Integration and connectivity was always one of the most important aspects of PLM deployment and implementations. It was never simple and never easy. There is no such thing as out-of-the-box integration and it is never easy. Variety of data sources, legacy systems, ERP configurations. You can continue the list to explain of how complex integration world for PLM systems.
At the same time, internet and web gives us a hope that some aspects of integration can be done easier than before. Back in my earlier article – Why PLM needs to learn web API I explained how Web APIs can make a difference. Some of my thoughts about that – Does Web API integration make PLM integration easier? I can see some interesting movement in API directions from multiple vendors.
It is 2017 outside and it seems like cloud API is becoming an important element of any platform integration capability. My attention was caught by ZDNet article – Oracle launches API platform cloud service. To roots of the story goes back to Oracle acquisition of Apiary. Here is an interesting passage:
The new platform effectively combines Apiary’s API design and governance platform with Oracle’s API management capabilities. It gives users the ability to grant external developers and partners access to data behind firewalls, inside applications, and within data stores. Developers can also manage different interfaces for different audiences. It allows for on-premise deployment, deployment in the Oracle Cloud, or through third-party clouds.
“Data is the new corporate currency and APIs are critical to business modernization and agility, enabling users to easily connect and share key information across applications and devices – mobile, IoT, in the cloud or on-premises,” said Amit Zavery, SVP of Oracle Cloud Platform, in a statement.
Pay attention on the importance of data for integration on platform level. This is a main reason web APIs will play an important role in the future. In the past PLM world, the dream was to bring all data into a single database. Industry is heading into a new reality – data is distributed. These days the problem is shifting from how to synchronize all data (which is practically impossible), to how to link data. And web API and cloud can make data linking reality.
I want to make an improvised research what PLM platforms and products today are supporting web and cloud APIs. In the next few weeks, I’m going to check the topic and what is available. I will make a summary later in a separate blog post. If you’re using cloud API with your PLM implementations and integration, please share with me.
What is my conclusion? Data is distributed and become even more important to manufacturing companies. Companies are distributed, teams are distributed, contractors, suppliers. Therefore the importance of cloud APIs to intertwine data will be growing. Interesting what PLM vendors are up to this job. I’m going to learn more and share with you. Just my thoughts…
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Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of openBoM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased
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