The Teamcenter Gateway product family has a new member called “Teamcenter Gateway for Enterprise Applications”, or T4EA. It is based on the same framework as the proven Teamcenter Gateway standard products for integrating SAP (T4S) and Oracle EBS (T4O) with Teamcenter. T4EA extends the capabilities of the Teamcenter Gateway products to integrate and connect to other enterprise application based on open standards such as web services, JDBC/ODBC or XML. T4EA is also available as an extension to T4S and T4O to enable existing customers to extend the level of integration with other legacy or enterprise application and support all process areas along the product creation and maintenance chain.
Some of the typical Teamcenter integration scenarios supported by T4EA are
- ERP systems other than SAP and Oracle EBS
The Teamcenter Gateway for Enterprise Applications can be used to integrate to various ERP systems such PSIpenta, BAAN, IFS ProAlpha etc. Once the communication layer is established based on one of the generic handlers provided, the business process mapping layer provides the same functionality as for the major ERP system integrations T4O and T4S. Typical use cases include transfer of parts and BOM, documents, vendor/supplier information, or even production planning depending on the capabilities of the ERP system.
- MES systems
Keeping the as built structure in PLM is very important to companies providing products that are running for decades like aircraft manufactures or military and defense contractors, to maintain the link between virtuality and reality. T4EA as a stand alone product or as an extension to T4S/T4O is able to connect to an MES system to read the as built information incl. serial numbers and various other attributes and to integrate that information to the PLM system.
- CRM systems
Some companies I have talked to over the last couple of months even think about keeping the as maintained structure in PLM to have the ability to run the services against the virtual product, T4EA helps gathering the necessary service request information from the CRM system and integrates that to the as maintained structure.
- Legacy systems
A lot of companies still have their mainframe systems for several reasons, use cases I have seen are generating part numbers, maintaining options and variants or usage BOMs. T4EA is able to connect to such systems to for example ensure that the Item ID assigned in the PLM system is gathered from the legacy part number system, or the options and variants relevant for the engineers in PLM are imported from the legacy system.
T4EA supports various migration scenarios, either PLM to PLM migration or migrating legacy system data to Teamcenter, but also to some extent helps during the migration of ERP systems. The benefit of using T4EA for your migration is that you can decide whether you want a big bang migration or a transition phase in which both systems are still available and data is transferred on demand. Such a migration style most likely ensures that only the data needed is migrated.
Integration Templates – Benefit from standards
For commercial enterprise applications (ERP or otherwise) that are sufficiently widely used in the Teamcenter community, it makes sense to go one step further and provide integration templates that offer standard integration best practices tailored to the specific capabilities of the enterprise application and to the needs of their customers. Stay tuned for more as T4EA gets adopted.