Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
When I was a kid, every Fall the three TV networks would roll out their new programs at once. Now, new shows across hundreds of broadcasters pop up all the time. I have 500 channels, and the guide to what's on what channel when makes finding the data a tedious affair. Manufacturing once had annual or semi-annual cycles for upgrades and new products. Not now. Things come out all the time. Great for users, but a nightmare for design teams. The tedium of manually finding designs, technical data, supplier information, etc. then reusing and sharing data introduces all sorts of stresses on your teams and processes as well as heightens the chance for scrap, rework, and recall expenses. Traditional PDM schemes, while great for their scope, are just not geared for that part of modern design cycles. This is what makes today's Pick of the Week something you need to know about.
Inforbix, a new cloud-based service, opened for business this week. There are three key reasons why Inforbix is a must-know. One, Inforbix is designed to helps engineers, project managers, and your full product development team find, re-use, and share product data from disparate sources and file types quickly and easily. Not just a Google dump of finds, but connected and intelligently presented results. Two, it “understands” manufacturing data -- CAD files, BOMs, assemblies, office docs, etc. Three, cloud-based means everyone can access it from everywhere and your IT burdens are less in terms of maintaining software and adding more storage and all that.
So what is this thing called Inforbix? First, it is a system designed to work with the processes and applications you use. Second, it adds an intelligent data indexing, searching, and results presentation system to your process. By “intelligent” I mean that it extracts the value out of your data so that you can leverage it and even discover things about it. In other words, you know that your data is interconnected, but you can't make the connections without hours or days of running queries and opening/scanning files, right? Inforbix aggregates, connects, and presents data from across multiple file types and locations in meaningful ways without you wasting time doing things the way you have done them until now.
Geez, that hardly touches the potential of Inforbix. Think of it as PDM the next generation, if you will. But, really, go to the links after today's Pick of the Week write-up and take the tour first. Then hit the links to learn about its search and presentation features. One thing I have to mention is that Inforbix seems reasonably priced. Like free to start at the entry level, so you can use it for a demo project.
I've met many of the Inforbix brain trust, and I can tell you these are smart people who have worked on developing this notion a long time. Inforbix sounds like a winner to me. Give it a good look. That's my recommendation.
Thanks, pal. -- Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering
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