PLM, Microsoft and Open Source Party

Picture 6The following publication drove my attention last week. Microsoft is jumping more and more in this Open Source.

“Now, Microsoft has unveiled an organization it says will help open source work with commercial software organizations – the CodePlex Foundation. Microsoft is also the Foundation’s sole funder, having donated $1m – a number the company will review annually.” CodePlex becomes a very strong place for open source Microsoft related community.

So, is it good or bad for PLM? With only one company (Aras) oriented on PLM and Open Source, PLM is not very friendly to Open Source and to Open Source community. How Open Source can drive PLM change ruling more and more to Open Source. There are few reasons, in my view, that will bring PLM very soon to the kind of Open Source organization:

1. Level of Services in PLM domain. High level of services makes Open Source very attractive. When customer is not focusing on sales process, but just implementing, this is sounds like good sales speech and point to discuss.

2. Huge diversification in customer environment and requirements. Sophisticated engineering and manufacturing processes are complex, in my view, to become OOTB offering. So, another level of flexibility will be needed to make these customers doing what they want.

3. Frustrations with regards to expensive PLM licenses. Today’s perception – PLM is complex and expensive. By  introducing Open Source PLM, you remove sales issue, when selling it for the first time. Customer won’t be requested to pay up-front before seeing results.

So, what is my conclusion. As I said before, Open Source is very interesting direction from many standpoints – technology, business, sales. With Microsoft becoming more active in this space, PLM companies very much oriented on Microsoft, can boost PLM implementation based on Open Source and Microsoft. Microsoft will actively promote open source projects on top of MS infrastructure such as SharePoint etc.  Will codeplex develop a sufficient community is not clear, but definitely changes in OSS landscape were started already.

What is your opinion on this?
Best, Oleg


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  • Oleg,

    Agree with all points made. The customer’s control and flexibility are greatly enhanced with open model. This will continue to drive adoption at the high end of the market in the years to come in our opinion.

    Microsoft’s continued acceptance and understanding of open source will also gain more & more momentum. Infrastructure platform is already qualified in the enterprise and ‘all you can eat’ purchasing agreements are in place as well as abundant IT skill sets. This combination makes open source on Microsoft in global companies a seemingly preordained outcome.

    PLM complexity (process, use case, technology, etc) means open approach just makes sense.

    The PLM on Microsoft (and specifically SharePoint) in open source approach is a no brainer as well to us. In fact, have just this week made our first post of code that exposes Aras inside SharePoint for PLM — now its up on CodePlex at

    All this and no PLM licenses… jsut makes sense.


  • Marc, Thanks for your comments. Very interesting stuff on codeplex. What do you mean by that – “Cube that crawls a Bill of Materials hierarchy”? Regards, Oleg.

  • Its good to have open source PLM. The proprietary vendors are arm twisting their customers to cough up more Dollars for upgrades even if they do not need them. The threatening often resorted to is : To stop support for existing and successfully running versions. Probably , Open source will take care of this .

  • Hi Purose, What you mentioned is indeed valid point. Open Source strategy can establish a different way to charge customers for service contracts. I’m not sure customers will pay less as a result of this. But potential here is to create a different perception of work with vendor. However, with all attractiveness of such approach, not many customers are moving from their current licensed offering to open source. One of the reasons, in my view, is customer lock on current software and extremely expensive transition to another software in enterprise space. Regards, Oleg

  • Oleg,

    Regarding your question: What do you mean by that – “Cube that crawls a Bill of Materials hierarchy”?

    Cubes deal with dimensions (time, geography, product line, etc) and measures (unit sales, cost, weight, etc). The dimensions tend to be hierarchical, i.e. year/quarter/month/day, region/country/state/city. These are normally “balanced hierarchies”, meaning that all the leaf nodes are at same level. They also tend to be fairly static. With a BOM dimension, you have a hierarchy that is both unbalanced and dynamic. Branches in the hierarchy may have leaves both at level 1 and level 8, and the hierarchy changes far more often than those mentioned above. The ability to track, aggregate, report on, etc. the same types of measures across this type of hierarchy is what is meant and unique. Only Aras has done this.

    Regarding your comment on ‘not many customers are moving from current licensed offering to open source’… think you’d be surprised… DS sales reps know… 🙂

    Take care,


  • Marc, Thank you for information about BOM Cube… I wasn’t aware about this. With regards to customers, I cannot comment, of course. In my view, OSS was always associated with “community” and not “free”, so I’m still looking for PLM community around PLM open source software… Best, Oleg