Frequently Asked Questions

Do you release results/statistics?
Yes and No. We do not release results or statistics specific to any individual system or vendor. Vendor participation and aggregate measures of system performance relative to particular test cases are discussed at the PDES, Inc. and prostep ivip Roundtables
Do you have to be a member of AFNeT, PDES, Inc. or the prostep ivip Association to participate?
Yes, you have to be member of at least on of the hosting organizations, and in addition, meet the following participation requirements:

have at least a prototype STEP translator: an implementation of a postprocessor (STEP import) and/or a preprocessor (STEP export) based on either AP203, AP209, AP214 or AP242.

sign a non-disclosure agreement

have public Internet access for using email and web

attend scheduled MBx Interoperability Forum meetings (four per year)

participate in conference calls (approximately 4 per year) actively collaborate in STEP Interoperability Testing

What is the relationship between the MBx Interoperability Forum interoperability testing and STEP conformance testing?
The MBx-IF encompasses aspects of both interoperability testing and conformance testing. We utilize the STEP conformance testing tools and techniques to validate the syntax, structure, and some level of the semantics in each STEP exchange file produced for testing. This validation is enforced prior to subsequent import of these files by other MBx-IF participants during the test procedure. The MBx-IF is a forum for interoperability testing because it tests how well products from numerous vendors communicate with each other, i.e. interoperate.
What are the benefits for vendors who participate in the MBx Interoperability Forum ?
Vendor participants are provided a forum where they can test their products to ensure they are interoperable with the STEP AP203, AP209, AP214 and AP242 translator products from other vendors . MBx-IF has proven invaluable in helping vendors accelerate their product development process, helping them to build conformance to the standard into their product during development, giving them access to STEP files from other vendors, and providing a forum for discussion of implementation issues.
What are the benefits for users?
Users get better and more reliable STEP translator products faster.
What are some tips for new members/participants of the MBx Interoperability Forum?
New members/Participants should:

attend the meetings that are held once every three months sponsored by AFNeT, PDES, Inc and prostep ivip. This is where issues and results are discussed, and implementation agreements are reached.

keep up with e-mail on the exploder. This is where testing procedures are discussed and agreed to and many “fuzzy” areas of the STEP standard are clarified — often with input from the original STEP authors/part owners.

What is the relationship between the MBx Interoperability Forum and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)?
The STEP standard was developed under the ISO. MBx-IF is testing various portions of the STEP standard, focussing on AP203, AP209, AP214 and AP242. The MBx Interoperability Forum also identifies issues with the STEP standard that it turns in as feedback to ISO using SC4 Enhancement and Discrepancy System (SEDS) reports.