Insanely Configurable Autodesk PLM 360 – Part 4

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Main Menu Designer

Before we see what the Blog workspace item form looks like we need to configure the Main Menu and add a menu item for the Blog workspace. Let’s create a category for the blog and put the blog workspace into it.

If there are more than one workspaces in a category, the menu item expands into a sub-menu containing menu items for each workspace in the category, as can been seen from the Main Menu Designer in the image above and the Main Menu in the image below.

The one thing I didn’t explain is the creation of users, groups and roles, which is pretty straight forward. I created a user called “deelip” and placed him in a new group called “Blog” to which I assigned a new role called “Blogger”. I gave the “Blogger” role access to the Blog workspace and it shows up in the Main Menu (see first menu item in image above).



I click the Blog menu item in the Main Menu and am taken the to Blog workspace. To add a new item I click the new button and am presented with form split up according to the sections I created earlier. This is what the Blog workspace item looks like.

Click to enlarge



This is just about the most basic thing that can be done in Autodesk PLM 360. Creating a workspace, defining the fields a workspace item, creating a layout for the item and adding the workspace to the Main Menu. I have merely scratched the surface of Autodesk PLM 360. If I get the time I may actually set up a blog with comments, moderation and stuff. Set up workflows, create relationships between workspace items, etc..

So is Autodesk PLM 360 insanely configurable? Its hard to say from the little that I did. But it seems pretty easy to configure. I mean, for someone who has no prior experience in a PLM system I was able to add an entirely new workspace to the PLM 360. And all this in about an hour of fooling around with the system and occasionally referring to the online help. If people actually put their minds to it, I think they could figure out and do a whole lot more.

How does Autodesk PLM 360 compare to other PLM systems out there? I don’t know because I haven’t configured any of them. But I will say this. To try out Autodesk PLM 360 all I did was fill out a simple form and I got an email with a URL, username and password. I didn’t have to download anything. I didn’t have to install anything. The system was ready to use out of the box. Or rather, as the folks at Autodesk put it, “There is no box”.

I strongly recommend that you try it out yourself. Visit

  • Anonymous

    Hmm, so it’s basically a CMS based web site (with a striking resemblance to Joomla) that has some predefined modules included on top of it. It may be insanely configurable, but I’d be insanely paranoid about the qualifications of the person doing the configuring if I was going to roll it out at BIG CORP, Inc.

  • Anonymous

    Deelip, welcome to PLM world! Excellent summary of how to create a workspace. Now you can record at least one PLM system you configured. At the same time, I agree with owenwengerd, this is pretty much similar to CMS system…

    • Kevin Quigley

      I know next to nothing about PLM systems so this is interesting to me. So basically reading between the lines all PLM is a database? So it does beg the question …. Why use an expensive CAD company one when there are robust relational systems like FileMaker around (which we use and have configured ourselves for project management)?

      So what does PLM do that a bog standard database can’t?

      •  Databases are good at holding hold and organizing data. If that’s the only thing that your business needs then Excel will do just fine. You don’t need PLM. Heck, people have been running successful engineering businesses using paper for centuries now.

        However, a business that needs to act and react in  a jiffy needs the data to not just sit there and wait for someone to edit and push it around. I believe that’s where PLM comes into the picture and leverages stuff like workflows that can be used to map a company’s business processes.

        PLM uses a database, but its far from being just a database.

        • Kevin Quigley

          Sorry apologies for being thick but for a small manufacturing business and small design company I’m not seeing what PLM does over a desktop database app. With FileMaker for example we can configure it easily incorporate any data types we need (images, PDF, links to files etc) for a couple of hundred pounds a seat for admin or free for runtime users.

          I thought the whole point of PLM was that it was linked to your CAD systems at Dave and open point, handled revisions and data issue etc. unless I’m seeing differently this Autodesk product doesn’t do that.

          I think this is the whole issue with PLM. Most people don’t know what it is. More to the point most CAD vendors have different interpretations of what it is.

          • Kevin Quigley

            Sorry damn text replacement! Should read at Save point not Dave!!!

      • Anonymous


        most of PLM systems uses database to create an abstraction level to manage data and processes. Many comes went DIY style and created homegrown PDM/PLM systems (based on RDBMS). Take a look here for more explanations –

        Best, Oleg

  • Just to add to some of the comments – the stuff Deelip was writing about as he mentioned is just the basics – Collecting Data.  In the default site there is a good example of this – Customer Records.

    However – the real fun comes when you layer on things like Workflow (full configurable, graphical), the ideas of Lifecycle States and Revisions….    And much more.

    Tie all this together to solve a business problem and you have PLM 🙂

    • Anonymous

      You’re right, Brian. When specific PLM behaviors applied, it will look different than CMS.

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