Transform Manifesto Principle #3: Interoperability Everywhere

by | Mar 25, 2024 | Digital Transformation, Model-Based Enterprise

Engineering data should be interoperable across IP owners, users, and software applications.

This is the third article in a series about the principles of the Transform Manifesto. If you want to start at the beginning, go here.

Currently, most engineering documents are stored in PDF files and PDF is a terrible container for data that restricts the potential value of the information. Information stored in PDF files is treated as standalone static data that is not linked to related pieces of information and does not get updated by changes in the digital thread (e.g. customer spec changes, changes to industry standards and regulations, etc). One piece of information is rarely ever used in a vacuum, but rather, answers to questions often require multiple pieces of data from multiple disconnected sources. This forces users to constantly move from one source to another (aka “silo hop”) to aggregate all the information they need for the task at hand. This becomes even more tedious and time-consuming when data is spread across internal and external sources.

Interoperability refers to the ability of different systems, components, or types of data to work together effectively, despite their differences. This is distinctly different from integration which is the process of combining different systems, components, or data into a single, unified system to improve efficiency and provide more value.


Interoperability liberates engineers from the limitations of standalone static data and delivers the answers they need faster.

In a true interoperable digital thread, data elements such as requirements, references, tables, graphs, equations, test methods and more are intrinsically linked based on relationships, dependencies, and shared concepts. This shared network of intelligence can feed an AI-driven platform to identify, contextualize, and deliver the right information to users at the point of need, in any application. All stakeholders have access to current, complete, and authoritative information. Answers to crucial questions are at your fingertips, effortlessly interconnected, and always up-to-date. Each IP owner manages and controls their respective data and end-users can only view what their permissions or license allows. Giving IP owners full control of their information ensures that any changes made by the IP owners are instantaneously communicated to all relevant users, eliminating the need for manual updates and reducing the risk of outdated information.

Interoperability liberates engineers from the limitations of standalone static data and gets users the answers they need faster. We think it’s time for the engineering community to embrace interoperability, pursue collaborative solutions, and help engineers make better decisions, faster.

What do you think? Do you spend too much time silo-hopping to find the information you need? If you want to create genuine interoperability across all your engineering documentation and applications, let’s talk.

If you want to read all seven principles of the Transform Manifesto, start here.