Wikipedia: PLM Open Source Reference?

Wikipedia: PLM Open Source Reference?

It becomes very common to use Wikipedia for most research projects. It becomes an ultimate source of information open for everybody. Do you think Wikipedia can become an open source reference for the information about software for engineering and manufacturing? Kind of Open Source PLM reference place?

What is a good source of knowledge about CAD, PDM, PLM and other systems? What can be used as a consolidated information reference? Think how much time we are spending in discussions about terminology, names, useful practices? What if Wikipedia will become this sort of knowledge? To understand current “state of the art”, I spent some time browsing PLM-related resources on Wikipedia. Here is my list of the references and my conclusion.


I found quite complicated to work on well known TLAs. The search for PLM, brings the following definition:
Product lifecycle management, the process of managing the entire lifecycle of a product. In addition, multiple searches for relevant terms are available. One of them stated as a PLM (marketing) is very far from product lifecycle management definitions and hardly can be a reference.
Some of other useful links – CADPDMPLMCAECAM. .


This part of Wikipedia is in a good shape, in my view. Most of the companies are represented. Sometimes, you can find interesting link redirection caused by company acquisitions, renaming and re-branding.

Aras (wasn’t intuitive to find- who may think searching for Corp.?)
Arena Solutions
Bentley Systems (was confused by multiple links to Bentley cars)
Dassault Systems (contains lots of links on deleted pages as a result of re-branding)

Siemens PLM (recently renamed as Siemens Industry Software, according to upFront.eZine)

This is, of course, not a full list. I just started to come with some initial list and examples.


I found as a very complicated task to find PLM related standards. I found STEP (ISO 10303) pages in a relatively good shape. Also, list of “Engineering Standards” returned by Wikipedia search contains a list of interesting resources.

Other Resources

I found PLMPedia as a good resource of information about PLM. The PLMPedia initiative belongs to the Russian forum isicad.

What is my conclusion? I think the industry need to have a good reference source. Wikipedia is an excellent open source reference that can be adopted and used by lots of engineers and developers. These days I can see quality of industry is in supporting “open source reference”. Wikipedia is a good candidate for such information placement.

If you are aware about any additional information resources related to CAD, PLM and other engineering and manufacturing software, please send me links or comment on blog.

Best, Oleg


Share This Post

  • Mwynn

    Wikipedia, while full of information, is not a good reference. In most cases, articles can be manipulated by anyone.
    It is the classic case of “Do you believe everything you read on the internet?”. Wikipedia is not allowed as a reference in High School research, and we should not depend on it to make buisness decisions.
    Although it is great for learning about the Ferarri 250GT, don’t buy one based on Wikipedia’s description of a particular builds rarity.

  • Oleg,

    When I worked at DS, I kept a SharePoint (blasphemy then, but now I am on the outside and can admit to it) wiki of PLM phrases, terminology and TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) and ETLAs (Extended Three letter Acronyms). I have rebilt it and use it in my new position and have SmarTeam experts adding to their knowledge base as well. If an open source arena opens up for this industry focused wiki, I’d be happy to share what we have compiled.

    To Mwynn: Wikipedia suffers the same pains of any open source forum. yes it can be manipulated by anyone, but it can also be governed. To anyone using a wiki for reference. Trust, but verify. Any reputable wiki posting will include references where a user can validate the wiki content. The shared knowledge of a wiki is an excellent source to at least start your research, but it should not be considered gospel.

  • Oleg,

    The trust issue, sounds to me just like what Peter Schroer from Aras says about Enterprise Open Source, people want to participate and easily access the content but at the same time they want to make sure somebody they can trust is maintaining it and making sure that no-one will try to control it without everybody’s agreement.
    I like the Russian PLMpedia and i’d like to have your russian skills to get their book. And actually, the PLMlab ( ) is getting a new status and intend to produce more content, and a MediaWiki (engine of wikipedia) my be a good tool to publish this content.


  • Lev Desmarais

    What? …and intentionally demystify PLM? Isn’t that what PLM sales people rely on? If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with BS. If you explain PLM to the lay user, then it becomes more difficult for the PLM sales people out there to confuse the issue when marketing their products.

  • David Levin


    I agree with an idea to consolidate CAD/PLM data on the wiki basis. For sure, my is not the only team that uses wiki as an internal concentrator of project or domain related knowledge.

    Thank you for mentioning our PLMpedia and isicad projects. One but important remark: actually the Russian version pretends to be a full and always updating wiki-based encyclopedia, it contains all main categories and (today) 1259 articles that, as we believe, cover all key points of PLM – in its broad meaning (incl. CAD, CAM, ….) – also companies, products, etc… We have no enough motivations and resources to maintain a corresponding English version but believe that the Russian collection itself reflects a language-independent database for the PLM domain. Of course, I understand that our database can and should be extended: in particular by some examples given by you, Oleg.

    A similar comment regarding which you also mentioned. Its Russian version is a large web portal today considered in Russia as a leading web resource on CAD/…/PLM. Again, we try to maintain a modest English version but can hardly do it on the level comparable to its Russian prototype.

    Conclusions (addressed to everybody):
    – Wiki base for PLM is OK,
    – Learn Russian for reading and contributing to and, and/or
    – Help Ledas-isicad to upgrade English versions and to maintain them.

    David Levin,

  • beyondplm

    David, Thank you for your comment! I think, LEDAS /isicad experiment with PLMPedia and your experience is something very important and worth learning. In addition, I can see here a significant “language challenge” for the internet. Language is still a barrier. Maybe this is an opportunity? Just my thoughts.. Best, Oleg

  • beyondplm

    Mwynn, Thank you for your comment! I agree, articles can be changed and even manipulated. Information is a very powerful weapon, so what we are experiencing on the internet is part of this “information influence”. On the other side, open community combined with some authorization / identification can provide a solution for this “anonymous” information behavior. What is your view on that? Best, Oleg

  • beyondplm

    Jack, Thank you for sharing of your experience! I agree and strongly believe that “open community” will become part of the future industry experience. Best, Oleg

  • beyondplm

    Yoann, Thanks for your comment! As I answered to David Levin, language is still a barrier in the internet communication. Google helps, it is interesting if you can read russian ledas/isicad sites with Google’s translation? Enterprise Open Source – I remember the ideas of governance. However, in my view it easy comes to payment and becomes not as open as demanded. I’d be interested to listen for more experience in this space. Best, Oleg

  • beyondplm

    Lev, Thanks! Great point! This is what we need – “demystification of PLM”. I have a great association related to the “Google’s “f-king with the magic” association and advertising business. Best, Oleg

  • i’m not sure that payment comes against Open. Basically if we stick to the idea of making sure that somebody manage the inputs, capitalize on every discussion on PLM topic, somehow you want to make sure this work is done well and so you need to pay him. If you don’t have somebody managing it, I think it is unstable and someday you’ll have someone or a group of people trying to influence the discussion.
    It’s just like real life, you want to make sure someone’s getting money for making laws to maintain your freedom in a community.
    Remember, free doesn’t exist. for every thing there’s work or energy consumed.
    Even wikipedia is not free, someone pays the hosting, etc…

  • beyondplm

    Yoann, I agree, a good governance is a positive part of successfully managed community. My point was mostly related to the situation when “controlled community” is created based on the sponsorship. What is the best option, in my view, is when “open participation” is combined with managing inputs, etc. ( as you said). Best, Oleg