MarcL: How is integration with other business systems in the enterprise supported? What tools are provided to accomplish this? Are any additional software packages / costs associated?
Aras Innovator is a 100% pure Web services architecture. All data and all processes are accessed at the Web services layer in Aras.
Many systems such as CAD applications and ERP systems have Out-of-the-Box packaged integration connectors available from 3rd parties that implement a direct point-to-point integration between Aras Innovator and the other system. For example, integration (in-session) from CATIA to Aras and Cadence Alegro to Aras.
Use of an integration bus such as Oracle Fusion or Netweaver is supported, as well as, custom point-to-point integrations with legacy applications using Web services. You can interface to the Aras Innovator server directly using XML / SOAP, or you can create a WSDL (Web Services Description Language) for the specific business objects you want to interface with.
An important capability that should also be highlighted here is Federation.
One of the core services in the Aras Innovator platform is a Federation service.
With Federation, the administrator uses the Aras Innovator Solution Studio (our graphical drag-and-drop interface) to define the business objects and properties that are stored in a legacy application / database.
The Federated items are then linked to a .NET method to exchange data, this is normally Web services, but all .NET integration capabilities are available such as API binding, ODBC, flat file handling, etc.
At that point the remote data is treated like internal PLM data in Aras Innovator, and can be displayed in forms, used in workflows, added to versioned configurations, acted on / edited by any of the Aras functionality and can be controlled by the Aras Innovator security model.
With all these integration approaches you can add data transforms, business rules and other techniques to address complex scenarios.
We provide training on how to integrate and federate as well as administer these capabilities.
We’ve used a transparent data model with open industry standards and modern platform capabilities to make Aras Innovator the easiest enterprise PLM solution to integrate with. This is because PLM is never a stand-alone system in the enterprise.
For more info on these capabilities see ‘ERP, Item Masters and Data Attribute Federation Between ERP-PLM in Aras‘ and ‘BPM Workflow Serial & Parallel Paths and Modeling to Customize and Extend PLM in Aras’ or check out the Posts Tagged ‘Integration’.