Disclosure: As a co-founder of Inforbix and responsible of PLM 360 and Autodesk Vault product development at at Autodesk, I understand that my opinion about PLM Search can be unintentionally biased. Nevertheless, I believe the topic itself is very important, so I decided to share the information and my opinion anyway.
Search is a fascinating topic. Last 10 years changed our understanding about what search can do. Google clearly made a revolution in search and made a revolution in people’s mind about what search can do. Enterprise software companies, in general, and CAD / PLM vendors specifically started to pay attention to search for the last 3-5 years. Getting back you can recall Microsoft / FAST, Oracle / Endeca, Dassault Systems / Exalead, Autodesk / Inforbix and some other events.
Couple of weeks ago, I’ve been talking about PLM Search and Findability. Product development content is complex and semantically rich. In many cases, it leads to the situations where person doesn’t even know what to search and where to search. Another very important topic connected to search is data reuse. Navigate to my previous post here to read more. In my view, search is one of the fundamental mechanisms that can simplify data re-use by allowing to find data and eliminate re-entering of data between different application silos.
I’m following different implementations of PLM search. Today I want to highlight three examples of different approaches on PLM search – Siemens PLM Active Workspace, Autodesk PLM360 search and Aras/Alcove9 search.
Active Workspace – complexity and visual experience
Siemens PLM came with Active Workspace last year. The complexity of existing PLM implementations raises the question of usability of PLM system. I’m sure you remember my post – Who will provide PLM for Boeing in 2015? Active Workspace is Siemens PLM answer to complexity of user experience.
PLM 360 search – cloud and Google-like approach
Autodesk PLM360 is taking cloud approach to search to solve problem of information connectivity and reuse. PLM 360 search allows to search in PLM environment as well as in files sources located on shared network drives and local discs. By doing that, PLM 360 search enable ease of information discovery from the cloud regardless of where this information is located.
Aras Search – open source and existing UI paradigm
Aras PLM is following their open source strategy and partnering with Alcove9 to provide open source search approach. Alcove9 leverage Lucene and Solr to provide search solution. To simplify the use of search, Aras is embedding search in existing Aras UI.
What is my conclusion? PLM vendors will continue to innovate in search. Consumerization trend creates a significant pressure on IT department to provide a better experience for information workers. To get access to the right information at the right time is a reality of every product development organization these days. Just my thoughts…