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Collaborative Product Development (Collaborative Product Design) (CPD) is a business strategy, work process and collection of software applications that facilitates different organizations to work together on the development of a product. It is also known as collaborative Product Definition Management (cPDM).


Although companies working together to develop a product in an extended enterprise is nothing new and most of the collaborative software technology being used has been around for some time, the bringing together of methods and software application tools into one discipline is relatively resent. This has come about due to a number of factors:

  • Increased globalization of commerce.
  • Increasing number of corporations with departments in different locations needing to work closer together.
  • Outsourcing of tasks.
  • Departments in same company (maybe due to takeovers and mergers) with different technology formats having to work closer together.
  • Companies working with partners who may have specialist knowledge.
  • Increasing role of 1st tier supplier an their importance to OEMs

Exactly what technology comes under this title does vary depending on who you ask; it however usually consists of the PLM areas of: Product Data Management (PDM); Product visualization; team collaboration and conferencing tools; and supplier sourcing software. It is generally accepted as not including CAD geometry authoring tools, but does include data translation technology.

Technologies and methods used[]


Collaborative software

  • email; chat (instant messaging); application and desktop sharing.

Specific to product data[]

  • Geometry and metadata

Difference levels of collaboration[]

  • Same PDM and CAD system.
    • Different locations, one or multiple servers
  • Different CAD systems
    • Product Visualization – neutral file format – view markup or multi-cad DMU (e.g. JT)
    • Data Interoperability
    • Data translation
  • Different PDM – EDM
    • XML

Data sharing[]

  • Web based portals.

Data translation[]

  • data exchange between CAD systems
    • STEP
    • IGES
    • DXF.
  • Product Data Quality (PDQ) - checkers

See also

Computer-supported collaboration

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