EDS Scores in PLM Arena

Announces trio of alliances, software that merges management offerings.

Electronic Data Systems Corp. is making a name for itself in the PLM software world with a trio of partnerships and a software release that unites the offerings of two product life-cycle management developers it acquired.

EDS late last month announced Unigraphics NX, which enables development of applications to cut the time it takes to get a product to market by automating repeatable segments of the engineering process.

The software, due in the third quarter, unites the PLM platforms of Unigraphics Solutions Inc. and Structural Dynamics Research Corp., which EDS bought last year. The software includes a new interaction model to enable drag-and-drop model creation. NX Gateway uses PLM XML to enable users of EDS CAD software to share and reuse CAD data from other vendors.

EDS PLM Solutions group also announced strategic relationships with Autodesk Inc., based in San Rafael, Calif., and SeeBeyond Technology Corp.

In a quid pro quo relationship, EDS will exchange its Parasolid modeling kernel for Autodesks ShapeManager modeling kernel. This will provide a direct link between the companies product design software architectures. Through the kernel exchange, customers will have the ability to read a file thats not in its native CAD language. This will allow for greater mobility along the supply chain by providing users with the ability to move data among systems, according to officials.

EDS, of Plano, Texas, plans to announce a similar alliance with Parametric Technology Corp., of Needham, Mass., next week to integrate its technology with PTCs ProEngineer software, according to EDS officials.

Aaron Spicer, mold design engineer at Tech Tool & Molded Plastics Inc. and a user of PTC technology, welcomed EDS moves to open up its software.

"The biggest benefit will be that it will allow for the development of more applications from third-party developers to work with the CAD software," said Spicer, in Meadville, Pa. "For an engineer, as long as we can keep that information in an easy-to-use program, it is definitely going to be beneficial."

In another bid to enhance interoperability of product design systems, EDS said it will embed SeeBeyonds flagship integration platform, eGate Integrator, into the EDS PLM software to provide an integration gateway to third-party applications.

EDS is also using the Redwood Shores, Calif., companys technology as the platform to develop its own PLM Integrator applications. The applications will be a set of adapters to enterprise systems.