PLM becomes more mobile
A Web-App for PLM
How well is mobile computing blazing a trail for itself in Engineering? A nice example of how is delivered by the company trisoft GmbH in the Austrian city of Graz. trisoft is a PROCAD partner, successfully selling the PRO.FILE PDM/PLM software for which it has developed a mobile solution.
As well as the PC client, the manufacturer has for several years provided a noticeably slimmed-down web client that allows access to data via the browser without having to install the entire program. It was here important to PROCAD that users had their accustomed “look and feel”, so that when in the web they felt the same as if they were at home on their PCs.
trisoft has now developed a mobile client that works on the iPad and smartphones. The software is web application that does not run directly on the Apple or Android operating systems, but rather in the available browsers. Given the known restrictions that using a smaller mobile device brings, the user can still carry out numerous functions if Internet access exists.
In the first instance, this applies to searches in the PRO.FILE database, for which purpose the search masks can be configured with the normal PRO.FILE mask generator. It is no longer necessary to unpack, open and start up the notebook for quick searches for documents and an appealing presentation of these – the smartphone is enough. In a further step, the representation and manipulation of 3-D models will soon be available.
Security problems are hardly to be expected when the user sticks to the recommended procedure: Set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) with dedicated devices, which can then access the Web server behind the company firewall. If a device is lost or gets into the wrong hands, its access can be immediately blocked.
For trisoft CEO Herbert Schlacher, the goal is to meet the general needs of the market, including those in document and product data management: “Having these things working on a cell phone will simply be expected in the future.” The first users are seeing a special advantage – decision-makers, without necessarily being at home in PDM and PLM, can now see models in a hands-on way on a smartphone or iPad and understand the advantages of PLM implementation and how quick and simple it is to access important data. They may not even have sat down in front of a PC client. Now, perhaps some will be more quickly convinced about extending the use of PLM.