ARAS Innovator for PLM

If you do not actively follow the PLM market, you may not have heard of ARAS Innovator. Innovator is a web-based package that offers a suite of solutions for Product Lifecycle Management, Enterprise Quality Management, and Global Supplier Management. Although there are a number of vendors active today in these spaces, ARAS Innovator’s business model and architecture make it somewhat unique. ARAS offers a base platform (Innovator), as well as a series of prebuilt industry solutions like Program Management, Quality Planning, or Product Engineering (these are called Innovator Solutions).

ARAS’s business model is the first thing that most people notice about them because anyone is free to download and use ARAS Innovator. The fee structure for most PLM software involves an upfront licensing and recurring/annual maintenance or subscription costs. ARAS provides the Innovator software without licenses (and therefore without license fees), but does offer a subscription service. While the subscription is optional, it does provide a number of benefits including support, software certification, utilities, training, updates, and upgrades. ARAS provides Innovator using a licensing model called Enterprise Open Source. As “Open Source” intones, Innovator and the pre-packaged Innovator Solutions can be used at no cost and the source code of the pre-built Solutions is available and freely modifiable. For those companies on subscription, a Community Source model (a variant of Open Source) makes the source code of the core Innovator infrastructure available and freely modifiable.

The ARAS Innovator architecture is built around Microsoft technologies; it runs on a stack of Windows Server, Internet Information Server, and SQL Server. Innovator was developed using the Microsoft .NET Framework and is written as a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) using XML/SOAP standards. ARAS Innovator relies on Microsoft Internet Explorer as its client and does not require a thick client installation. Innovator can be customized using either C#.NET or VB.NET as an authoring tool for backend customizations and JavaScript for frontend customizations.

ARAS combines prebuilt solutions using Internet standards on a Microsoft platform with an Open Source model to provide a truly unique package in the PLM market. For more information on ARAS Innovator, please contact us.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 6th, 2010 at 10:48 pm and is filed under Aras Innovator, Industry Insider, Product Lifecycle Management, SolidWorks Enterprise PDM. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
  • The interesting is that Aras’s bundle of Microsoft and Open Source is something very unusual. Open Source can work well for the bigger organizations having pretty much IT resources, etc. Microsoft is new in Enterprise business. So, I see initial conflict in such a combination. More of my thoughts about PLM and Open Source –
    Best, Oleg

    • @Oleg – I agree that the combination of Microsoft and Open Source doesn’t seem natural. And I generally agree with the conventional wisdom about Open Source being most viable within large IT shops. However, I think that wisdom is most true when users of the software intend to make significant modifications to the source code. In the case of ARAS’s Innovator Solutions, I suspect a lot of people will do more “tweaking” than wholesale “changing” – and I think that makes the value of Open Source more accessible to smaller businesses. I would draw an analogy to Visual Basic for Applications – that has been an extremely powerful tool for thousands of individual Office users, and it makes Office very “sticky”.

  • nikkipolya

    I have looked all over and just cannot locate the source code for Aras Innovator. Where is it? Is it even available to the general public?

  • nikkipolya

    I have looked all over and just cannot locate the source code for Aras Innovator. There’s not one file at there project hosting site, Where is it? Is it even available to the general public?

  • @nikkipolya – there are several components to Aras Innovator including the base framework, and the solutions which are published on top of the Innnovator product. For example, to perform Engineering Change Management with Aras, you need Innovator and one of a number of solutions meant for Engineering Change (available in the projects area of the Aras website). So, depending on which source code you are after, you may need to look in different places. Are you looking to modify the behavior of a particular solution/functionality or are you looking to modify the internal plumbing of Innovator?