In its first major release since it embarked on a service-oriented architecture (SOA) strategy, Aras rolled out a new version of Innovator, its Microsoft-based, open-source PLM platform for product design.
Aras Innovator Version 9 ushers in what Aras dubs the first model-based SOA for PLM. As a result, the software’s object model, data schema, business rules and workflows can be modified on the fly with no programming experience required and no system downtime. “What that means is if a company is outsourcing design to China and their business processes change, you can change the workflows, forms or data model easily through a graphical drag-and-drop interface, and the program will make the changes under the covers immediately,” says Peter Schroer, Aras president. “The idea is to enable process owners to make changes. Why should they have to wait for IT to implement workflow changes?”
Aras’ modern SOA delivers other benefits in terms of reducing complexity associated with integration. “Integrations are a key component of making PLM work and integrations are much easier on this platform,” Schroer says.
Beyond the model-based enhancements, Innovator Version 9 includes single-system, multi-language internationalization capabilities, enabling greater global collaboration. The software coordinates global data and time complexity for collaborative processes such as electronic workflow signatures or program scheduling deadlines, and the multi-language support includes both the solution screens and end user data.
Version 9, which is available to customers as a free, open-source download, supports the latest Microsoft platform products, including Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2008. As an open-source platform, the software is evolved thanks to contributions from corporate customers, including Motorola and Ingersoll Rand.