EDS Makes Strides Toward Open PLM

As a result of partnerships with Autodesk and SeeBeyond, EDS' product lifecycle management software will be able to more freely exchange data with third-party CAD and enterprise applications.

Moving forward with its strategy for an open Product Lifecycle Management software system, Electronic Data Systems Corp. announced a couple of key partnerships this week at the Darateck 2002 Summit in New York.

PLM software aims to reduce the time it takes to get a product to market, improve its quality and sharpening the marketing around it by creating electronic connections among the various elements of a business including research and development, manufacturing, distribution, sales and service.

EDS PLM Solutions group announced strategic relationships with Autodesk Inc. and SeeBeyond Technology Corp.

In a quid pro quo relationship, PLM Solutions will exchange its Parasolid modeling kernel for San Rafael, Calif.-based Autodesks Shape Manager modeling kernel. This will provide interoperability among their mutual product design software architectures. A direct link between the two also allows for sharing of design information between Shape Manager-based Autodesk Inventor and numerous Parasolid-based applications, including Unigraphics and solid Edge from EDS.

Through the kernel exchange, customers will have the ability to read a CAD (computer aided design) file thats not in its native CAD language. For example, a user will have the ability to exchange an AutoCAD file with a supplier that uses Unigraphics CAD system, while minimizing the loss of data.

The relationship, from a customer standpoint, allows for greater mobility along the supply chain by providing users with the ability to move data between systems, according to officials.

EDS, of Plano, Texas, plans to announce a similar alliance with Parametric Technology Corp. on March 18, integrating with PTCs ProEngineer software, according to officials at EDS.

Also honing in on interoperability is PLM Solutions relationship with SeeBeyond, of Redwood Shores, Calif.

SeeBeyonds flagship integration platform, eGate Integrator, will be embedded into EDS PLM software, providing an integration gateway between EDS PLM software and third-party applications.

EDS is also using SeeBeyonds technology as the platform to develop its PLM Integrator applications, also announced this week. The applications will be a set of adapters to specific enterprise systems the likes of enterprise resource planning and supply chain management.

"This is all in support of our broader strategy and part of an ongoing series of openness," said Bill Carrelli, president of marketing and portfolio management for PLM Solutions, in Cincinnati.

EDS purchased Structural Dynamics Research Corp. last year, adding SDRCs PLM technology to its exiting four business units: infrastructure and outsourcing, integration, consulting and business process management.