CAD Central

31 Oct, 2007 By: Kenneth Wong

SOA: the star of Teamcenter 2007 -- and more CAD news.

SOA: The Star of Teamcenter 2007

After being acquired by Siemens Automation & Drives, UGS quietly adopted the name Siemens PLM Software. Recently, the company unveiled a new version of its Teamcenter product lifecycle management (PLM) software suite. The five-page announcement mentions service-oriented architecture (SOA) numerous times: The software boasts "a complete SOA"; it's "the industry's first solution to move beyond individual software applications to establish a truly integrated PLM solution . . . based upon SOA approaches"; and it "includes a complete SOA technology foundation throughout the entire portfolio."

A screenshot from Siemens PLM Software's Teamcenter 2007.
A screenshot from Siemens PLM Software's Teamcenter 2007.

One of the highlighted features is the Business Modeler, which is based on the open-source Eclipse Framework. It provides "the ability for multiple users to collaborate on the system definition and to deploy as a merged set" and "the ability to deploy from Test directly to Production," the company claims. The new version is expected to allow users to edit manufacturing or engineering requirements in an integrated Word interface or include live Excel features. Teamcenter 2007 promises bidirectional data exchange and workflow between enterprise, engineering, and Teamcenter 2007 deployments; interaction within a company and with suppliers; and exchange of configured and unconfigured metadata (product structure, bills of materials, lifecycle states, ownership).

The race to build new software based on SOA began in enterprise resource planning (ERP), with SAP and Oracle leading the pack. In PLM, Dassault Systemes, Siemens' main competitor, also subscribes to the SOA vision. In theory, SOA facilitates easy integration of disparate data systems.

Licensed to Resell?

You can sell your 15-year-old X-Men comic books for extra cash on eBay, but can you do the same with an old copy of AutoCAD? The matter eventually may be decided in a Seattle courtroom.

When Timothy Vernor, who collects and sells vintage comics, listed AutoCAD R14 on eBay, the CAD giant cited the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to have the item removed and his license suspended. This happened on "at least five separate occasions," according to Vernor.

Autodesk's view, reflected in its attorney Andrew Mackay's letter to Vernor (and posted at, reads, "Autodesk software is licensed, not sold. When your customer purchased the package of AutoCAD . . . the customer purchased a license, or a limited right, to use the software. The limiting terms . . . [provide] that Autodesk software licenses are 'nontransferable,' meaning that they cannot be sold or transferred."

Vernor eventually got his eBay trading privilege restored, but he's also fighting back. In August, he filed a legal complaint stating, "The First Sale Doctrine allows the purchaser to transfer (i.e., sell or give away) a particular lawfully made copy of the copyrighted work without permission once it has been obtained . . . The DMCA was illegally used to have the items removed from the eBay site." The full text of the complaint is at, a site dedicated to tracking another Autodesk-related lawsuit.

Vernor is asking for $7,000 in compensatory damages for lost eBay sales, $350 for cost related to the filing, and $10 million in punitive damages. "This is a reasonable amount due to Autodesk's size and sales volume," he wrote in the complaint. And who should come to Vernor's aid but Public Citizen, a nonprofit organization founded by Ralph Nader. The consumer advocacy group has agreed to represent the eBay seller.

Caroline Kawashima, Autodesk's director of corporate communications, said, "We are aware of the complaint and are looking into the allegations made in the complaint. We will respond to the complaint in due course."

Product Knowledge is Power

Market researcher Aberdeen recently released a new report titled Simulation Lifecycle Management: Driving Better Engineering Decisions and Speed to Market.

According to the report, companies seeking the highest return on their product-performance data should:

  • 1. Centrally manage their simulation and testing models, configurations, and results
  • 2. Formally document how their simulation data, testing results, and product data drove product decisions in the development process
  • 3. Deploy a knowledge management system to capture lessons learned about product performance and wizards (or guides) to deliver it.

Cadalyst contributing editor Kenneth Wong explores innovative use of technology.

About the Author: Kenneth Wong

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