I am often asked why Aras has multiple CAD Connectors for the same CAD application. The reason is simple: we believe in healthy competition. By inviting all the partners in the Aras open PLM community to create competing CAD Connectors, we ensure higher quality and customer support, and encourage ongoing development and product improvement. But the #1 reason is that there are several different approaches to creating a PLM-CAD Connector; use cases and UIs that are CAD centric, use cases and UIs that are PLM centric, and a middleware/DropBox style.
The Aras open PLM community is about freedom of choice and we believe in providing Aras users with options when choosing their Connector(s).
To ensure data integrity, optimize CAD performance, integrate with Aras’s Secure Social 3D Visualization tools and maintain a true open framework within Aras Innovator, we created a standard CAD API, standard CAD data models and standard PLM use cases. We recommend that our partners to adhere to this framework, and then we evaluate and certify the CAD Connectors that follow the standard. As I said, this results in higher quality connectors, as well as more standardized training and support, and common approaches in situations when end-users need to run multiple CAD systems in parallel. It also makes it easier for our users to switch Connector partners in the future if they choose.
When creating their Connectors, each partner has the freedom to innovate on the UI and use cases within the CAD system. Some Connectors have the look-and-feel of the CAD system, while others look and feel more like the PLM. Some CAD Connectors include high value-add functions that automate repetitive design tasks or simplify collaboration.
So the next question is, how do you choose?
My recommendation is to see a demo from each of the Aras partners to find out:
- Which one has the UI and CAD use cases that most closely align with your requirements?
- Which connector has the value-add functions that your end-users can benefit from?
- Which is certified by Aras and most closely aligned with the Aras standard CAD Connector API and Data Model?
Learn more about the Aras approach to CAD Integration.