Agile to Upgrade Flagship PLM Solution

Due out in January, version 9 of product lifecycle management suite adds product governance, compliance solution

Due out in January, version 9 of product lifecycle management suite adds product governance, compliance solution

San Jose, CA — November 17, 2003 — Agile Software unveiled the latest version of its flagship product lifecycle management (PLM) solution, offering a new product governance and compliance solution, expanded product portfolio capabilities and improved product collaboration, engineering collaboration and product cost management features.

Agile 9, due out in January, is designed to support the product lifecycle business process, technology platform and integration requirements of companies in a variety of different industries, including aerospace and defense, automotive, consumer packaged goods, electronics, industrial products and life sciences, according to the solution provider.

The suite offers various components built on a unified PLM platform that is intended to offer a single enterprise view of a product across business processes and the extended enterprise throughout the entire product lifecycle, from concept and development throughout launch and production to service and disposal, by using common product record information across all the Agile solutions.

New and upgrade features in Agile 9 include:

  • New Agile Product Governance and Compliance — Designed to let organizations manage product and program compliance against standards and regulatory requirements, helping to ensure effective compliance throughout enterprise operations. The solution features two components: Agile Environmental Compliance, which provides lifecycle capabilities to meet environmental regulation standards such as the Waste of Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) directive and the Restrictions of Hazardous Substance (ROHS) regulations; and Agile System Validation, which provides off-the-shelf software validation capabilities for Agile implementations for companies in regulated industries. For instance, the solution can help medical device manufacturers in complying with the validation requirements put forth in the FDA Quality System Regulation, 21 CFR Part 820.

  • Expanded Agile Product Portfolio Management — This solution is designed to help organizations optimize their product development investments by providing synchronized program and product information and cross-program visibility and decision support throughout the product lifecycle. The solution offers expanded capabilities for core program management, cross-organizational resource management and configurable executive dashboards, according to Agile.

  • Improved Product Collaboration — In Agile 9, the suite's flagship solution adds multi-organization functionality designed to enable visibility and management of site-specific product information across global operations and an extended supply network. Product Collaboration offers each stakeholder in the extended design and supply chain secure access to such product record data as bills of material, attributes, manufacturers, configurations, specifications, documents, models, work instructions and revisions.

  • Upgraded Engineering Collaboration — This solution provides a set of capabilities designed to address the specific requirements of the engineering organization. With Agile 9, the solution has been expanded to include integrations to leading MCAD, ECAD, software, firmware and desktop publishing applications. It also provides design collaboration and visualization support. The added integration capabilities are the result of Agile's acquisition of Eigner, a provider of solutions for complex engineering processes.

  • Updated Product Cost Management — This solution is designed to help companies manage product costs across the product lifecycle and design their global supply network concurrently with the design of their products. In Agile 9, Product Cost Management adds new contract management functionality intended to help companies leverage pricing and terms information across organizations, business processes and key stakeholders.

  • Improved Product Service and Improvement — This solution is intended to provide a closed-loop product quality and corrective action system that can help companies drive improved product quality and customer satisfaction. The newest version includes updated functionality around supplier corrective actions, issue management and quality reporting and analysis.

In addition, Agile says that version 9 is built on the provider's "next-generation global enterprise PLM architecture," which Agile describes as an "n-tier, standards-based, service-oriented architecture [that] leverages Web services, J2EE, XML and analytics technologies to provide visibility, management, control, collaboration, and decision support of common product record information across all Agile solutions."

Key components of the Agile 9 platform include:

  • Common Services — Agile says that version 9 is built to be a services-oriented architecture. As part of this architecture, Agile offers a common set of services that provide consistency across all its applications. New features include event notification and subscriptions, full-text search and directory services. Common services in Agile 9 also include improvements to the common architecture, document management, security, workflow and administration.

  • Integration Framework — Agile 9 introduces a new set of tools for integrating Agile to other applications and systems, both within the enterprise and between business partners. The tools are based on standards such as XML, JMS, PDX/Rosetta Net and Web services standards using SOAP/WSDL. New features include standard XML-based publish and subscribe, bi-directional Web services support and process extensions.

  • Analytics Framework — Version 9 features a new decision support platform designed to help customers develop and deploy PLM reporting and analysis solutions. The improved reporting functionality includes various out-of-the-box, standard reports, as well as capabilities for custom reporting.

  • Content Framework — The new platform framework in Agile 9 allows customers to synchronize and share enterprise product record information with extended design and manufacturing partner information sources, features designed to enhance communication and collaborative processes across the product lifecycle. It also provides a "live" connection between component product record data and dynamic enterprise, commercial and supplier information through rich content adaptors.

  • User Interface Framework — The new version provides a suite of options for users to interact with the Agile application. New predefined portlets expose key services and user interface components in the Agile platform to deliver content or services within customers' portals. Both the HTML browser-based user interface and Java-Web start-based rich client have been enhanced. New to the framework in Agile 9 are viewer APIs, for viewing and editing CAD drawings and models; integration to authoring tools, such as those from Microsoft and Adobe; and integration to products such as Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project through the Web services architecture.