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09 September 2004

UGS Introduces Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Industry’s First Common Programming Interface with NX 3, Enabling Unprecedented Access to Digital Product Development Functionality

UGS Also Introduces New NX 3 Journaling Utility that Records Macros in Widely Used Visual Basic Language and Leverages the Same Common Software Programming Interface

FOR RELEASE Thursday, September 9, 2004

PLANO, Texas – UGS, a leading global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services, today announced the next generation development toolkit for its NX™ digital product development software.  Based on the PLM industry’s first common application program interface (API), this toolkit provides a foundation that will enable users to automate virtually any NX interactive function using their choice of the world’s most popular software programming languages.

“This is the first time a supplier of digital product development software is designing a Common API and building in support for all of the industry’s most popular programming languages” said Elango Ramanathan, automation director at Tech Mold Inc. and chairperson of the Programming Tools Technical Committee for PLM World.  “The architecture of the Common API also makes available to automation users all of the functionality available in the software’s interactive user interface.  By designing the Common API in this way, UGS is creating a powerful tool for users of its NX application.”

Language neutral; powerful access; “open by design”

Available with the release of NX 3, which is scheduled for September 15, the new programming toolkit provides a single framework that makes it possible to support multiple programming languages with identical functional access to NX capabilities.  The new Common API will initially support the C++ and .NET programming environments, followed by Java.  In addition, NX 3 will include a new journaling utility – used to capture and record repetitive tasks – that is also built on the same Common API.  This utility automatically generates a scripted program in the widely used Visual Basic language that can be easily combined with Visual Basic applications developed in the .NET environment.

“UGS’ industry-leading PLM Open business model serves as the enabling architecture to ensure our entire product line is ‘open by design,’” said Chuck Grindstaff, executive vice president, PLM Products, UGS.  “By creating a common programming interface between the NX functional core and the world’s most widely used programming environments and languages, UGS is breaking new ground in creating customer value through open solutions.”

NX Common API features

With the release of NX 3, users will have the ability to create custom programs using C, C++ or any of the languages supported by the .NET environment, including Visual Basic .NET.  Users will also have access to a new journaling tool that automatically generates Visual Basic .NET code.  All of these programming environments, as well as the Java environment to be supported in the future, will interface with NX core functionality through the same Common API foundation.

Common API features in NX 3 include:

§        NX Open for .NET – The new API for use with Microsoft’s .NET framework will be released with NX 3.  This API provides complete access to NX core application functionality, allowing users to create advanced automation programs using any of the .NET-compliant languages including Visual Basic.  Because the new API is built on the .NET framework, users can also take advantage of all the features and benefits provided by the .NET framework.

§        Open C API – This API is a direct programming interface to NX that allows users to create custom applications using the popular programming languages C and C++.  It is used by NX customers, partners and internal developers to produce unique applications that augment the NX suite of products.  Leading manufacturers have benefited from Open C by developing custom applications for items such as airfoil surface creation, automotive suspension design, off-line plotting, mold cooling channel layout and stamping die design.  The Open C API has been recognized by independent auditors as one of the most stable and reliable programming interfaces in the PLM industry.

§        Journaling – The new Journal utility is a robust, Visual Basic-based macro tool that records, edits and replays interactive NX sessions.  Journals can be used for automating repetitive tasks and workflows, rapidly creating auto tests and documenting error conditions.  Using the same commands supported by the new .NET API, the Journal utility generates segments of actual working automation code.  Journals can also be edited and enhanced with simple programming constructs and user interface components to produce a rapidly-generated customized program.

About UGS
UGS is a leading global provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services with more than 3.1 million licensed seats and 42,000 clients worldwide.  Headquartered in Plano, Texas, the company promotes openness and standardization and works collaboratively with its clients in creating enterprise solutions enabling them to transform their process of innovation and thus begin to capture the value of PLM. 

Note:  UGS and NX are registered trademarks or trademarks of UGS Corp. or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries.  All other trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks belong to their respective holders.