Often, a big part of any PLM implementation includes integration.
The 2 main areas include integration with your CAD software and integration with your ERP [enterprise resource planning] software.
There are several ways to accomplish this integration, let’s look at some alternatives.
Middleware Option – Purchase middleware software
The Good – If the world were perfect they would already have some kind of adapter for your PLM software and the other software that needs integration. The middleware implementer would just configure [or enter a small amount of code] to get the 2 software packages to talk to each other.
The Bad – Often, the adapter doesn’t exist and must be written. Even if adapters do exist, they must be kept up to date with each piece of software that you are integrating.
SOA Option – Assumes Service Oriented Architecture exists for all software
The Good – If the world were perfect all software would have a service oriented architecture. If so, the implementer would only have to call a routine that would talk from one piece of software to another.
The Bad – The world isn’t perfect and there are not a lot of software packages that have a service oriented architecture, especially older software.
The Good – Export all of the information from one piece of software. Reformat that software so that it imports properly into the other software. This strategy works with most software that has an import/export option and those routines are fairly constant.
The Bad – Older software may not have an import/export capability. This will require some coding to import/export directly from the database.
The Good – It will work exactly as you want.
The Bad – It will work exactly as you want if your programmer is successful. These projects can be difficult to manage and stuff does go wrong.
The Ugly – Coding and maintaining this solution will be expensive.
As you can see there are no guarantees and there is not a simple solution. I have had the best success using the Import/Export option. Contact me to learn more…