One of the things that can drive PLM user adoption is ability to provide solution to a bigger user audience. As enterprise software, Product Lifecycle Management needs to think how to extend horizons of their applications. This is, in my view, will extend PLM user base in organization. For those companies that adopted PLM vision and technologies, there is no question about what is foundation of their engineering departments. Outside of engineering departments, I think, situation is completely different even for companies that embrace PLM completely.
So, what technologies can be used to support this goal? From technological standpoint PLM products (CAD, CAE and others) produce significant portion of data, information, knowledge if you will, but this IP is not distributed well. There are few technologies I followed to see how they can be helpful for this purpose.
Let see, first, what traditional PLM companies are proposing today. I think all major PLM providers have Technical Publishing and Technical Documentation solution on board today. Siemens PLM recently announced enhancements of their Technical Publication product line to support S100D. PTC have Arbortext product to support technical documentation. Dassault Systems acquired Seemage to extend and develop DS 3DVIA enterprise brand.
In addition, I want to mention technologies that basically successors of something we traditional calling Data Visualization. Some of them were acquired by bigger enterprise providers and some of them continue as standalone companies. Focus of these companies is mostly about how to transfer 3D geometry to formats that can be distributed widely in organization. From a technological standpoint, I want to mention XVL technologies from Lattice3D.
I also have to mention Adobe 3D PDF as extension of de-facto standard, in my view, PDF format.
I want also to mention few technologies on my radar that not necessarily belongs to PLM /CAD niche, but in my view can provide very decent support for PLM publishing needs. The technologies developed around XSQL, allows mixing power of SQL and XML to create database independent query.
Another interesting company and technology to see in context of publishing and content distribution is Marklogic. Marklogic is creator of XML Server (native XML Database) with full support of CRUD and XQuery. This technology, in my view, can come in good combination with publishing efforts around CAD and PLM IP. In the same area, I’d mention Oracle XSQL publishing frameworks focused on Web Content publishing. I had chance to read a good book about Oracle publishing framework.
So, I’m sure will not be able to mention all possible combination, technologies and effort around publishing in my short post. However, my point is that PLM needs to go way beyond just translation 3D Models to some tessellated formats with animation capabilities. PLM needs to think about how to distribute knowledge and content in organization. In my view, this will be space where PLM products be able to show additional values and benefit more users in organizations. What do you think about it?