Overcoming "islands of information"

2PLM Newsletter

John Stark Associates

Welcome to 2PLM, an e-zine distributed about every two weeks.

May 11, 2009 - Vol12 #4

This issue includes :

Innovators often do not see beyond the boundaries of their own solution. The idea of the Internet of Things is as simple as its application is difficult. In order to close the information loops and create product knowledge from that information, it is necessary to integrate information from multiple sources. Learn how “islands of information” can be bridged in this edition of 2PLM.

Overcoming "islands of information"

by David Potter

There is a tendency for promoters of new technology advances and ICT concepts to focus too narrowly on their own novelty and innovation. This is clear from the continued variable levels of success and acceptance experienced in the introduction of RFID technology since its arrival on the scene.

Now the "Internet of Things" paradigm offers further new business and application opportunities, but it also seems to suffer from over simplification of the issues: "The idea (Internet of Things) is as simple as its application is difficult. If all cans, books, shoes or parts of cars are equipped with minuscule identifying devices, daily life on our planet will undergo a transformation. Things like running out of stock or wasted products will no longer exist as we will know exactly what is being consumed on the other side of the globe. Theft will be a thing of the past as we will know where a product is at all times. The same applies to parcels lost in the post". This sweeping statement assumes that the technology is supreme, yet it ignores the fact that robust operation relies upon sound processes that are always strictly adhered to. You also must have noticed that it implicates a number of elements of lifecycle management.

My point so far is that innovators often do not see beyond the boundaries of their own solution; the author of the preceding quotation ignores mankind's ability to bypass all kinds of processes if it suits his own selfish purpose. For example, a forklift truck may be equipped with technology for identifying the goods that it carries; but more often than not, the driver is able to switch off the RFID or barcode readers and on-board computer that perform the identification and move goods "anonymously", thus completely negating the value of such a system. Likewise an interesting looking parcel might be "removed" from the sorting and therefore tracking process.

In the initial stages of the EU PROMISE Project, there was a strong focus on the objective to devise a Product Embedded Information Device, or PEID, on which could be accumulated information about the use of a product or object throughout its entire life, beginning, middle and end. This is quite harmonious with the idea of the "minuscule identifying devices" mentioned in the earlier quotation. However once the applicability of the PEID concept to the requirements of the 11 industrial PROMISE demonstrators was analysed, its suitability as a persistent or only information store began to be in doubt.

What this highlighted is that there is also a tendency for new concepts, technologies, and infrastructures to create new "islands of information" which are isolated from other information sources, often creating their own protocol for information exchange, in conflict with the Closed Loop Lifecycle Management (CL2M) objective of "closing the information loops across all phases of all kinds of lifecycles".

What the PROMISE project demonstrators also taught us was that each one of them included many already existing "islands of information" such as ERP systems, warehouse management systems (WMS), process control systems, field databases, sensors, and of course, at beginning of life (BOL), the "traditional" PLM applications. It was necessary to integrate information from such multiple sources in order to close the information loops and create product knowledge from that information.

The PROMISE Project initially defined the PROMISE Messaging Interface (PMI) as an interface between the PROMISE PDKM/DSS systems and the PROMISE middleware layer. The breakthrough in overcoming the islands of information came through the realisation that the PMI could be used as a common exchange interface between different application types and different information sources. This did not mean modification of every existing information source to support the new interface, but was achieved by creating adapter routines.

The importance of the PMI and PROMISE architecture as an open infrastructure for information exchange across lifecycle phases and a wide variety of applications has been recognised by The Open Group. If you are interested in "overcoming islands of information" and participating in the further development of open standards for Closed Loop Lifecycle Management (CL2M), then please either contact me or register your interest at www.opengroup.org/promise.

If you have any comments or questions related to this article, please post them on my blog at cl2m.com.  

David Potter is Chief Technical Officer, Promise Innovation International Oy., and former Chairman of the Project Steering Board of the EU PROMISE Project.

Overcoming “Islands of Information” was written as part three of a series of articles on:

Why CL2M is of significance to PLM practitioners.

  1.  What has the "Internet of Things" to do with PLM and PLM standards? 2PLM 13/4
  2.  Closing the Information Loops across All Phases of All Kinds of Lifecycles 2PLM 27/4


 Product Lifecycle<br />
            Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product Realisation  


PLM News


Mentor Graphics Corp. and LogicVision, Inc. announced they signed a merger agreement pursuant to which Mentor Graphics will acquire LogicVision. Details

Open Text Corp. and Vignette Corp. announced a definitive agreement pursuant to which Vignette will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Open Text. Details  


ANSYS, Inc. announced first quarter 2009 results. Total GAAP revenue was $116.3 million. Details

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced results for the first quarter 2009. Revenue was $206 million. Details

CENIT announced that during the first Quarter 2009 the Group recorded sales of Euro 21.8 million. Details

Dassault Systemes reported unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2009. Revenue was Euro 309.7 million. Details

i2 Technologies, Inc. announced results for the first quarter of 2009. Total revenue was $56.4 million. Details

Lectra announced unaudited consolidated financial statements for the first quarter of 2009. Revenues were Euro 37.6 million. Details



MSC.Software Corp. reported results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2009. Revenue was $53.6 million. Details

Open Text Corp. announced unaudited financial results for its third quarter, ending March 31, 2009. Total revenue was $192.0 million. Details

PTC reported results for its second fiscal quarter ended April 4, 2009. Revenue was $225.3 million. Details

SAP AG announced preliminary financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2009. Revenues were Euro 2.40 billion. Details

Stratasys, Inc. announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2009. Revenue was $23.1 million. Details

3D Systems Corp. announced results for the first quarter of 2009. Revenue was $24.0 million. Details



Delcam announced the appointment of Clive Martell as Managing Director. Details


Altair Engineering, Inc. announced use of HyperWorks by CEDREM. Details

aPriori announced that AGCO Corporation is expanding their deployment of the aPriori Product Cost Management solution. Details

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced use of the Cadence Encounter Digital Implementation System by Gennum Corporation's Snowbush IP Group. Details

Catalog Data Solutions announced that ControlAir Inc. has selected its CDS Catalog product. Details

Delcam announced use of PowerSHAPE and PowerINSPECT by Northbend Pattern Works. Details

Gerber Technology announced that Chico's FAS, Inc. decided to implement Gerber Technology's webView application. Details

Intergraph announced that Petroleo Brasileiro SA standardized on Intergraph SmartPlant Instrumentation software. Details

Oracle announced that COSHIP Electronics selected Oracle's Agile PLM. Details

PTC announced that LTM has successfully leveraged Pro/ENGINEER. Details



ANSYS, Inc. announced the availability of ANSYS 12.0. Details

Autodsys, Inc. announced the release of AcceliCAD 2010. Details

Centric Software introduced Centric Connector for Adobe Creative Suite. Details

Concurrent Systems Inc Ltd announced that DesignDataManager (DDM) 2009.1 is now on general release. Details

Envisiontec announced the release of the "ULTRA". Details

EPLAN announced EPLAN Electric P8 v1.9. Details

Geomagic announced Geomagic Studio 12. Details

Intergraph announced SmartMarine 3D 2009. Details

InterSpec, Inc. announced the release of version 4.2 of e-SPECS. Details

LMS announced the extension of its ISO certification testing solution. Details



MasterControl Inc. announced the availability of the MasterControl ENG solution. Details

The MathWorks announced Release 2009a of its MATLAB and Simulink product families. Details





Altair announced the addition of AcuSolve and AcuConsole to its HyperWorks Enabled Community. Details

Anark Corp. announced that it has been accepted as an Adobe Systems Incorporated Solution Partner. Details

Cranes Software International Ltd. announced its channel partner agreement with Siemens PLM Software. Details

Endeca Technologies, Inc. and Open Text announced a formalized partnership. Details

Formtek announced a partnership with Fortune Information Systems Corporation to market Formtek ECM technology to the Greater China Region. Details

Invention Machine announced a reseller agreement with AT Group Software to market Invention Machine Goldfire in Latin America. Details

LMS announced its partnership with the Australian Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Details

Omnify Software announced that Saros Technology has joined the Omnify Software sales partner program. Details

ProSTEP announced that Computacenter joins the ProSTEP iViP Association. Details

SYSTIME and Oracle announced an agreement to build Oracle AIA Process Integration Packs for Oracle's Agile and Oracle's JD Edwards EnterpriseOne. Details



 ANSYS, Inc. announced a first milestone in coupling ANSYS and Ansoft products. Details

ANSYS, Inc. announced that 5 of its products are Inventor-certified for 32- and 64-bit Inventor 2010 software. Details

Autodesk announced it named Green Ocean Energy Ltd. as the Autodesk Inventor of the Month for April 2009. Details

Autodesk announced industry-oriented software suites to help students learn core design and engineering skills. Details

CAD Schroer announced growth in the user base for MEDUSA4 Personal. Details

CYA Technologies and Reveille Software announced they have integrated Reveille Management Console for Documentum with CYA SmartRecovery. Details

Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp. announced it surpassed one million licenses. Details

Dassault Systemes announced that Savannah Christian Preparatory School has selected DS DELMIA software. Details

FARO Technologies unveiled a Technology Test Drive program. Details

IronCAD, LLC announced the donation of more than $4.3 million in IRONCAD software and services for SENAI. Details

i GET IT announced its support of Ford Motor Company's global "Next Generation" release of CAD/CAM/CAE/PIM (C3P-NG) software tools. Details

Just OnePlace Pty Ltd announced it was listed by Gartner Inc in its "Cool Vendors in Consumer Goods" report released in March 2009. Details




MKS Inc. announced it was positioned in the Leaders quadrant of the Gartner, Inc. "Magic Quadrant for Software Change and Configuration Management for Distributed Platforms" report. Details

MSC.Software Corp. announced the creation of a University Advisory Board. Details

M2 Technologies announced it will participate in the Autodesk Assistance Program. Details

Sopheon plc announced an interim management statement. The total licensee base stands at 162. Details

Theorem announced that BAE Systems used Theorem's Process Manager CAD translation solution for the Nimrod MRA4 project. Details

Valor Computerized Systems Ltd announced that EM Asia magazine awarded the company its Innovation Award for 2009. Details

Valor Computerized Systems Ltd announced that SMT China magazine awarded the company its VISION Award for 2009. Details

Z Corp. announced use of Z Corp. 3D printers by Hawaii students. Details


   Product Lifecycle<br />
            Management: Paradigm for 21st Century Product Realisation





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