Will Effectivity destroy product traceabilty?


Sorry for the clickbait title. But I really struggle to understand the purpose of the Effectivity feature integrated in newer Aras versions.
It tried to find somebody at Ace Europe 2018 who could explain me the practical use of Effectivity, but somehow even most of the Aras employees didn´t seem to understand the feature.

From my current point of view, it´s a nice feature…that will only work in theory. I especially struggle to understand how Effectivity shall integrate into the regular change and variant management.

One answer I got was: "Effectivity defines an item structure based on conditions, like date." 
So is Effectivity equal to Change Management – just without revision handling? But how can stackholders then identify an item in reality? How do they track changes?

Let´s assume you have 3 versions of a product with the same revision E, but 3 effectivity structures. How will you handle these products in your storage area? What about product compliance? How do employees know, that the three products are not equal (maybe via serial number?)? And will a revision change destroy your effectivy structures?

Would be happy if somebody could explain me the puprose of effectivy and how to use it! Maybe things are easier, than I rate them right now.


  • I read a few things about Effectivity in general and now have a better feeling for the topic. We have to differentiate between two BOM types:

    • Standard revision based BOM -> we use 100% BOMs, revision helps to differentiate the BOMs.
    • Effectivity based BOM -> 130% BOM filtered by conditions. Typically used in the ERP system.

    Unfortunately all Aras demos and slides I have seen were very tech focused and they didn´t describe how the two BOM variants are intended to play together. The use cases were very theoretically.

    But I suddenly had a moment of enlightenment! From my point of view, the current guide lines and demos provided by Aras are misleading. They indicate that Effectivity is some kind of Variant manager. But that´s not how it is intended to work.

    Effectivity makes sense, when we see it as a manager for Alternates and Substitutes!

    Our standard revision based BOM will still be a 100% BOM, but it contains all Alternates and Substitutes. So we will get a 100% BOM with 30% of possible alternative Parts. Effectivity is intended to differentiate these alternative BOM content at certain conditions like date!

    Now the big question: Am I right?

    Pro argument: It´s logical! This way Effectivity neither conflicts with Change Management nor with the MPP EBOM! Serial numbers helps to identify what was delivered at a certain time. If the 3 Aras employees I talked to were trained with the same slides I worked with, it´s obvious why they also didn´t understand it :-)

    Con argument: None of the Aras demos ever used Alternates or Substitutes. They never talked about change management or the MBOM. The demos I have seen were all very tech-focused and just worked with the standard EBOM. 

  • I would be glad, if someone could give me a second opinion!

  • Although still nobody were able to answer this question, I will not give up on this topic. I realized, that I have to look at the whole Effectivity topic in a much larger scale. 

    I have found an old slide deck from 2012 were effectivity were definied as followed:


    This concept sounds excellent! And it shows, that we shouldn´t have a PLM-centric view at Effectivity. The above concept requires access to the ERP system, like SAP of similar. This could be achieved with Federation.

    Then instead of using effectivity on our own EBOM (which I somehow will never understand) we use effectivity on the corresponding federated data. It´s just a different kind of tree-grid-view, but it would perfectly blend in.