Conference paper

System data management: An inter-disciplinary collaboration architecture for systems engineering

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This paper presents a novel approach to integrating systems engineering (SE) artifacts and methods with discipline-specific detailed design artifacts and processes, for the purpose of facilitating inter-disciplinary collaboration. In particular, it addresses the lifecycle management of complex products involving mechanical, electrical, electronics and software aspects, and being designed following a formal product development methodology. The primary motivation of the approach is to capture and maintain the traceability between the concrete artifacts stored in discipline-specific "repositories" and the abstract artifacts used to support system-level decisions as well as system integration. The proposed approach acknowledges the fundamental differences that exist between the various engineering disciplines and therefore favors a loose coupling based on a process-centric management of the artifacts traceability links. These considerations lead to an interdisciplinary collaboration and infrastructure pattern called "system data management" (SDM), with the role of enforcing the integrity of the inter-disciplinary traceability between artifacts. As a byproduct, this approach suggests a novel perspective on product data management (PDM) and software configuration management (SCM) integration that sharply contrasts with point-to-point integration solutions. The authors have implemented a prototype based on a service-oriented architecture (SOA) and existing PDM and SCM technologies. Copyright © 2005 by ASME.