assess the shifting behavioral patterns of every possible relationship among every person, place, and thing on the planet, plus all the things they might be saying to each other, dynamically and in real time with perfect predictions about what they might do at every point in the future … you’re living in a science-fiction fantasy world.

The sci-fi fantasy is coming to our everyday life these days in many places. You don’t think about it, but it is around you in Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, LinkedIn and many other applications. However, it is not true when you come to your engineering office. In many situations you are surrounded by applications developed 10-15 years ago.

The enterprise software world s waking up to the potential of graphs analyses in a wide range of applications. It looks like a promising segment. These days is sold very often under "noSQL" umbrella. Oracle noSQL announcement few days ago is just one example.

What is my conclusion? Analyzing complexity is a big task. Nobody will disagree with the importance of the analyzes. However, the biggest challenge is to drive simple conclusions out of this complexity. You can get it easy from Facebook and Yelp pages as a recommendation what restaurant to go. Now think about simplification of design or supply chain process. In a future, PLM applications will need to handle more complexity, more data and do more analyzes. This is a way to make your application smarter. In my view, graph models will come to solve product lifecycle problem we cannot even think about today. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


Why engineering technology has 10 years adoption cycle?

August 11, 2013

I’m relaxing in sunny Tel-Aviv, removing jet lag and preparing for coming working week here. For those of you not aware, Sunday is actually working day in Israel opposite to Friday, so it is a bit confusing shift after U.S. During my travel time from Boston, I had an opportunity to catch up on my social stream. Some of news made me think about adoption of new technologies in engineering and manufacturing software.

The article I stumble upon was Cadalyst review of SolidEdge University 2013. Navigate your browser here to get some additional information. The topic that caught my attention was related to SolidEdge partnership with GrabCAD. GrabCAD (well known as open engineering portal) is recently getting lot of traction by making announcement about partnership with Autodesk and Siemens. Here is the passage in the article I specially liked:

…the company announced it has become the first to partner with the open engineering web site GrabCAD to facilitate real-time model sharing and review on the cloud for those users who want it. Users will be able to upload files directly from Solid Edge ST6 to GrabCAD Workbench, controlling access as they see fit.

One of the latest GrabCAD moves was introduction of GrabCAD Workbench – secured environment for collaboration using private and public cloud environment. Here is how GrabCAD workbench defined on GrabCAD website:

GrabCAD Workbench is built from the ground up for CAD. We display all major CAD files right in the browser, no special software required. View the design in 3D, explore exploded and section views, and "pin" comments and markups right on the model. Uploads are easy – just drag and drop the full folder structure and we do the rest.

You can get more detailed list of features here. GrabCAD features are including – viewer for CAD files, easy upload, notification, automatic revision control, versions backup and security encryption.

There is something that struck me when I was reading about Workbench features. It reminded me one of projects I was working on back 10 years ago – mySmarTeam (later re-branded as Enovia Community Workspace). I googled old SmarTeam announcement from earlier 2000s. Navigate to this link to read more. Here are few passages from that old press release:

mySmarTeam.com enables product teams to form virtual development communities and instantly share product related information with the different parties involved in the product design and change process, including customers, suppliers, partners, purchasing agents, outsource manufacturing, sales, and marketing. mySmarTeam.com is a user-friendly, browser-based project management environment, that allows product development teams to store, search, view, download and review product specifications and configurations, CAD drawings, Bills of Material, and any other type of documents on the web. Because it is based on the powerful SmarTeam PDM engine, mySmarTeam.com provides functionality for managing product revisions such as check-in, check-out and release, version control, and organizing projects into folders.

According to Avichay Nissenbaum, vice president of product marketing for SmarTeam, "Portals such as mySmarTeam.com provide an affordable, convenient way of expanding the use of PDM to numerous such groups who otherwise might not have on-line access to information. The ability to create a community around an area of interest, expose the appropriate data to that community with the proper security measures, will dramatically reduce errors, speed response time to market requirements, resolve customer issues, and overall time to market."

Avichay’s statement about community around area of interest was the most remarkable. Isn’t it what we are doing now, 10 years later with social tools and social networks?

Speaking about technology adoption cycle and in a spirit of Sunday, I want to point you on another interesting article – The Long Boom: A History of the Future, 1980 – 2020 by Peter Schwartz and Peter Leyden. Navigate your browser to this link to read more. The article speaks about different trends and trajectories of economical and technological development. One of them is related to the birth of networking economy. Here is the passage I found amazingly match to what happened with engineering and manufacturing collaborative tools:

Research by a few economists, like Stanford University’s Paul Romer, suggests that fundamentally new technologies generally don’t become productive until a generation after their introduction, the time it takes for people to really learn how to use them in new ways. Sure enough, about a generation after the introduction of personal computers in the workplace, work processes begin mutating enough to take full advantage of the tool. Soon after, economists figure out how to accurately measure the true gains in productivity – and take into account the nebulous concept of improvement in quality rather than just quantity.

What is my conclusion? There are lots of changes and innovation these days in enterprise environment. Businesses and customers are looking how to improve their productivity, reduce cost and optimize for new business realities. However, you need to be aware about adoption cycle and be prepared for that. Here is my recommendation for all PLM / PDM innovators these days – go and review 10 years old projects. I’m sure you will find something that can be ready for adoptions these days. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


Why do you need to ask PLM vendor about JavaScript?

August 10, 2013

Customization is a great deal in every enterprise software deployment. Despite all efforts of vendors to invent out of the box (OOTB) enterprise software deployment, most of systems are requiring significant customization and coding. This is not a healthy situations, but with absence of better choices, manufacturing companies need to look for systems that can be flexible enough and supporting easy customization. In one of my previous blogs – PLM customization is Data Management titanic, I’ve been talking about challenges of customization as well as mentioned example of customers migrating between heavy customized PLM systems.

A typical PLM customization includes variety of tasks including changes in data models, tailoring of user interface and integration with other enterprise systems. To make your hands dirty and write some custom code is almost unavoidable task in this situation. If you long enough, you probably remember, VB and/or VB script were king of the road in all implementations and customization for many years. You practically had no choice to make any changes and customization without knowing this language.

I have to say that situation changed since the last decade. Intensive development of web and mobile application made VB/VBScript usage going down. JavaScript becomes a new king on the road. The following ReadWrite Web article caught my attention earlier today – Why Javascript will become the dominant programming language of the enterprise? Read the article and make your opinion. I found the following passage interesting:

There are strong odds in favor of JavaScript becoming the dominant language ofthe enterprise. This isn’t to say every other language will atrophy overnight (they won’t; too many legacy systems count on them) nor that JavaScript is free of issues (no language is). But the gigantic efficiencies to be gained by having a lingua franca for the enterprise, especially when that lingua is easily learned and already in wide adoption, makes the case for JavaScript very strong. Even Microsoft has warmed to the JavaScript movement, promoting it to first-class citizenship in Windows 8.

All of this is good news for the enterprise. A simple, open language, equally adapted to building both client and server-side apps? There’s no such thing as technology utopia, but JavaScript looks like the next best thing.

I often use Google Trend to capture dynamics of people interest. The following chart presents some dynamics between VBscripts and JS.

What is my conclusion? The landscape of software development is changing dramatically these days. Cloud, web and mobile development are main driving forces together with open source software. It will impact enterprise tools and introduce new requirements for integrating PLM products (and not only) in the enterprise and beyond. Important. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


Why PDM stuck in non-web age?

July 27, 2013

Web as a platform. You can hear many conversations about that nowadays. Started as cloud talks, it comes more to the point where we can see the discussion about how “world wide web” is changing user experience and computing paradigms. One of the strongest trends coming on top of massive shift towards web paradigm is consumerization trend in enterprise. Lots of technologies, applications and paradigms were proven during past decade with “consumer space”. These techs are trying to find their paths towards our working places.

Thinking about engineering and manufacturing software these days, I can see a significant shift towards web (and cloud) computing and software. Autodesk joined web race by introducing many cloud products over the past 2-3 years (Autodesk 360, PLM 360, Fusion 360, CAM 360, etc.) After yesterday announcement made by Dassault System about new cloud based portfolio, I need to revisit my 2 years old blog – PLM Cloud: differentiation or “anti-cloud rant”?

I want to speak today about PDM (product data management) or EDM (Engineering Data Management) in early days. The PDM discipline is around since mid 80s. Few days ago, GrabCAD published an interesting blog post covering some historical PDM roots. Nevertheless, despite all changes, look back 10 years and now. Not much changes you can find. I still can see massive amount of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets flying around in and out engineering desktops and manufacturing facilities. The spreadsheets is one of the main evidence of the fact engineers are stuck on their desktops.

I was reading an interesting interview by Scott Moyse – Synergis Adept Trumps Windows File Management. This is a journey of the company implementing product data management this year. What struck me the most is how deep PDM philosophy is connected to folders/files hierarchy paradigm. Here is an interesting passage I captured:

SM: What system did you use to manage your documentation prior to purchasing Adept? RH: Pretty much Windows Explorer (file manager). We had secure drives and it was divided into folders and file names. People would search the servers to find drawings, and if they didn’t have AutoCAD they opened them with DWG Trueview.

SM: Have you maintained that folder structure for Adept? RH: Pretty much, I would say we still have same folder structure that we put into Adept’s database. Using Adept’s Library Browser, we can still see the folder structure and drill down to a specific file. Now we search for our files with Adept’s Library card. We just type in whatever information we want in a search field and the file comes up. But the Windows file structure is still there because Adept doesn’t scramble or move the files.

Thinking more about that, I came to my top 5 reasons why I think engineers love their files and folders. It also explains why PDM “stuck on the desktop”:

1- Majority of engineering stuff lives on the desktop or shared network drives these days. These are large files and perception that moving these files to web environment is complicated, painful and not necessarily needed.

2- Most of engineers are convinced that they can collaborate using “file exchange paradigm”, so they don’t think how to make a change. CAD file viewers are probably the only one mainstream web technologies came to engineering space that takes files from desktop and file servers to outside of engineering space.

3- Engineers have limited interests to share. For many years, engineering departments were treated as “black boxes”. Engineers must do design and provide the result. Manufacturing and operation can do the rest. So, it developed sort of “comfort zone” for most of engineers – don’t touch my stuff I put in my folders.

4- Many engineers are concerned about IP (Intellectual property). Especially, not very computer savvy engineers are afraid of the wild behavior of the web spreading viruses and stealing identities. So, typical engineering position – I don’t want to be responsible for potential leak of IP outside of the company.

5- There is no real Excel replacement on the web. There are many products that trying to mimic Excel. Microsoft SharePoint made lots of work converting spreadsheets into online data services. However, there is nothing online yet that can take a full flexibility of MS Excel spreadsheet and put it online.

What is my conclusion? In the world of web and social networks, engineers remain one of the most conservative group of people working entirely on the desktop. Desktop remains a comfort zone for most of engineers. How to get engineers out of this comfort zone? This is a question many CAD and other engineering software developers are thinking about. New design and collaboration tools are coming these days to make engineering to cloud transformation happen. It will come as a combination of new design tools, shifting paradigms and influence of new generation of engineers. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


PLM and DIY Applications

March 11, 2013

do-it-yourself-plmI’m sure you are familiar with the term DIY (do it yourself). While the term is not PLM specific, I’m often using it when explaining the way many manufacturing companies are approaching PLM implementations. Because of high cost and complexity of large integrated PLM suites, companies are deciding to make “homegrown” development by using variety of tech infrastructure. For the last 5-7 years, SharePoint was adopted by many companies as core element of infrastructure. In parallel, Microsoft Office and, specifically, Excel and MS Outlook/Exchange are by fact the most popular elements in building homegrown PDM/PLM solutions.

The last decade of web software development, open source and mobile apps brought significant amount of new tools and technologies. As a result, it open new horizons and opportunity to develop new tools that can be much cheaper and efficient for DIY biz apps compared to outdated Lotus databases and complicated and costly SharePoint deployments. Recently, I found two examples of applications that can be potentially used to develop business and product data management applications.

One example is so called STOIC platform. You can navigate to the following link to learn more. It realized the idea of simply tables combined with different data presentation and arrangement. The following video shows a short demo. The platform is not released yet. However, what was impressive in the video is ease of use and speed of application creation. It is far from being ready, but it shows the potential and direction.

Another example is application called mysimplegrid developed by startup mydatalynx. The idea of mysimplegrid is to provide a flexible and fast way to develop data models that can be transformed into grid-based applications. Learn more about what this app can do here. In a nutshell, it allows you to create a data model, fill it with data, play with data and collaborate it in a way of a table with other people. The following video shows you how it works. The app is available in beta stage now.

What is my conclusion? The cost of web developed is a fraction of what it was a decade ago. As a result of this we are going to see much more examples of product and technologies available to manufacturing companies to manage data. They will have a potential to disrupt SharePoint and Lotus Notes empire as well as provide a reliable tool to companies to build applications. While they are not mature enough to be used for large deployment, I can see see them growing fast. What is also important, the cost of this apps will be probably a fraction of today’s enterprise solutions. Enterprise software and PLM vendors should take a note. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Image courtesy of [Grant Cochrane] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


PLM Scale and Some Internet Factoids

December 22, 2012

The scalability of enterprise systems is an interesting topic. Enterprise IT usually keeps the story about scalability of systems close to their chest. It involves data centers, databases, channels, networks, latency, and many other aspects that allows you to tune your enterprise PLM. And I know, it was absolutely true for existing enterprise PDM and PLM.

The situation is different nowadays. Last 10 years of web development and internet established a new level of scale. The amount of data and user activities web and social networks can handle is going much beyond typical enterprise deployments. The following AronoldIT factoid article captured my attention earlier this week. I don’t know if these numbers are accurate. But knowing that Gangnam style fist video just hit 1B Youtube views, I can easy believe that.

Every minute more than 1,649,305 tweets get shared.
Every minute more than 3,472,225 photos get added to Facebook.
Every minute more than 2,060 brand new blogs are created.
Every minute more than 52,488 minutes of video are added to YouTube.
Every minute more than 31,510 new articles are created by an online newspaper.
Every minute more than 3,645,833,340 new spam emails are delivered online.

What is my conclusion? The consumer web and social media introduced a completely different perspective of scale, capacity and system performance. Enterprise PLM vendors and IT service companies need to start paying attention. The technological gap consumer systems are developing these days can easy outperform existing enterprise PDM and PLM deployments. Important. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Image courtesy of [ddpavumba] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


3 things PLM can learn from UCO (Used Car Ontology)

December 18, 2012

Our digital and real lives are getting more and more connected. Think about our web experience these days. Mobile devices, map service, location based query, social networks. The list of examples can continue. One of the biggest challenges we have, as a result of web exposure in our real life, is the need to integrate and interconnect many sources of information coming from different places. Think about intertwining of your location information, photo posts and reviews. You have Facebook Nearby service (the enhancement of this service was just announced yesterday), You can get some interesting perspective on the service here.

Moving to the main topic I wanted to discuss today, navigate your browser to the following SemanticWeb article - Introducing the used car ontology (UCO). The article speaks about publishing of ontology (knowledge of concepts) that supports a precise description of used cars. The article reference MakoLab, the company that made this work as well as provides a link to the ontology itself. I found the following passage interesting.

“Publishing information about used cars… containing a description which refers to the Used Cars Ontology will allow for easier searching of cars for purchase, along with a more in-depth description of their state of exploitation. The UCO supplements the more general ontologies GoodRelations and Vehicle Sales Ontology created by Professor Martin Hepp. The GoodRelations ontology is now integrated with the famous dictionary schema.org created by Google, Yahoo and Bing, for the purpose of improvement of information searching on the Internet and better positioning of websites.”

Dig a bit into UCO ontology document and you find some examples of queries and operations build with the use of UCO ontology. Spent some time with the document and you will learn how to get report of used cars, getting car description, updating information about the car and more. The information about used cars can be located on multiple websites. It made me think about possibility to improve interaction with multiple island of information. Here are top 3 things I came after the analyzes of UCO doc:

1. Ontology can be used to produce a meaningful queries. The web technologies are providing a reliable instrument to work with data located in multiple websites. Semantic web provides set of technologies helping you to describe, query and manipulate the data.

2. Nobody is interested how data is stored. It is almost meaningless how data is stored. The website with the information about used cars can use any technology (from text files to excels and databases) to store data. This information is not needed to process data on a web scale.

3. Publishing semantic information can improve cross system data access. When your website and/or service is publishing information in semantically accessible way the information can be intertwined and used by other services for different purposes.

What is my conclusion? Web is a good example of the system that grew up beyond the level of single database. Web data processing mechanisms are interesting from the standpoint of sustainability and data scalability. Used car ontology provide a good example of organizing interoperability beyond the level of a single website. My hunch, we are going to see some of these technologies can change the way PLM systems operate today. Just my thoughts… What is your take?

Best, Oleg


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