The Collaboration Center supports both secure online access and data synchronization via the Internet, as well as offline collaboration. The straightforward web browser makes it easy for project partners from different disciplines to use the platform, which is where they can fetch their jobs and publish their work results.
The integrated notification function means that they are kept up-to-date about any relevant changes or events, which ensures a high level of transparency during collaboration. 3D visualization functions integrated directly in the web browser make it easy for users to coordinate with each other during joint project reviews.
Offline editing is done using a special client, the Workspace Manager (WSM). Once a user has identified himself accordingly, the WSM automatically downloads the CAD data and structures and stores them in the user's local workspace as a kind of baseline. This workspace is a personal workspace that organizes all of the data required for a job. It is like a container that can be copied, exchanged and taken along to customers. After returning, the reference copy of the contents is again synchronized with the data in the Collaboration Center and, if changes have been made in the meantime, updated.
The ability to work offline is one of the main strengths of the solution as collaboration partners are often located at sites that might not have the best data connection. The WSM supports all leading CAD systems, which are started via the WSM user interface, and offers an identical user experience regardless of the system involved.
PLM metadata can also be edited using the WSM and then transferred back to the Collaboration Center. This means that specifications from the PLM processes, for example, can be stored for filling out certain field names or attributes for instance, thus allowing the client to ensure uniform work methods.As far as the basic functional scope is concerned, the Collaboration Center is not substantially different from a PDM/PLM system, as it needs to manage the same data and support the same processes. To do this, it offers functions for managing product structures and documents, for version management and for controlling changes to status, for example by means of easily defined workflows that can be modeled using a graphical workflow designer.
If needed, the collaboration partners can implement formal engineering change management in order to control changes throughout the product development process according to uniform rules. The Collaboration Center also provides optional integrated project management for the distribution of tasks, deadline monitoring, cost control and resource planning. The Collaboration Center ensures greater process control and transparency within the framework of cross-enterprise collaboration.
Seamless integration with the backend systems and end-to-end data synchronization supports process automation, while ongoing version tracking and the documentation of all changes and revision levels improves process reliability and quality. Agile collaboration in the face of continually changing data increases the efficiency of enterprise-wide collaboration, thus also helping to reduce development costs.
Here you will find further information about the OpenPDM product family.