To enable the use of OpenPDM in distributed software architectures, PROSTEP has broken down the integration platform into smaller software components and designed the mapping and process engine as independent MicroServices. In addition, the import and export functions are now part of the connectors, which the system administrator can configure individually via a web-based interface. Thanks to the consistent use of REST interfaces, each OpenPDM connector can thus run independently and can be used, for example, with message brokers such as Apache Kafka in conjunction with ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) architectures. In addition, PROSTEP has integrated Docker technology so that OpenPDM can be run in a cloud-based container environment such as OpenShift.
The neutral OpenPDM data model also had to be extended for the new software architecture. Process modeling is now carried out with the proven workflow engine Camunda, which is also used by customers such as NASA and T-Mobile. The Camunda Modeler has a graphical user interface that enables intuitive modeling of BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) workflows and DMN (Decision Model and Notation) decisions.
The new architecture allows customers to flexibly use the proven OpenPDM functions for PLM integration, migration and collaboration in hybrid PLM scenarios. Version 9.1 currently offers MicroService-based connectors to the PLM systems 3DEXPERIENCE R2019x and R2020x from Dassault Systèmes, PTC Windchill R11.1 and R11.2, SAP PLM R3, R3 EHP and S4 (on premise) and the IoT platform PTC ThingWorx 10.x. PROSTEP will migrate additional connectors to the new architecture as required.
The new OpenPDM version is not backward compatible with versions 8.x. PROSTEP is thus primarily addressing new customers who want to use PLM and/or ERP systems from the cloud and integrate them with their existing IT infrastructure. Existing customers with complex integration, migration or collaboration scenarios based on OpenPDM 8.x do not necessarily have to migrate their installations. PROSTEP will also continue to develop its existing software and will soon launch a new version 8.7 with connectors to the current versions of all connected PDM/PLM and ERP systems.