PLM SOA – how to mix integrations and business processes?

soa-dangerSOA is a very oversold article these days. Even if, I think, social media and cloud successfully over hyped SOA during last one-two years, on the technological horizons SOA is still a topic that raises discussions and questions.

Wikipedia: In computing, service-oriented architecture (SOA) provides a set of principles of governing concepts used during phases of systems development and integration. Such an architecture will package functionality as interoperable services: functions provided as a service are available to be used from systems created by other organizations

So, a topic I want to touch today – what could be important components of SOA implementation in PLM. On the ground, Product Lifecycle Management should be yet another enterprise system. Why should we try to understand specific SOA topics? But, if we would take deeper look on what is going behind the scene in PLM, you probably will see what I mean.

One of the very important characteristics of PLM implementation is flexibility. Since almost every manufacturing enterprise organization is different, in the end of the days, you will find yourself making changes in your PLM environment. So, you better will be prepared and have all tools to do so. Another reason is integration with multiple external systems – design, engineering, manufacturing, supply chain. All these systems need to be somehow connected together since they provide ultimate input for PLM. Last, but not least – processes. Processes are flowing across organizational domains and boundaries. To be able to handle them, you need to have an ability to be connected to process oriented environment. It is normally, PLM environment or environment that comes from IT systems (depends on what you have in organization).

So, what is my conclusion? SOA is ultimate answer to provide PLM system configured and flexible. Two most important components of PLM SOA environment are to be able to integration with external systems and manage business processes. I think, PLM SOA having such characteristics will have very good chance to success these days.

Best, Oleg.


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