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The Code of PLM Openness (CPO) is a worldwide unique approach and runs under the patronage of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). CPO is a prostep ivip initiative, for establishing a common understanding on openness of IT systems in the context of PLM between IT customers, IT vendors and IT service providers. Thereby, the CPO goes far beyond the requirement to provide IT standards and related interfaces. It defines measurable criteria (‘shall’, ‘should’, ‘may’) for the following categories: interoperability, infrastructure, extensibility, interfaces, standards, architecture as well as partnership.

Key Aspects of PLM Openness

Through the CPO, prostep ivip made openness a headline. It combines business with IT requirements. CPO is a living document and is in a continuous enhancement process.

The Code of PLM Openness is not an IT standard; it is a vehicle for establishing transparency with regard to openness, based on voluntary self-commitment of the participating companies. Thus, the CPO allows every IT customer and IT provider in the market a clear positioning with regards to „PLM Openness“.

In order to apply the CPO as intended, in 2013 the elaboration of a CPO Commentary was started. The way of working within the initiative is documented in the related Bylaws. Both documents are integral part of the CPO Download-Package, together with how-to’s and templates.

Every company - worldwide and independent of a prostep ivip Membership – is invited to participate.

The Motivation

For companies, who want to enhance their innovative ability and/or be independent from a specific software vendor, openness is set as a topic.

As depicted below exemplarily, those who want to integrated different domains and departments need the freedom of choice where to apply which tool and how to integrate it into the existing landscape. And the flexibility is needed to modify this landscape agile at any time with regard to changing market requirements.

Example of part of a PLM environment, demonstrating the necessity of openness for connecting a variety of IT systems from different IT vendors.

As no requirements, such as legal regulations, standards or guidelines, have been established to this effect so far, prostep ivip started this initiative in the form of an open community for IT customers, IT vendors and IT service providers. 

Your Benefit

The initiative is a clear signal and invitation to all players in the market - worldwide and independent of a prostep ivip Membership - to participate.

For introducing innovations and technological progress faster to the PLM system environment of the industry, a Code - in the sense of a jointly formulated self-commitment - is an important step into the future, for both IT vendors as well as IT service providers and IT customers in aerospace & defense, automotive, mechanical engineering and shipbuilding.

IT customers can take together with IT service providers and IT vendors a clear position and can express their basic requirements for PLM openness, facilitating the agility, flexibility and speed they need in the further development of their PLM system landscape and providing investment protection at the same time.

Thus, IT vendors and IT service providers receive harmonized, clearly formulated requirements for the openness of IT-systems and the consolidated findings they need for an innovative product portfolio. Long-term business strategies are easier to pursue with PLM Openness. A commitment to the CPO does not mean to give away achievements. It means to specify the conditions for a strong partnership with your customers and third parties involved.

In short: you can strengthen your market position.

CPO Version 1.4

CPO Download Package

CPO Core Team

AVL List
Dassault Systèmes
Siemens PLM


Matthias Keller, Volkswagen

Haben Sie Fragen zum CPO?

We are eager to help you!

prostep ivip Verein
Dr. Steven Vettermann
Tel.: +49 6151 9287 405
Fax: +49 6151 9287 326
E-Mail: steven.vettermann(at)


We are eager to help you with any questions concerning your project or selection of publications

+49 6151 9287-336


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