Manufacturers and engineering enterprises are eager to squeeze every bit of value from their software solutions. Using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform streamlines every organization in your company, from engineering to marketing to sales. Among its many functions, it powers industry solution experiences based on 3D design, analysis, and simulation in a collaborative environment. When you configure or customize your 3DEXPERIENCE platform, you can gain even more ROI and make it fit your unique requirements.
Configuration vs. Customization
When talking about configuration and customization, there is often a debate about the difference between the two. At xLM Solutions, we consider configuration as extending the out-of-the-box data model within 3DEXPERINCE. This may involve adding additional types, attributes, tables and forms, or it might impact how users view, create or edit data and different menus and commands in the system – basically configuring the business objects within 3DEXPERIENCE.
We look at customization as writing additional code using the 3DEXPERIENCE APIs or MQL to enhance or add functionality to the system. In such cases, we take care to not update any out-of-the-box code which could cause issues with future upgrades.
In many cases, a combination of configuring and customizing is required to meet specific client needs.
Scripting or configuring is a powerful and economical approach to expand and customize 3DX for enterprise PLM needs. Using customizations unlocks virtually unlimited ways to make it match your one-of-a-kind processes and needs.
xLM can help with your configuration and customization projects.
Here we dig deeper into the reasons why customizations contribute to increased ROI.
Why should you configure or customize your 3DEXPERIENCE platform?
Our customers often wonder why configurations or customizations might be useful. We have a number of reasons. First of all, some of the out-of-the-box functionalities do not meet unique business needs and requirements. By adding configurations and customizations, xLM Solutions expands the benefits 3DEXPERIENCE brings to your enterprise.
Every manufacturer has a specific set of business processes and applications that require proper integration with 3DX. No two businesses run in the same way. Customizations give companies a way to reflect exclusive and unique processes. Further, they make sure applications are communicating correctly with each other following best practices.
Worried about support? And upgrades? The vast majority of 3DX customers have chosen to configure or customize their 3DEXPERIENCE platforms. If they are implemented correctly and properly documented, they can be easily adapted to newer version of 3DX. In addition, such changes can be set to be easily deployed and maintained across different environments, such as a development, test or production environment. In addition, they can be disabled for troubleshooting and diagnostics.
Sometimes our clients will ask whether or not they should configure or customize their 3DX platform, and they wonder if the investment is justified. Customers rightly want to know if their investment will result in cost savings. As an example, let’s assume the development cost of the customization is $5,000. Saving time for 10 engineers results in more than 300 percent ROI. We explain this example further in a related blog post, The Value of Customizations in PDM/PLM Implementations.
Before you configure or customize your 3DEXPERIENCE platform
xLM Solutions has guided many manufacturers on configuration and customization projects to make their 3DEXPERIENCE platform solution work even harder and provide better ROI. Our PLM experts suggest the following steps before you start to configure or customize your 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
- Define the functional criteria for the script
- Define test cases
- Build an environment for testing to ensure that the script will not adversely affect production
- Maintain detailed script descriptions and instructions on how to hook into 3DX
- This can be recorded with Spinner or MQL statements
- Prefix any customization with Customer Name
- Request source code or insure a way for maintaining the script
Resources as you configure or customize your 3DEXPERIENCE platform
The 3DEXPERIENCE platform provides robust APIs and most customizations are done in Java:
- JPO (Java Program Object) – Trigger will point to JPO – runs on the server
- JSP (Java Server Page) – This runs on the server but can be displayed for end user
- Java Script – Runs on the client, i.e., to validate the format of a field
- Java Bean (JAR files) – Compiled program that can be compiled to a JAR file and referenced
- TCL – Scripting language run on the server; no multi-threading or need to run from a console
- MQL – Matrix Query language
From a configuration point of view, the following business objects can be used to configure the system: Table, Web Form, Commands, Menus, Portals, and Channels.
You can also take advantage of free development suites from Eclipse (https://eclipse.org/) and make use of documentation, including:
- MQL guide
- ADK (Application Development Kit) / AEF (Application Exchange Framework) Document
xLM Solutions draws on its extensive expertise in writing scripts and developing customizations and configurations to expand the utility of your system and gain a greater return on your investment.
Are there areas of your PLM solution that could benefit from a customization or a configuration? If so, please contact xLM Solutions. We would be happy to review your requirements, provide our insights and create a strategy for the best way to maximize your 3DEXPERIENCE platform.