CIM Data publish commentary on PLM in the medical device industry

Posted on October 14, 2016

The independent PLM research and consulting authority CIM Data have published a very interesting commentary on PLM in the medical device industry and linked that to Minerva’s Medical Device PLM solution.


Key takeaways from the commentary are:


  • Complete and accurate design history files (DHF) and device master records (DMR) are critical to successfully launching and supporting medical device productsCIM Data commentary
  • Paper or file folder-based processes often used to manage documentation slow time to market, make data hard to manage, and make effective risk management, verification, validation, and full traceability difficult to support
  • Minerva’s Medical Device solution, based on Aras Innovator, helps companies develop and support products by structuring data and processes using industry best practices to speed time to market while managing risk

So do you work in a medical device company that is or have been experienced challenges with regards to a change management process that can create baselines that encompass everything from deliverables in your project, to the status of your DHF and DMR, your BOM structure, documentation and everything else that is a part of your Product Record, then read the commentary.

You can find it here: Minerva Transforms Medical Device Product Data to a Competitive Advantage

Thomas Skogen

Thomas is Product Market Manager at Minerva. With a background from Lean Manufacturing and Supply Chain he started working for Minerva in 2005.

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Aras & Minerva on swedish roadtrip

Posted on August 19, 2015

Peter Schroer, President and founder of Aras Corporation, is on a roadtrip in Sweden with Leon Lauritsen, Vice Presiden of Minerva.

Yesterday, they met up with the Swedish magazine Verkstadsforum for interviews both for the printed/web edition and for the magazine’s web tv channel.

In the interview they talk about the momentum of Aras, the recent very big deals that have been closed, and the relationship between Aras and Microsoft.

While we are waiting for the web tv interview to be published, you can enjoy this small teaser: Peter Schroer interview.

The text is in swedish. If it comes in english we will update and repost.

And once the TV interview is published, you can be sure we will also post that.


Bombardier RCS Division selects Minerva & Aras for Enterprise PLM

Posted on August 7, 2015

Bombardier RCS have decided to work together with Minerva and implement Aras Innovator for Enterprise PLM in order to stramline process across multiple sites.

The main reasons for choosing Aras Innovator is the speed of which solutions can be implemented and that the flexibility of Aras Innovator makes them confident that it is felxible enough to address the requirements they have today, and also the ones the will have in the future.

Find the offical Aras press release here.



Thomas Skogen

Thomas is Product Market Manager at Minerva. With a background from Lean Manufacturing and Supply Chain he started working for Minerva in 2005.

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Airbus signs Strategic Partner Agreement with Minerva & Aras!

Posted on August 4, 2015

After having used Aras for some time, and a couple of succesfully implemented projects together with Minerva, Airbus have decided to expand the foot print of Aras to an Enterprise wide solution in Engineering Business Processes for more than 30,000 users.

For more information read the offical Aras press release here



Thomas Skogen

Thomas is Product Market Manager at Minerva. With a background from Lean Manufacturing and Supply Chain he started working for Minerva in 2005.

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A good read for Christmas ! Enjoy the last few days of 2014 !

Posted on December 24, 2014

I am pretty sure this will be our last blog post for 2014. The blog has been running since summer 2009 and in 2014 we have break the record of  the largest amount of readers during a week. This was mainly due to the last article I wrote about the ERP vs PLM “no debate needed“. I was recently discussing again with an association I’m in, the PLMLab and we were again brainstorming on how to make sure we keep the focus on very solid concepts when talking about PLM. For those of you, who already went to PLM conferences, this is the biggest challenge, making sure you leave the conference with some new knowledge. So we covered again the main topics we see in PLM and the ones that are still very challenging in the industry today. And without much doubt, I would say that the main topic is Configuration Management.

Configuration Management can be discussed from Requirement Management to Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul processes. This is a source of a large amount of data, mainly in terms of relationships between objects. And these relationships hold a lot of information, like effectivity for example. And they also have to be very contextual, as contextual data becomes more and more important. I found a good read for (at least after a few pages, it looks like a good book). I just started and already, I sense that it will provide me with some real knowledge. The book is called Configuration Management Metrics written by Frank B. Watts

configuration management metrics

It starts by enunciating the main principles of configuration management and the main items of configuration management. I particularly the explanation on why Engineering changes need to be executed fast.

“if a change is required to meet specification, should we ship more products without that change? If a change will accomplish a real cost reduction should we build more produucts at a higher cost? If a change can logically be processed slowly, it probably shouldn’t be done at all.”

And also for the humor, the mention of what he published in the Technology Review about the risk of thinking that just computer themselves will fix the complexity problem:

” A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history… with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila”

And that reminds me the latest few companies I went to. I’m often asked: “what happens if we realize we have made a mistake in our ECN?”. And I always say that the process is structured with review steps in order to make sure that everything is correct, just like when you ship your product. But I can tell that no ones want to hear this answer!

So I hope I’ll be back with some interesting knowledge about Configuration Management Metrics in 2015 and will do my best to share my thoughts.


I’ll leave you with our video about change management applied to the Electronic Industry. I hope you have a Marry Christmas and a Happy New Year !!!


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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MBOM is part of PLM and also ERP no question or debate needed about it

Posted on November 14, 2014

This debate of ERP and PLM is still existing and is annoying. I have just read the following article : “PLM should take over ownership of the manufacturing BOM too”, says Siemens PLM’s CEO, Chuck Grindstaff from And the message was tweeted on the fact that PLM should own the MBOM.

First advice, when you read “Industry 4.0” in the first few lines of an article you should have an alarm ringing to tell you “be careful, this must be some hazardous marketing material”.

When they talk in these articles about ERP and PLM, they mainly talk about software solutions. But these solutions, they contain databases,  interfaces with specific components and a lot of licenced elements in order to answer the best the customer’s need. But what is the real added value of a PLM solution or an ERP? is it the color of an “open document” icon? is it the SQL database? no they both potentially use these elements. An ERP and a PLM are what they are because software developments companies have included specific business rules to manage specific data. Today, we believe that ERP can manage the MBOM and PLM should also do it. Then why do we fight about it? Mainly because we are not capable of having both working on it without complicated data synchronization. Each software vendor wants to own the data when sometimes part of the data you want to own, belongs to some other processes.

This reminds me of an old article I wrote about the fact that PLM and ERP are sharing the same objects, but they are working potentially on different attributes. So once again I’m providing my view of a real IT environnement where PLM is a discipline which describes how the information should be distributed and updated to manage the product lifecycle information in a knowledge management perspective. This schema, is then, not reserved for PLM. It is a general IT infrastructure containing:

  • A master Data Management layer, to handle every data and managing their storage in one or multiple databases to benefit from the pros of each database technology.
  • an Enterprise Service Bus in order to distribute webservices for other applications in order to impact the data.
  • the business layers where each block is a discipline : PLM, CRM, ERP,…
  • and finally interfaces which could rely on multiple business layers. When a sales person is interacting with its software, any action can be checked by PLM & CRM business rules for example.

IT software architecture



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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SoLoMo…CoSe for PLM

Posted on November 5, 2013

The title of this post was initially SoLoMo known for Social, Local, Mobile. I started this post a while ago after listening to Robert Scoble talking about the evolution of contextual needs on web application. It was interesting to think about the applications in PLM. We always mention that the target of PLM is to have the right data at the right moment (I’ve also read an Article from SAP adding “with the right Experience”). And that’s exactly what we need to work on. Today, you have a profile to define who you are and what you have access to in your PLM solution. But this, from one project to another, from one phase to another, can require you to get a quick access to specific data and dashboards. Before a meeting, your dashboard should not look the same as the one you may want to look at before leaving work. When you look at a project you might want to see a very different UI organisation depending on the project’s situation.


And the evolution of this title is following the recent ACE (Aras Community Event) Europe 2013 in Francfort on October 29th & 30th. One of the last presentation was done by Rob McAveney on the Aras roadmap and some very nice presentation of the new features Aras is working, or just thinking about. This year, Oleg Shilovitsky our great PLM blogger friend wrote an article to explain how Social PLM failed and I think that some part of the answer is in how Aras sees Social PLM. If Co for context has been discussed a lot, Secured is something that Aras wants to explain very clearly. It’s not only a marketing think to make our future customer confident about their data being in the solution. It’s mainly because it values even more the security administration layer built in Aras Innovator. It already made sense to Aras to have such layer but now with these social features it demonstrates once more how good this layer is.

Here I included a presentation of Rob McAveney during the last ACE event in Detroit. But after seeing the latest social features shown by John Sperling during ACE Europe. The social aspect of PLM in Aras makes more sense and becomes less fancy by giving some ideas of the realy value it can provide.


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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ACE Europe 2013

Posted on October 28, 2013

I’m just getting ready to take a flight for Frankfurt in order to attend ACE Europe 2013 ! The last ACE (Aras Community Event) I attended was the one we organized in Copenhagen last year covering the northern Europe. This time the event has been organized by Aras Corporation. I wasn’t at ACE in Detroit last may as I had some other meetings in San Francisco at the same time so I’m quite excited to see the latest announcements regarding Aras and the new coming products or their updates.

The Agenda

First Day ACE2013 Europe

Second Day ACE2013 Europe

What Else than presentation

This is what I tell quite often to hour latest customers. Go talk to other customers. Don’t ask us to select our best customer, go talk to anyone of them, they may have some good experience but also some bad experiences from which you can take the best out of it. They’ve made some mistakes in an implementation? learn from it. Aras was not the convenient tool for some of their business needs, understand why and maybe this will we set a limit to your deployment. I don’t think any partner  has a purchase order in their hand at ACE. It really is a friendly meeting where we talk about real experiences.

I should be easy to access during the event. Feel free to get in touch and say hi! I like having comments on the blog but even prefer face to face feedback.

As usual, I’ll do a daily report and tweet the best information. See you there !



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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Some thoughts about being a PLM Manager…

Posted on October 16, 2013

This is going to be a small but quite arrogant article as I have never “officially” been a PLM manager in a company. I feel like I have covered some of the product lifecycle during my first job as a Process Manager for Rakon and through my experiences in some IT companies and in the PLM environment at Minerva, I constantly think about the role of a good and productive PLM Manager.

The Target

I am not going to make a demonstration, I will just propose a target which can be discussed and commented as It’s mainly an opinion as of today. For me one of the PLM manager’s target is to enhance the productivity of managing the right information at the right moment. Some may say that the aim is to be faster on handling or producing some information, let’s just assume that time is money and resume it as: a PLM manager’s role is to enhance the productivity to manage the right data at the right moment. I initially wrote cost and then I replaced it by productivity as you may increase your investment if the ROI is validated.

Who needs which information

This is something you should constantly think about as a PLM manager. Why does this person produces such information. And this is something you can notice in every process in the company. Sometimes to be more performant, you need to take some risk, let’ talk about documentation. How much documentation produced everyday will never be read in your company? We produce tons of information which might never be reused. Each data as a probability of being used. The PLM manager will have to determine the ROI of each kind of documentation and may discourage someones to produce such information. This is completely related to the Lean concepts already discussed in this blog which should be taken into account as a PLM Manager.

Selecting the technology

And on this one I’m not saying selecting a software. Understanding and selecting the technology is key and this should be really understood by both the PLM manager and the buyer working with him to acquire IT solutions. Some technology solutions will be key for the success of his job and you can’t blame the IT supplier or the software editor. You are the responsible of these decisions in the company (unless, someone tells you to select one solution, but in this case you cannot claim that you are the PLM manager).

What’s the difference with another IT manager

And that’s a good question. Because I think there are some overlaps if the IT manager was close to the business. But I think the difference is in the first or main interest the PLM manager has. He should look at every person, every department in the company and wonder what is the value added by each person and work on reducing the non-productive time spent by these people.

These are just some thoughts, what do you think should be added to this job description???



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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5 most read articles for the first semester 2013

Posted on July 4, 2013

I use to have the tradition with Prodeos to publish every month the top 5 most read articles of the blog. The articles were not necessarily written in the month which was showing sometimes that some articles were staying many month in this top 5. A good example has been the tutorial to install Aras Innovator PLM Solution.

If you don’t want to miss any article from our blog, feel free to subscribe by typing your email address here  : 


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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3 different approaches for Aras Innovator

Posted on July 1, 2013

Companies have different approaches to Aras Innovator. Most of these companies have found Aras through searches for PLM solution, or even sometimes looking for Open Source PLM, usually for economic reasons. Aras Innovator offers different approaches depennding one your level of understanding of it. I’ll try to give a quick explanation of these three approaches and why they are interesting.

PLM Solution

This is the out of the box solution you are installing when you download Aras Innovator. When you hear about “Aras PLM” that’s it. It gathers the technology behind Aras Innovator and the whole predefined PLM datamodel with parts, CMII change management objects, projects, quality management objects. It’s a quite complete solution based on industry’s best practices. You download the solution, and you have it ! You want to make sure your data is safe at every upgrade, get a subscription. If you feel confident that you don’t need the subscription, then don’t take it and try/use Aras PLM for free.

Partners industry focus solutions

But sometimes, the Aras PLM solution is not quite adapted to your industry. We’ve seen that at Minerva, when we wanted to have some customers in the Electronic & High tech industry to try Aras, we quite quickly realized that their way of managing parts lifecycle was a bit different. And existing tool were pretty competitive regarding the speed to create and manage changes in their system. So we understand that the Out of the box Aras PLM is just not quite THE solution for all industry. Different partners are then packaging industry focus solutions. We at Minerva have build the Electronic & High tech, and the medical device templates. Other partners have built templates for fashion for example and other industries.

the framework !

Now we come to the part I like the most, the framework ! I even like better the expression : the Enabler ! That’s what it behind Aras PLM or other partner’s solutions. That’s what most PLM editors have tried to accomplish. A flexible system to quickly configure the solution to answer companies need. In 2009, that’s the main reason why I started to work on Aras. I could see Aras being useful in almost every department of the companies I’ve worked for in the past, and I would still call it PLM. The framework gives you the opportunity to generate forms, workflows, lifecycles,versions, and this with a very fine user/permission management.


This is a constant work we have as Aras partners. We try to our customer and prospects that Aras PLM comes already with very advance features for your business. But let’s see further in the future what Aras can do for you. This vision has to consider very deeply the Aras framework. That’s the one that we’ll support you the most on the long term.

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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back on the PLM limits discussion

Posted on June 27, 2013

This is once again a post about the endless discussion “what is the limit of PLM?” and I don’t think the discussion will end today mainly because I don’t have a scientific formula which would have, as an input, your requirements, and would output a boolean which would say: true this is PLM or False it’s not! So I’m trying here to just discussed what may not be the real frontier of PLM and what information may be considered instead.

Data management processes more than company departments

Every time PLM limits are discussed, the frontier are based on companies department. One of the most recurring question is “should this department get to use our PLM software?”. And this maintains the strong separations between these departments. Also between business/engineering fields. Get into an R&D department packed with mechanical CAD designers, everyone will know about PLM. Get inside another R&D department in an Electronic & High tech company. I’m not so sure that so many people would know about PLM. In many cases with Aras Innovator we don’t start with parts & BOMs. We manage other stuff, tests, change, projects, deliverables, sometimes just processes and yes we still believe we are delivering a solution for PLM. And yes I turn this sentence this way on purpose because Aras Innovator allows us to provide a solution for each company’s product lifecycle management.

Capitalizing an IP

This is always one of the first item that comes to my mind when I discuss PLM limits with others. Very often it is to differentiate the difference between ERP and PLM. To me the fundamental difference is that the ERP should track the execution of things in the company with almost always an accounting equivalent to every movement/consumption. Whereas the PLM intends to build value, to capitalize the IP that exist in the product definition, changes, experiences,etc.


This is another aspect of PLM solutions and it is one of the best selling point when you have a technology that allows you to be flexible with it. Companies want to standardize and automate some decision process in the product management area. And on this topic we can have the same communication as a BPM solution editor would provide. Many PLM solutions are containing a BPM engine in order to produce workflows and lifecycles. On this one I wouldn’t put any limit between ERP and PLM. I think BPM, is a tool that can be common to both tools.

data & integration

I think the limits between ERP and PLM are maintained by editors and customers. Potentially today, you have one interface for PLM and another for ERP. Why don’t you have just one interface which send data to both systems if they need to have separated back-ends? To me, with the enhancement of integration solutions like most ETL, we may start having more integration between systems and the limit between PLM and ERP, will just be a data management issue for IT departments and not for the users. If you have been on our former Minerva France website, we had a drawing representing modules of ERP and PLM where some modules could be common to both. here it is: (sorry I will update this post when I’ll have it in English)


PLM and ERP interactions

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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ACE 2013 – Vote for the Collaborate & Contribute award

Posted on April 2, 2013


Once again the Aras Community Event announced the Nominees for the Collaborate and Contribute awards. I don’t remember seeing so many projects in the past and I would say that about 80% of the project title will have an impact on what I will be able to deliver when implementing Aras for our customers. This reflects how active is the Aras community. Not only on the partners side, because if you look at the names, most of them are Aras customers. We can see that most of our customers are training not only key users but also developers internally to customize their Aras Instance and add new features. The subscription is well suited for a continuous improvement as you can keep adding features on your supported environment, constantly upgraded with no additional cost.

Look at the following project names. You can then click the image at the bottom of this article to vote for your favorite projects. Minerva won the award in 2010 and 2012. So let’s vote for 2013 and we’ll make sure to submit new cool projects in 2014 !

  • Recursive retrieval of very large hierarchical CAD structures – JAMCO
  • HTML5 Rich Text Editor – MAN Diesel & Turbo
  • Technical data pack search, view, select and package – Esterline
  • Class-specific property tab parameters grid – Silicom
  • Expanded support for Microsoft Forefront Unified Access Gateway – Sikorsky
  • Deep structure multi-level BOM customizability – GE
  • Custom SharePoint list retrieval & display – Sandia National Labs
  • Impact matrix hierarchy optimization – Esterline
  • Expanded access to supporting materials during workflow voting – Maxion
  • Multi-parameter Boolean advanced search – Carestream Health
  • SQL Server Reporting Services integration enhancements – ConAgra Foods
  • Enablement of custom event behavior during Copy Item – The Woodbridge Group
  • Complex CAD structure instance handling enhancements – T-Systems
  • Improved item promotion sorting in dialog – Sonnex
  • Simplified change workflow configurability – Young & Franklin
  • Custom solution upgrade enhancements – Motorola
  • Task reassignment during workflow looping – Lear Corporation
  • Fixed/Float business logic enhancement – The Woodbridge Group
  • CA SiteMinder reverse proxy and single sign on integration – GE
  • Search by foreign property improvement – GETRAG Ford Transmissions
  • Enhanced grid control configurability – Lear Corporation
  • High latency WAN performance improvements – Maxion
  • Released assembly structure retrieval improvements – F.X. Meiller
  • New SQL Server Reporting Services output options – Tomexpo
  • Configurable grid programmability optimization – AESSiS
  • IOM API COM interface compatibility update – GETRAG Ford Transmissions
  • Expanded Excel integration capabilities – Carestream Health
  • New business logic for Workflow Map with Versionable Items – Hitachi Metals
  • Inline Hebrew & English with right-to-left display – Aitech
  • Classification import / export / merge capabilities – Lear Corporation
  • Rich XML-based export to Microsoft Excel – Ubidyne
  • Programmatic filtering of search results – Yutaka
  • Enhanced multivalued list capabilities – Humax AutoInfortainment
  • IE9 File Item improvements – Tecnodinamica
  • Enhanced workflow email configurability – Weichaun
  • 1-click .NET/IE configuration script – TriQuint Semiconductors
  • Lifecycle state-based property verification enhancement – Spontech Spine
  • Material classification business rules – Diehl Gruppe Hydrometer GmbH

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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access & permissions as a key asset for PLM

Posted on January 30, 2013

Access and permissions in PLMI personally spend a lot of time wondering how we could provide better solutions to our customers and to the industry in general. I look at what we provide and yes there is always something I would like to enhance in the product. The issue is we, at Minerva, are mainly integrator and the best impact we can have on products like Aras Innovator, is based on the feedback and enhancement request we raise. But then we are not the editors so we are not making the decisions. So as an engineer and talking about PLM and PLM software  I’m always interested in imagining how PLM could be better.


I’m not a database specialist, so this one will be short. I already mentioned in a recent article the graph databases which may have an important impact on how the objects interact and how permissions and contextual views can be managed. But I think today, the issue does not necessarily come from this point.


The focus comes back many times to the interface. I have designed a solution called mysimplegrid where the interface is one of our nice strength and many times, company come back with some criticism about the Aras Interface. And we know the strength is not in the interface but in the flexibility of the solution to build any enterprise application. So many times I look at interfaces technology, javascript UI libraries like dhtmlx and dojo (the one used by Aras for its browser independent UI). And I tell myself that there wouldn’t be so much work to do to reach the solutions needed by small companies who may not need to much flexibility.

Access & Permissions is a key asset

But one key asset that is complicated to setup and for which a solution like Aras Innovator has been well design at initial design is the Access & Permission strategy that they’ve been implementing. There are still some issues that can be entirely leveraged by custom code inside Aras if needed. We recently use this capability at one of our customer to build very flexible workflows for which their legacy system provider is not able to match. So this is where my dreams of a very simple solutions developed in days are stopped. I realize that it takes a lot to build this access management system. And that’s why If you put a little energy in trying Aras, you’ll see that not only tomorrow but even a few years from now you’ll still be able to setup access & permissions for your users in a fast moving economy environment.

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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versionning, different meaning from one activity to another

Posted on January 15, 2013

Versionning is always tricky in organisations and this is true for a lot of different environment. You can either be in sales, logistics, engineering, maintenance, HR,etc. There is also an issue with versionning. And it is strange because best practices have been discussed a lot, but it is sometimes hard for people to have a common way to think about versionning. I was recently discussing with a colleague with whom we are working on a new interface where the versionning is to be shown and available to the user. And as he comes more from a software development environement and I’ve been 100% in PLM without to much including source code management, we realized we had a different feeling about versionning.

Difference of intentions

It is funny, because I hear more and more leads and customers talking about intentions when they want to describe a software and that was exactly my feeling when we stumbled upon this difference on how we thought about versionning.

  • For the software development oriented person, versionning means saving or tagging. It means that the actual work has to be saved because we want to keep a state of the actual work. “I want to keep a state, I make a version, this version is stored”
  • In my view, related to main PLM concepts, versionning is creating something new. “I want to start a new work or I want to change a document, I version it. my new version is my working copy”.

The difference is not that big, but the difference of intention in the term “versionning” is surprisingly quite important.


We realized that it could be just a matter of interface because the backend can have the same logic. The issue is that we were on a software which would be used by users from different departments and with different experiences but where we couldn’t have two interfaces. So it needed some discussions to make sure we understood the same concepts and we would make compromise to use one single software interface on that product.

What is your “version” of “versionning” ?

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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New database systems for future of MDM

Posted on January 9, 2013

Happy new year to everyone. I hope the actual economy environnement will convince more people to invest time for helping the product development initiatives by solving Product Lifecycle Management related pending issues. Today’s article is about my thought on why it is always so complicated to move from a PLM solution to another, why are we changing tons of things and settings to in fact change a software cost or an interface. On of the reason is that all these elements are strictly related and the elements in a PLM solution can’t be dissociate. You can’t just keep you data and change the interface. From my previous experiences of migration, I’ve realized that I was moving data from a system to another with transformations but the data would still mean the same thing it is just that the software would handle it differently. Then speaking of standards would there be a standard for data management in PLM and should this define a technology or at least should it drive database system editors to push for one?

Actual systems

Today we mainly use SQL databases with tables in databases. Two schemas are used. Either the schema with a constant number of table like “value”, “properties”, “table_name”,… which allows you to create any complexity of system with a constant number of table. Or you have the schema like the one used by Aras Innovator which has one table for each Itemtype. Th

New database solutions

These solutions may not be new but they are not used so far in PLM systems. The main difference that I see is that it is taken into account that a part and a relationship between two parts can’t be stored the same way. Plus, we are use to have very simple relationships parent-children with sometime one or two other type of relationship but what if tomorrow the objects behave much more on context and you need to define these with more flexibility.

  • One first alternativ would be to store everything in XML databases. Most of the standards are using XML to be described why shouldn’t we store them directly in XML. Here is a presentation of BaseX.

  • The second one much newer and with nice perspective is shown in the following video where it says how they care about relationships in a different way then usual and with a lot of inputs from the actual developments in the social web.

I didn’t want here to get to deep in the tech talk about databases. Just starting some more thought about what could be the next technology to use to help customers to have a real matching between the real world and their databases and then to have more chances to detach the interface and the data. What are your thoughts?

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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(Eng) Excelator v0.1: Edit Aras Innovator data within Excel

Posted on April 2, 2012

At Minerva we recently enhanced our product delivery process in order to make sure we use our ressources the best way to deliver the products which provide you with the most efficient features. As we get bigger these days with an Increase of the Aras Innovator subscribers, we needed to enhance that process. This new process gives us a better framework to know what anyone does on a specific product and why he does that. But as at Minerva, we are mixing competencies of PLM consulting with technical development capabilities, we allow each one to come up with new idea of new products sometimes just by taking a day developping an Idea. So the latest example is this “Excelator” tool which is an Microsoft Excel Add-in I started to develop based on some customers request.

Editing Aras Innovator Data within Microsoft Excel

This is a pretty simple development answering a feature request we had from many customers. “Can we get a list of information from Aras, like a list of Part’s price, in Microsoft Excel to edit the information and send them back in Aras Innovator”. So that ‘s what we did. The main concern was to make sure we have a very flexible and a framework which we can enhance by adding features. So in the following video, you can see this first draft of the tool. It has taken one day to developp it, mainly because we capitalized a lot from our previous developments and we are now able to use a lot from these existing products. Now I leave you with the video, feel free to comment this post if you like the video or if you think of some feature you would like to see in the future version. And if you want a closer look at it we share the software for free until it becomes v1.0 (just like we do with the Structure Browser). For now, we invite you to ask us for it, before we put it in place the download link on our corporate website.

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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(Fr) Aras Innovator – Ms Office : Modèles de documents

Posted on November 16, 2011

Nous sommes actuellement en train de publier la toute nouvelle version de notre connecteur Microsoft Office avec la solution PLM Aras Innovator. Cette intégration permet de gérer depuis chaque application Office (Powerpoint, Excel, Word), le statut des documents (réservé, libéré), et les informations concernant le fichier et le document. En effet, nous assurons la gestion du découpage standard d’un modèle de données PLM dans lequel les objets “fichier” et “document” sont dissociés. Une des nouvelles fonctionnalités principales est la reproduction de champs descriptifs de l’item document dans le fichier. Ainsi vous allez pouvoir récupérer toutes les informations liées à l’item document (creator, author, revision, generation, description,…) pour les intégrer aux documents et les conserver toujours à jour. Cette liste de propriétés est totalement flexible et sera complétée par toute nouvelle propriété que vous pourrez créer dans Aras Innovator. Voila donc une courte vidéo de présentation de cette intégration, nous présentons ici simplement l’appel à un modèle de document directement depuis word.

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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(Fr) Fonctionnalités Aras Innovator : Cost Roll-up

Posted on November 14, 2011

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(Fr) Back to Basics 5 : Flux de définition et flux de production

Posted on November 7, 2011

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