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Aras Announces the First True Internet Architecture for Product Lifecycle Management

New Architecture Dramatically Reduces Total Cost of Ownership

LAWRENCE, MASS. - November 12, 2002 - Aras Corporation, a provider of affordable, enterprise-class product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions, announced the recent release of Innovator 5: the next-generation, integrated application platform for the Innovator Application Suite. Innovator 5 delivers the first true Internet architecture specifically designed for PLM with prepackaged functionality for design, manufacturing, supply chain, quality management, tooling, and project management.

"Enterprise PLM solutions need to move to architectures that make customization and integration manageable," indicates Marc Halpern, Research Director and Lead PLM Analyst at Gartner Research. "PLM architectures must provide easy means for customization and integration to keep the total cost of ownership as low as possible and to quicken the time to achieve a return on investment."

Innovators self-describing system and use of run-time logic are radical departures from conventional enterprise software architectures. Total Cost of Ownership is drastically reduced because all of the business rules, data definitions, screens, and data structures are stored as XML in a standard relational database along with the data. Then, Innovator interprets the XML at run-time. Traditional enterprise applications require software developers to code, compile, and link system objects making customization, integration, and technology migration time consuming and costly.

The use of run-time logic enables real-time prototyping. Business rules, screens, fields, and even data structures can be changed in real-time by editing the XML definitions rather than compiling or linking object specific source code. As a result, tailoring, integration, and roll out of the Innovator Application Suite occur 5x faster and cost 5x less than conventional systems. Then, once in production functionality can continuously be enhanced to meet evolving customer needs.

Another benefit of Innovator 5 is the fact that due to the architecture customers will never have a legacy PLM system again. When a technology migration occurs system definitions and customizations are simply moved to the new technology along with the actual data because the system definitions are represented as XML and stored in the database.

"We looked at what customers really want and started with a clean sheet when we approached the definition of the architecture," states Peter Schroer, President and Founder of Aras. "From there we drew on our combined experience and lessons learned to come up with a unique, proprietary framework that is entirely open and standards-based."

Innovator 5 uses standard Internet protocols such as HTTP/HTTPS, XML, and SOAP and is based on standard database platforms including compatibility with Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and MySQL. The interface is entirely browser-based. An Active-X encapsulation of the XML/SOAP API is used for integration with Microsoft applications.

"In effect, any system that can send and receive XML can become a client, peer, or server," explains Schroer. "The results are that Innovator is straightforward to integrate, easy to learn, and Web services ready."

The security model is another important aspect of Innovator 5. For customers participating in e-business or online supply chain activities rigorous protection of critical intellectual property is paramount. The Innovator 5 architecture is built on a multi-level, identity-based security model that provides both protection and flexibility. User permissions are determined by both the established authorization settings and the users location at login. A company can grant an employee different access rights when working overseas as opposed to the headquarters office.

By developing a true Internet architecture Aras has brought enterprise-class PLM to mid-market manufacturers at an affordable price and delivers a dramatically lower Total Cost of Ownership. The combined result of the speed of installation, ease-of-use, and superior flexibility with the lower system, maintenance, and infrastructure costs is a rapid Return On Investment.

Innovator 5 is currently shipping general availability with prices starting at under $50,000.

About Aras Corporation
Aras Corporation provides manufacturing and engineering companies with affordable, enterprise-class Product Lifecycle Management solutions that dramatically reduce Total Cost of Ownership and drive rapid results. The Innovator Application Suite enables real-time prototyping and deployment getting customers up and running fast. Innovator implements 5x faster and costs 5x less than conventional systems. Comprehensive capabilities address the unique requirements of mid-sized manufacturing operations and divisions of Fortune 2000 companies while set pricing and shared licenses make Innovator cost effective to own. Customers include Rolls-Royce Naval Marine, Fox Electronics, and the U.S. Army Arsenal. Aras is privately held company headquartered in Lawrence, Mass. For additional information call (978) 691-8900 or visit