Currently the smart product generation is driven by Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is the key for industrial smart products produced by an increasing number of manufacturers. The overall functionality of smart products is a combination of mechanical, electrical/electronic internet and software functions.
Product Lifecycle Management refers to set of software tools for managing the lifecycle of a physical product line. The entire lifecycle is aligned from inception, through computer-aided design, through manufacturing, and into maintenance and repairs.
Application Lifecycle Management refers to a class of software tools for managing the entire lifecycle of a software product, completely different from mechanical/electronic products for PLM. A suite of ALM tools typically starts with architecture and design, source code, configuration management, quality assurance, release and deployment.
Over few years it has been observed that there is a convergence taking shape among the closely related technologies of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and Application Lifecycle Management (ALM).
Adopting OSLC specification
Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC) is an open community creating specifications for integrating tools. These specifications allow conforming independent software and product lifecycle tools to integrate their data and workflows in support of end-to-end lifecycle processes.
Kovair has core competence in OSLC specification and thus in conjunction with Omnibus platform technology Kovair has innovated a way to expose Non-OSLC tools to act as an OSLC data consumer as well as provider. Using the Kovair Omnibus tool Provider, one tool can show to a user in another tool, data for linking and defining the required traceability. This is a more effective way to support business use case.
Currently to the best of our knowledge, most of the PLM tools do not support OSLC framework. Kovair Omnibus through its innovation has built a Provider for Windchill, where PLM tools like WindChill can be used as an OSLC Consumer.
Moreover, Kovair Omnibus not only exposed Windchill as an OSLC provider but has also embedded the delegated integration interface within the WindChill application, thus the PLM users will never feel that they are going outside Windchill PLM product.
What is the need?
It has been observed that design engineering team and the software engineering teams are completely different and typically located remotely. Moreover, since the tools used for ALM and PLM are different, therefore copying data from one tool to another does not make sense. Moreover, what matters the most is the traceability of the items across tools. OSLC and Omnibus jointly play a very important role for establishing the traceability and the impacts.
Example – if a customer changes the requirement for the music system of the car the change may impact mechanical (the box), the electronics (logic boards) and software (Auto tuning programming). For large organizations it is very important that both teams are in sync and cannot afford to be disconnected for this type of change.
Benefits of ALM – PLM Convergence
- Enhance Collaboration & Predictability
- In-depth Visibility and Traceability
- Improved product quality by reducing product tickets due to better control over end-to-end life cycle.
- Organization wide Acceleration of Innovation
Kovair with its flagship product Omnibus have come up with a solution which will enable the cross functional teams to leverage the appropriate systems. Kovair are utilizing OSLC links to connect the Windchill -Change Request and Change Notice to any Workitems of Rational Team Concert like Defect. When the Change Notice is initiated the WindChill user will utilize the OSLC links to establish links to corresponding entity in RTC. The integration will not copy items between the tools but will allow linking and live data on mouse hovering.
Integration from PTC Windchill
- Link/ unlink a Windchill Change Request / Change Notice to a new RTC work item
- Link/ unlink a Windchill change request to an existing RTC work item
- Edit RTC work Item from the Windchill
- Link/ unlink an RTC work item to a new Windchill change request
- Link/ unlink an RTC work item to an existing Windchill change request
- Edit Windchill Change Request / Change Notice from the RTC
For last few years, software and hardware are converging into the “Things” of IoT. It requires PLM/ALM convergence as ALM cannot be used to develop the hardware part of a product, and PLM cannot be used to develop software. Convergence includes the definition of integration approaches and product roadmaps, the design of data-linking structures, open standards for interfaces and the investigation of use cases for the integrations.