PLM Excel and SharePoint Search Option

I read a very good summary of SharePoint 2010 Search Features by Agnes Molnar on End User SharePoint blog. Take a look and make an opinion if this is useful or not. SharePoint is making a lot of noise in enterprise communities and PLM companies put huge bucks on the development of applications dependent on SharePoint capabilities.

What is my take? SharePoint features look nice. A huge amount of product information is in MS Excel. Integration with SharePoint might be a good option. However, the devil seems to me in a content integration and availability. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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  • Mlevitt

    Good topic Oleg. Yes, the combination of PLM and MS SharePoint addresses the problem of having a huge amount of product information hanging out MS Excel, largely inaccessible to and unsearchable by the vast majority of people engaged in product development and supporting business processes. Standalone PLM solutions are great tools for workers deeply engaged in product development who are fortunate enough to have access to those solutions and their information. PLM solutions that integrate with SharePoint’s collaboration, search, content management, project management and reporting capabilities extend the business value of PLM in two important scenarios. First, they provide an easier path to PLM tools/info/processes for SMBs and departments in larger enterprises lacking access to other PLM solutions. Second, they provide access and collaboration with social tools to structured product development information and processes for a much broader segment of the workforce at companies with standalone PLM solutions. SharePoint-based PLM solutions extend, rather than replace standalone PLM solutions.
    Mark Levitt, PTC,

  • Avinash Durge

    Good topic Oleg. Integration PLM and SharePoint value add to PLM as well as SharePoint. Majority Organizations use both solutions now days and 90% times it is not integrated. PLM solutions can defiantly take advantage of SharePoint content management features, discussions boards, poll, project management, quality management features.


  • beyondplm

    Avinash, Thanks for your comment. I think, the major issue with SharePoint and PLM is actually related to business model. Back 1.5 years ago, I posted “SharePoint PLM Paradox?”…. The value of both together is clear. Since then we have seen multiple PLM vendors released their SharePoint-oriented versions. PTC is the best example. However, the mainstream SharePoint licensing model seems to me problematic for PLM companies that don’t see them as “100% compliant” to SharePoint stuff. Best, Oleg

  • beyondplm

    Mark, Thanks! This is a great view on SharePoint values, indeed. There are lots of them. However, in my view, PLM and SharePoint businesses are not progressing as expected. There are multiple problems in my view – licensing, business partners models, product independencies on SharePoint, etc .. What is your view on these issues? Best, Oleg

  • Jonathan_Scott

    SharePoint and PLM are a natural fit for each other, in my opinion, but you raise the important (sticky) issues. The products are similar enough that SharePoint can be a threat to PLM (if the PLM vendor has ambitions of controlling enterprise-wide access to product data). But from the customer’s perspective, SharePoint can be a huge enabler for the organization, making PLM available in “bite size” chunks. And because of SharePoint’s unique collaborative features, it adds value on top of making PLM data more accessible. We’ve just announced a project we’ve been working on with Microsoft, Aras, and Actify to showcase exactly this concept. You can read more about the solution here, access the source code here, and get my further thoughts on how SharePoint and PLM can work together here.

  • beyondplm

    Jonathan, Thanks for your comment and link share! I think, SharePoint / PLM topic is on the table for a relatively long period of time. You mentioned a potential for a dominant position from both sides – SharePoint and PLM. In my view, data controlling (or how it sometime called – datta management) is an issue. I think the focus need to shift from “data control” to “data use”. I’d be interested to learn more about your MS/Aras/Actify experiments. Best, Oleg