Active Workspace includes smart collaboration capabilities that make it easy to find and communicate with relevant team members who need to be involved in a decision or task. (Source: Siemens PLM Software)
These are nice tools, Beth. The search tool alone will probably save tons of hours otherwise spent plowing through folders. The 3D aspect could let engineers find something they didn't even consider looking for.
My understanding is that it was developed in house or perhaps with pieces of technology that came via acquisitions. Of course, now that the PLM group is part of the broader Siemens company, there is plenty of technology to leverage on that end.
The cool thing about how search is evolving is the visual cues that make easier for people to find what they're looking for, whether it's another person, a particular CAD model, a requirements document, whatever. PLM systems are great at being a central repository for engineering data, but they have been historically hard to navigate in terms of workflow and finding what you want. Active Workspace is a good example of pushing the envelope a bit to bring more intuitive and intelligent search to the product development process.
I saw Active Workspace demonstrated at a recent Siemens PLM user conference. Very nice package. It's one thing to have strong CAD and PLM tools; it's another thing to manage those tools and files in a collaborative environment. Search and sharing are well developed technologies, so Active Workspace isn't an advancement, but it does fit nicely with Siemens existing PLM tools.
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