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Recent PLM product announcements from both SAP and Dassault Systèmes highlight their support of the ‘Codex of PLM Openness (CPO)‘. It sounds a bit like some sort of ancient Roman document written on papyrus, but it actually refers to an Open Standards group that formed in 2011 for the purposes of defining common standards for the PLM industry.
The CPO is being developed under the guidance of the ProSTEP iViP Association and is being developed in collaboration with BMW, Daimler, Dassault Systèmes, IBM, Oracle, PTC, SAP, Siemens PLM Software, T-Systems and Volkswagen. The group works under the very broad mandate of ”achieving a common understanding with regard to the openness of IT systems and related requirements in the context of PLM.” The ultimate goal is to be able to define a common API that would be implemented and available across all PLM vendor products to ultimately enable the plug and play of different PLM software systems.
Dominique Florack, Senior Executive Vice President, Products, Research and Development at Dassault Systèmes, said that “Openness is critical to collaboration and, thus, innovation… I’m glad to see that the Codex of PLM Openness is defining what ‘open’ is, since the term has long been thrown about with little behind it. The irresponsible claims of openness and accusations of non-openness have engendered unnecessary fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the industry and have adversely distracted many customers of PLM solutions.”
Well, CPO version 1.0 is available. The CPO document is relatively short, very general, and provides liberal use of the word ‘should’. The document provides a first step, however small, towards providing greater openness of PLM systems, and with time could potentially lead to some level of interoperability or definition of a least-common-denominator interface for PLM systems in the future. The question is just how much time it might take before we could get to that stage.