CPO: Plug and Play in IT

Industry 4.0, IoT, and other trends are clearly driving a rise in complexity. This relates not only to products but also to processes used to develop and produce them as well as the IT systems in use here. With this greater complexity comes greater costs. While industry is increasingly facing challenges related cost pressures, legacy systems, and the demand for greater agility and flexibility, the issue of vendor lock is also being heard more and more.

The Code of Openness (CPO) is an initiative of the prostep ivip Association, sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, which seeks to address the associated challenges by taking a strategy unique anywhere. The acronym ‘CPO’ originally stood for Code of PLM Openness.

The aim of the CPO is to create openness that will make it easy to integrate IT systems into connected IT environments, such as company networks and IoT. The code combines IT requirements with those of the users. The CPO is a standard catalogue that defines measurable criteria (‘shall,’ ‘should,’ ‘may’) for the following categories: interoperability, infrastructure, extensibility, interfaces, standards, architecture, and partnership.

Alongside the CPO initiative that is working to promote the use of the CPO in industrial applications, an accredited CPO certification program was set up.

How You Benefit

CPO is a clear signal and invitation to all global market players, whether they are members of the prostep ivip Association or not, to participate.

The CPO is an important step towards the future for IT vendors as well as IT customers in aerospace and defense, automotive, mechanical engineering, and shipbuilding. The initiative is necessary to speed up the pace at which innovation and technical progress make their way into the IT systems in use in industry.

IT customers can stake out a clear position together with IT service providers and IT vendors and outline their basic requirements for PLM openness, helping achieve the agility, flexibility, and speed they need to further develop their PLM system environments while also safeguarding their investments.

Along with seeking certification, IT vendors and IT service providers receive harmonized, clearly defined requirements regarding the openness of IT systems as well as the wide range of information they need to create an innovative product range. Long-term business strategies are made easier by creating openness in this area. A commitment to the CPO does not mean giving your services away. It means working together with your customers and other parties involved to establish the parameters of a strong partnership.
In short, the code allows you to improve your market position.


Sebastian Dörr

Vice President Sales, CONWEAVER GmbH 

With effective data management, industrial companies want to make the most of the value of their data. Openness and standards help industrial users to avoid vendor locks and to freely design their IT architectures. For us as a provider of a low-code Big Graph platform, openness of authoring systems is essential to make the value of data comprehensively usable for our customers. Certification in CPO helps with the concrete assessment of "What does openness actually mean or what do you pay lip service to?"

If the pressure, the necessity used to come more from the direction of individual systems and their data, today interoperability and collaboration are becoming more and more relevant in increasingly complex product life cycles, both internally and across companies. That is why CONWEAVER is involved in the CPO Core Team and is happy to actively drive the concretization of e.g. KPIs of openness but also the (license) contractual basis.

Further information



Andrea Denger, AVL List GmbH

Do you have any questions concerning the CPO?

We are eager to help you!

prostep ivip Verein
Dr. Mario Leber
Tel.: +49 151 2043 25228
E-Mail: mario.leber@prostep.com

CPO Core Team

AVL List
Dassault Systèmes
Mercedes-Benz AG
Siemens PLM