1 Connecting PLM to ERP and other Enterprise Systems with Windchill ESI Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems control critical product information that must be shared with other enterprise systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Supply Chain Management (SCM). Likewise, PLM systems need to leverage information that is managed in other enterprise systems. This bi-directional connection between PLM and other systems is critical to enabling a seamless flow of information among the different functional groups involved in product development, particularly engineering and manufacturing.
2 White Paper Windchill ESI Page 2 of 7 Executive Summary The Role of PLM versus Enterprise Systems The PTC Product Development System Enterprise System Integration Challenges Introducing Windchill ESI Process Support Architecture Capabilities Business Benefits PTC: The PLM Industry Leader For More Information
3 White Paper Windchill ESI Page 3 of 7 Executive Summary There are many different approaches to integrating enterprise systems. One of the most common is through Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) vendors that specialize in the integration of enterprise systems. Many companies that have attempted this integration approach have been bogged down by the high initial investment in building custom integrations for their unique mix of software solutions, the continuing high maintenance and upgrade costs, and the significant risk that their efforts will not result in a robust enterprise system that can support their critical business processes end-to-end in a seamless manner. In order to support the release of product information from our PLM solutions to ERP and other enterprise systems, PTC has developed a breakthrough integration product, Windchill Enterprise Systems Integration (ESI), which includes pre-built business logic to support critical Windchill business processes out-of-the-box. Windchill ESI is built using industry standard EAI technology but goes far beyond an integration enabler by defining what, how, and when information is released to other systems. As an optional module of Windchill PDMLink, Windchill ESI is a natural extension of PTC s Product Development System (PDS) and is pre-tested to meet the same high quality standards as all other PTC solutions to greatly reduce the deployment and maintenance costs and risk in system integration for our customers. Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) describes a comprehensive framework of technology and services that permit manufacturing companies and their partners and customers to collaboratively conceptualize, design, build, and manage products throughout their entire lifecycle. PLM solutions must enable companies to create detailed, intuitive, and realistic digital product information; collaborate by incorporating early input from the various participants in order to identify and resolve critical issues; and control and automate critical processes such as release to manufacturing, change, and configuration management throughout the product s lifecycle. PLM has emerged as the primary means by which manufacturing companies can achieve step-change improvements in their product development process. PLM is unique from other enterprise applications because it manages digital product information and optimizes the digital product value chain. The Role of PLM versus Enterprise Systems To consistently produce great products, companies need a product development process that becomes, in itself, a competitive differentiator. While some see product development as synonymous with engineering, a truly effective product development process engages a variety of cross-functional participants from marketing, engineering, procurement, manufacturing, sales, and service departments. Ever-increasing levels of outsourcing have driven suppliers and manufacturing partners into direct roles in the product development process. At the same time, a strong customer focus has necessitated the customer s direct involvement. As a result, attempts to optimize product development naturally evolve from a departmental focus within engineering, to an enterprise focus, and ultimately to a distributed value chain focus. Developing digital products in a value chain environment and under intense time and cost pressure is certainly not easy. While many manufacturers have made great strides improving operational effectiveness across their enterprise and supply chain as it relates to manufacturing and logistics, most companies will admit that their product development processes are rife with problems. They are now beginning to realize that an even greater level of opportunity for improvement is available by better managing the digital product definition at every stage in a product s life. The digital content that describes products during the development process typically gets fragmented across organizational boundaries, with each group having different forms of product definition stored in different systems, and many with incompatible formats. No easy-to-use capability exists to share information among these enterprise systems in a controlled manner. The PTC Product Development System Many modern business systems are driven by product information that originates in the engineering department, creating a need for connecting the source of product information to other enterprise systems like ERP and CRM. When dealing with complex product information and engineering data, the integration difficulties and the need for tightly managed and executed data publication escalates. Any discussion regarding integration would not be complete without an examination of the integration capabilities within the context of the overall solution offering. PLM has proven difficult for many companies to achieve due to an abundance of point solutions and limited availability of true system solutions. Many offerings have attempted to evolve from client-server architectures, but are limited by an inability to take full advantage of standards and Web architectures optimized for the distributed nature of today s product development environment. When PLM is approached as a combination of point solutions (acquired and integrated by either a PLM vendor or a manufacturer) and/or legacy architectures, the lack of data interoperability and high ongoing integration maintenance costs make PLM an unnecessarily complicated and risky proposition. This approach overwhelms the system integrator, the system administrator, and the manufacturer with costs and complexity. At a technical level, these architectures suffer in terms of usability, performance, scalability, security, and availability. The result is an inability to deploy the PLM solution quickly and maintain an appropriate total cost-of-ownership.
4 White Paper Windchill ESI Page 4 of 7 The measure of a good product development system combines the breadth of capabilities it delivers, the architecture of the underlying software that deliver them, and the processes it supports and optimizes. To ensure successful deployment and enterprise wide adoption of the product development system, the appropriate range and balance of services must be available. PTC is pursuing an aggressive Product Development System (PDS) strategy to deliver the most comprehensive and cost-effective PLM solution in the market place that spans the two leading product development engines, Windchill, a suite of collaboration and control solutions to support today s distributed product development processes and Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire, an unparalleled 3D product design solution. By ensuring the products within the PDS are integral, or designed and tested to work together seamlessly out-of-the-box, PTC has minimized the processes for customers to integrate products within the system. This includes built-in connections to other common business systems. An interoperable architecture enables seamless sharing of the digital product information and processes with user systems such as desktop productivity applications and heterogeneous CAD systems as well as back office systems like ERP, SCM, and CRM and other PDM and databases. For more information on these concepts, please refer to the white papers on PTC s Product Development System Product Lifecycle Management for Manufacturing Companies and Why Architecture Matters For PLM available on PTC.com. Enterprise System Integration Challenges Business leaders from engineering, manufacturing, and other organizations are demanding better communication in the product development cycle to reduce the risk to product quality and to decrease communication time and manual, non-value-add activities. However, manufacturing companies today have many IT applications, each dedicated for a particular purpose. IT departments are challenged with managing not only each individual application but also with finding a way to make all of their IT investments work together as a synchronized, enterprise system. Why? Although each application may have a unique purpose, they often require much of the same information to successfully execute business processes. Critical problems with a closed architecture include the ability to maintain single systems-of-record for enterprise information without duplication of data. For example, approved vendor lists and manufacturing cost data should be managed in an ERP system and customer identifiers in a CRM system. An engineering designer should be able to access the cost information from within the PLM solution without replicating the data, which could cause future synchronization issues. PLM and manufacturing execution systems have typically been connected in one of three ways: either manually with information entered separately in each system, loosely coupled in a flat file transfer or import/export routine, or by a custom integration, whether point-topoint or hub-and-spoke. Historically these integrations have been slow and unreliable, leading to product quality issues such as manufacturing operations producing products that have been replaced or modified in Figure 1: PLM Working Collaboratively With Enterprise Systems engineering. This disconnect can lead to significant cost and customer satisfaction issues for a manufacturer. In addition, the use of non-standard interfaces substantially increases the time and cost to upgrade the integration and inhibits a manufacturer s ability to independently upgrade one system without having to rewire and perform extensive customizations between each of the other enterprise systems. Custom integrations are common and sometimes can fulfill the needs of a given business process, however, they are typically characterized by simplistic and brittle designs that require high levels of ongoing administrative attention and manual exception handling. In most cases, companies don t recognize or understand the high cost of resources, human or otherwise, consumed by the ongoing administration of their interfaces. Since these custom integrations contain significant one-off code, they suffer from significant maintainability issues. The more custom code a company develops, the more code it will need to maintain with its own IT department or outsourced development services. Developing code inhouse also means that it has to be tested and implemented in-house; these are difficult and time-consuming tasks for a traditional IT department that prefers to leverage commercial applications whenever possible. Perhaps the worst aspect of these custom integrations is that every time a new release of the source or target system is available, the entire process can start over at the beginning. Maintenance is extremely expensive and there is no end to the cycle. Scalability is also an issue with custom integrations; as business processes expand to support a growing enterprise, they often fall short of evolving business requirements and are too inflexible to accommodate additional systems. Inevitably, the shortcomings of these integrations are fixed with manual processes that are resource intensive and prone to error. The result is pockets of efficiency with significant process and information gaps in the overall enterprise system. Commercial EAI applications are helpful but don t offer any business logic to support manufacturing business processes, leaving a significant portion of the integration efforts to in-house or outsourced 3rd party integration teams. The fact is that a large portion of integration benefits is left on the table with these traditional approaches to integration.
5 White Paper Windchill ESI Page 5 of 7 Introducing Windchill ESI PTC recognized the challenges faced by manufacturers in their quest to bi-directionally share product information with other enterprise systems and responded with Windchill Enterprise Systems Integration (ESI). As part of PTC s industry-leading PDS, Windchill ESI, an optional module of Windchill PDMLink, provides unprecedented control of data throughout the product s lifecycle. Windchill ESI helps manufacturers better coordinate the exchange of product and complementary manufacturing and supply chain-related information between their Windchill and ERP, CRM, and SCM systems. This connectivity ensures that members of the digital product value chain have accurate, real-time information when they need it. With Windchill ESI, manufacturers can be confident that all the people in the enterprise are operating with the most current information in the right context to make the best decisions. Companies can publish designs to manufacturing and convert those designs into physical products in less time with far less opportunity for error resulting in cost reduction, and improved quality throughout the enterprise. By providing not only the technology but also the mapping and process coordination, Windchill ESI goes beyond other offerings and delivers a turnkey module for immediate business value. Through a set of core services based on industry standards, Windchill ESI makes it easy for companies to share engineering data such as parts, bills of material (BOMs), engineering change notices (ECN), and documents throughout the enterprise. Windchill ESI also makes it possible for other enterprise systems to pass relevant information upstream, including supplier information, part cost information, and inventory information. Process Support The ultimate purpose of a product development system is to optimize the business processes that companies need to execute in order to develop competitive products and achieve their business initiatives. A system that merely delivers a hodgepodge of features and functions is not optimized to facilitate the execution of specific business processes. Recognizing the fact that business processes are what drive product development, PTC is working with our customers to document a set of end-to-end PLM processes that outline the best way to accomplish specific product development tasks. Many of those critical PLM process extend beyond PLM into ERP and other enterprise systems. Windchill ESI automates and optimizes business processes and streamlines operational efficiencies by facilitating two-way communication between engineering and manufacturing. This closed loop integration allows a company to send an engineering bill of material, with all its rich product data, into the manufacturing environment for execution. At the same time, manufacturing and cost information can be exposed to engineering to make better product design decisions which reduce cost and result in faster time-to-market. The following is a description of some critical PLM processes supported by Windchill ESI in combination with PTC s complete Product Development System. Release to Manufacturing The digital product is ready for release to manufacturing when the digital product definition is complete and approved by all stakeholders. At this point, one or more production and supply chain management systems typically need access to product definition information to begin the work. As product configurations are approved for release, Windchill ESI automatically feeds product and BOM information to downstream production systems. Design Those who design the product in the engineering department make important decisions that largely determine the cost of the product, how it will be serviced, and how long it takes to manufacture the product. To make the best decisions for the company, they need access to relevant information that may not typically be available in a PLM system. Windchill ESI provides Windchill users with real-time access to product information stored in other enterprise systems, such as standard cost and lead-time, through the user interfaces with which they are accustomed to working. Prototype/Test When a product is ready to be prototyped and tested, the product design needs to be shared with manufacturing and quality assurance so the prototype can be built and tested. Windchill ESI automates the process of sending product information to manufacturing execution systems so that it can be built. In addition, engineering is better able to plan for the prototype/test phase of product development when they have product information from the ERP system such as product lead-time and cost. Change Management Product development is a dynamic environment where changes are made to parts and products continuously. Each time a change is released, that information needs to be shared from the PLM system where the change was made to other enterprise systems like ERP. Engineering also needs to be able to assess the potential impact of the change; having access to real-time product and part cost and lead-time is an important part of that analysis. Architecture Unlike competitors integration offerings based on toolkits, PTC has embarked on a path to provide a series, standards-based integrations to common business systems with end-to-end process support (including out-of-the-box pre-built business logic) starting with SAP. End-to-end out-of-the-box process support means that Windchill ESI provides the necessary middleware, support for common business objects and processes, and pre-configured standard integrations to the other system. These integrations provide robust functionality, sophisticated transaction management, a large number of configurable features, and an easy-to-use GUI customization environment.
6 White Paper Windchill ESI Page 6 of 7 Windchill Integration Services Figure 2: Windchill ESI Architecture Winchill Enterprise System Integration Business Logic TIBCO Business Works EAI Vendors TIBCO SAP Adapter TIBCO Adapters Adapters As shown in Figure 2, Windchill ESI is built on a modular architecture to support a number of integration requirements. This integration solution provides a powerful layer of business logic, data translation, and robust communication control between Windchill and the target system. Although PTC is bundling industry leading Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) software provided by TIBCO, Windchill ESI begins with an open API layer of integration services on top of Windchill that is designed to be EAI neutral, allowing other commercial middleware products to be used as necessary. This neutrality is possible through a modular architecture and the use of industry standards for the interface, specifically a number of Web services that are enabled via SOAP over JMS (Java Message Service) for transactional integrity. By using TIBCO s products (such as TIBCO Business Works) as a base for the standard Windchill ESI offering, customers have access to a large suite of pre-built application and technology adapters, as well as TIBCO s first rate GUI business logic development and administration environment. Windchill ESI goes beyond other offerings and pre-builds the necessary business logic to support the publishing of many different types of product information to SAP. Windchill ESI makes full use of the TIBCO adapters to handle the lower level communications, such as the execution of specific APIs within the target system. The combination of these components supports the process of publishing information outward from Windchill to ensure that the target systems get accurate, up-to-date, approved product information at the right points in the product lifecycle, and that it is always consistent with the corresponding information in Windchill. This integration solution also supports a wide variety of other business scenarios with its default settings and many configurable parameters. SAP Enterprise Systems Enterprise Systems The middleware business logic extensions are important for this complex integration in two ways. First, their existence eliminates the need for each customer to reinvent the wheel; PTC has already completed the design and development process for supported business scenarios. Second, the business logic extensions offload the responsibility of understanding specific target system nuances to the middleware. This simplifies the integration design and makes it more scalable and maintainable. If it weren t for these extensions, each integrated system would have to understand specific details about how the other systems work. For example, Windchill would need to understand that in SAP, one needs to create the change object before creating the material, and the material must be created before the bill of material that references it. These are the types of rules that neither a Web service nor a PLM system should have to know or understand. Capabilities Windchill ESI provides robust functionality, sophisticated transaction management, a large number of configurable features, and an easyto-use GUI customization environment. Windchill ESI s pre-built SAP integration provides the following capabilities out-of-the-box: Generate the PLM publication information package from PTC s PDS using pre-built business services (without additional programming) Transform the PLM publication package for publication to ERP (without additional programming Interface with ERP system standard application programming interfaces (API's) Publish the PLM publication information package to the target system using pre-built business logic Interact with the publication processes via simple graphical user interfaces Full completion of the publication transaction Quickly implement and easily administer enterprise system integrations Request that information be transferred to the PLM system from other enterprise applications Where such out-of-the-box integrations are not available, PTC offers standards-based integration mechanisms, as well as partnerships with recognized EAI industry leaders, and top-tier consultancies. The tools and techniques PTC and its partners can offer will ensure that special integration needs are met while maximizing the use of standard methods and APIs.
7 White Paper Windchill ESI Page 7 of 7 Business Benefits Customers demand that key processes and product information flow seamlessly between functional groups and their respective enterprise systems. Significant corporate knowledge developed and captured during the engineering process is typically only loosely connected to downstream order and fulfillment groups and systems. Further, key manufacturing and supply chain information, if readily available to the engineering groups early in their design cycle, could lead to significantly better and less costly products. By integrating Windchill to ERP, customers can improve their operational efficiencies while also enabling value-creating opportunities not possible with isolated systems. Windchill ESI brings value to the enterprise in three key benefit categories. First and foremost, PTC s complete PDS, which includes Windchill ESI, provides infrastructure savings by mitigating the risk in enterprise software deployment with a qualified system that supports critical end-to-end processes and proven implementation and training services. Windchill ESI replaces custom integrations that are costly to maintain and upgrade. Additionally, Windchill ESI s EAI technologybased architecture is fast and cost effective to deploy. Once implemented, Windchill ESI s EAI technology base can become an integration hub connecting all other enterprise systems once again with minimal risk and investment. This preserves investment in existing technology and reduces cost of upgrades with industry standard interfaces. Lastly, Windchill ESI provides infrastructure savings by enabling all users in the product development process to access the latest product information without manual data re-entry. Windchill ESI also enables improvements in operating metrics by reducing the time required to transfer product designs from engineering to manufacturing resulting in reduced time to prototype, time to production, and time-to-market. Furthermore, Windchill ESI can significantly reduce the wasted time and money spent when the wrong product information is used in manufacturing. These benefits center on the fact that with Windchill ESI, management gains control over their critical business processes that span multiple functional groups and enterprise systems enabling them to optimize those processes and execute against them in a repeatable, low risk manner. The greatest value potential for any investment is in the opportunity to improve one s strategic position relative to the competition. At PTC, we believe that a focus on improving and optimizing the execution of critical PLM process is the key to gaining a competitive advantage where it matters most in the product. Windchill ESI makes it possible to integrate those critical PLM processes with other business processes and business systems enabling a seamless connection between critical product development functions like engineering and manufacturing. PTC: The PLM Industry Leader There is no single best way to develop products, and product leadership can be fleeting. Where great products once provided advantage for years, today the advantage may last only months as customers demand yet more up-to-date technology and the latest product capabilities. With the speed of business itself much quicker, companies must strive for sustained competitive advantage by refining their product development processes to consistently yield superior products faster. A solid integration strategy is critical to the overall process of delivering products to customers. Many PLM vendors have integration strategies predicated on marketing relationships or homegrown technologies, and require much time and expense to deliver the PLM interoperability required for success. Manufacturers should watch out for key warning signs: Integrations that require significant investment to custom build business logic and processes Limited options in the type and depth of integrations offered Lack of experience managing the complex relationships associated with CAD and product-related information in a distributed environment Only PTC delivers a Product Development System with a robust footprint and optimized architecture that fully supports end-to-end PLM processes. These processes include integrations to complementary desktop productivity applications; heterogeneous CAD systems; enterprise systems like ERP, SCM, and CRM; and other PDM and databases. This technology is further complemented by PTC s range of service offerings that increases return-on-investment by lowering risk of deployment and ensuring successful wide-spread adoption of the PDS. Manufacturers benefit with the ability to quickly deploy solutions, preserve investments in existing IT infrastructure, and minimize custom building of integrations. For More Information For more information about Windchill ESI or PTC s Product Development System, please visit PTC on the Web at Copyright 2004, Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC) -- All rights reserved. Information described herein is furnished for informational use only, is subject to change without notice, and should not be construed as a guarantee, commitment, condition or offer by PTC. PTC, the PTC Logo, Product First, The Product Development Company, Product Development Means Business, Create Collaborate Control, Windchill, Pro/ENGINEER, Wildfire, PTC Precision and all PTC product names and logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of PTC and/or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries. Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. TIBCO, TIBCO Software, TIBCO ActiveEnterprise, TIBCO Designer, TIBCO Enterprise for JMS, TIBCO Rendezvous, TIBCO Turbo XML, TIBCO BusinessWorks are the trademarks or registered trademarks of TIBCO Software Inc. in the United States and other countries. SAP is a registered trademark of SAP AG Germany. 566-ESI-WP-0504
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