PDM Interoperability Forum


The goals of the PDM Interoperability Forum are to:

  • Develop international PDM interoperability recommended practices documents, completing the international PDM interoperability standards,
  • Establish shared test activities in the PDM area, based on agreed and reliable methods.

The objectives, missions and high levels principles of the PDM-IF are described in the PDM-IF White Paper.


Joint tests by developers as well as agreed best practices for users are the foundation for the interoperability of standards-based solutions. One of the main tasks performed by the PDM-IF is therefore drawing up best practices for implementing PDM2PDM collaboration scenarios, as well as CAD and PDM interoperability cases, based on the STEP AP242 XML Domain Model linked to ED geometry data. Based on the requirements identified in these use cases, implementation guidelines (so-called “Recommended Practices”) are created and validated in joint test rounds by the participating vendors. The PDM-IF is conducted jointly by prostep ivip and AFNeT associations. It enables strategic exchange of information and experiences for users and system vendors. 

The figure below illustrates the positioning of the PDM-IF:


The STEP AP242 data exchange functionalities that have been covered by PDM-IF test rounds and Recommended Practices documents are describe on the “Use Cases” page. The resulting Recommended Practices are available for download on the “Documents” page.

Current Scope

These main use cases are currently in progress:

  • Fasteners (3D geometry, parameters, mated structure, configuration & effectivities)
  • Version Graph Effectivities (new way of configuring the product like a software product)
  • M-BoM to E-BoM relationships
  • Data Classification for Export Control

The implementors will switch to the Edition 4 of STEP AP242 to support the new External Element Reference mechanism, Visual Issue Management, Delta Exchange, Flexible Parts, Property Groups, LOTAR Validation Properties and further features. . This will include testing CAx-PDM collaboration scenarios with other implementor groups.

After gaining experience using Schematron Rules to check the conformity of the STEP XML data to the Recommended Practices, a new advanced quality check tool has been developed for easy adding of new rules, easy extraction of the report and high performance.