(Eng) XHP : will Facebook bring useful technologies for PLM?!

Posted on January 14, 2011

Facebook EngineeringThe silicon valley is being pretty active on communication these days because of how some trends are changing in IT companies, some articles are already talking about the decline of Google, Facebook Engineering is communicating more and more about their development and just like google they advertise a lot on how good it is to work there. Many new startup are raising funds and the developpers job market is very active. What’s the link with PLM? For more than a year after seing some PLM solution and discussing about how they were made and where they were coming from, I’ve been convinced that what PLM needs is a technological shift. And this has to come from an important investment in developpping new platforms and frameworks. Why do i talk about facebook? Because today companies like facebook are the one able to pay a lot to have the best developpers. As an Aras Innovator partner, we see when we present this solution that the difference is really technological and make them wonder why others architecture are so complicated.

The long term Business Plan

The issues that Google is facing are not surprising. Google is definitely getting money on search and advertising platform. I’d like to know what is the percentage of google employees working on these main topics that are easy to moneytize for them. They’ve launched a lot more projects (watch Google Code and Google Labs), and they manage developper communities, but the question for which you don’t get a lot of answers (and I think they just sometimes know the answer) is how do you monetize the application you develop. I think some big products fail like Google wave or even their Nexus phone could have been avoided by spending more time on understanding how it would be profitable.

Benefits for PLM

Even if these developpers are not working on PLM there can be some benefit regarding technological evolution. Google is working a lot on standards, on open architectures, documentation management and search, etc. Facebook is working on how storing data and accessing it easily. So some day, I’m sure that people will realize that these developments can benefit some new PLM solution.

Well, it might have some risk due to the fact that they are not always working in the same direction and they may put a lot of effort and attract a lot of developpers, avoiding then some technologies that can be interesting for PLM. I mainly think about databases. Facebook recently followed Google on the way to store information which doesn’t correspond to PLM needs. I’m not an expert in Database architecture, but i know you can have different architecture for different needs and there is a big gap between managing facebook data (stable data-model, high volume, low need of data conservation) and PLM informations.

XHP

So here is the source of this article.I follow the Facebook Engineering page and here is what came out on monday. I haven’t spent much time yet on evaluating how much it could help new PLM applications or extensions. From what I understand, it will help defining and designing web pages in an easier way then what classic PHP provides. It’s not yet related to XML parsing enhancement which i’d like to see for most languages i use. But that’s an example about the fact that some solution could benefit from these companies that apparently are not targeting the PLM in this whole set of possible features.

Please, developpers, get involved in developping useful software infrastructure and productivity tools for Product Lifecycle Management strategies.

Yoann Maingon

Yoann Maingon

Yoann Maingon is an Entrepreneur and a PLM enthousiast. He is our main blogger at Minerva as he has been publishing articles about General PLM concepts and Aras Innovator for more than three years.

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