Product Lifecycle Management Blogs by SAP
Dive into product lifecycle management news, learn about digitalizing PLM for the digital supply chain, and stay informed with product updates from SAP.
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As the summer holidays are ending, we hope you have taken time to re-energize. Our development team has been working diligently during this time to prepare for this highly anticipated release of SAP Enterprise Product Development (EPD). This latest version builds on its foundational strengths, offering an array of cutting-edge features designed to revitalize the product development journey. As a result of this release, companies can expect improved agility, reduced time-to-market, and ultimately, a competitive edge in today's dynamic business landscape. We recently hosted a webinar that delved deeper into these topics and offered firsthand expertise. If you missed it or wish to revisit the discussions, you can watch the full recording here. Now, let's dive into the latest updates:

Product Innovation Management

Product Innovation Management provides customers the capability to execute crowd innovation campaigns, overseeing the complete innovation journey – from gathering initial ideas to refining and prioritizing needs linked to specific requirements. Users seek a process that is not only user-friendly but also efficient, with a focus on maintaining traceability. With our latest release, customers can now customize fields in both the "Idea Submission" and "Evaluation Questionnaire" dialogues. Additionally, we've introduced several usability enhancements.

Model-based Systems Engineering

The engineering capabilities in the solution provide customers the ability to manage all product data early in the design phase, starting with structured requirements that can be translated into system models and validated through test cases. Access to the correct and reliable information and product data is the key to efficient product development processes. By managing the relationships between data and artifacts such as requirements, system architecture models, and test plans, you can track the flow of information and product data along product development processes. With this release, users benefit from better usability by coloring all unexpanded nodes within impact and lineage analysis and faster navigation by supporting direct links to referenced requirements. In addition, new requirements with similar characteristics can be generated more efficiently with usability improvements. 

Enterprise Product Structure

Engineers need to create new product structures efficiently during the early stages of development. As a product goes through its lifecycle, they need tools to easily compare these structures and spot the changes made over time. It's crucial to recognize similar parts within a structure and track them across different lifecycle stages and views. For end-to-end processes, the product structure should be able to sync with any S/4HANA version that customers choose. The enterprise product structure can now include products already listed in S/4HANA, as well as those still being defined. These structures can be compared using different versions, effectivities, or baselines, and the differences are clearly shown in the application. Also, each part within a product structure can be uniquely identified across various structures, especially after any changes made . It's worth noting that product structures can now integrated with the S/4HANA Cloud, public cloud edition.

Configuration Management

Companies attach specific meanings to lifecycle phases, and establishing these during the creation of a new configuration plan should be controlled. Every lifecycle phase is unique and has varied requirements when it comes to setting baselines. Sometimes, the entire structure needs a baseline, while other times, only specific levels are targeted. With the new "Configure Baselines and Configuration Plans" App, you can now use templates for lifecycle phases, making the creation process more efficient and controlled. These baseline profiles clarify the depth of a baseline, like the extent of a BOM. This means you can tailor baselines to suit each lifecycle phase perfectly. Plus, the app streamlines the creation of configuration plans, enhancing their overall quality.


Collaboration aims to serve as the go-to platform for both internal and external communication, whether it's shared documents or structured product data. The ability to seamlessly exchange, sometimes massive, files through a streamlined process is essential for efficient work. With our latest release, users can now view the status of a collaboration in their preferred language and have the flexibility to pause or resume large file uploads without creating new versions. The update enhances transparency, letting users easily identify which tasks align with specific business processes. Plus, tasks can now be sorted for a quick overview. For administrators, the new option to export or import collaboration types simplifies the process of establishing new collaboration models based on successful existing ones. This release also boasts several usability enhancements, ensuring collaborations are set up and run smoothly.

Specifciation Management

Both discrete and process industries handle sensitive product data that shouldn't be accessible to everyone in a system. Sometimes, it's vital to share information with external parties at specific moments. This necessitates the capability to fine-tune access to specifications at individual version levels and link properties to respective product categories. Attaching documents like certifications or lab results to these specifications is also crucial, serving as essential evidence. For those managing numerous specifications, visual aids like thumbnails and image content can be invaluable for easy identification. Ultimately, customers aim to safeguard their R&D insights digitally, ensuring only authorized individuals access the data. They also want a seamless user experience when handling specifications. Our latest release offers an enhanced authorization framework, enabling precise version access control for specifications, dynamic property assignments based on product categories, and the ability to incorporate documents and imagery within specifications.

Intelligent Handover

In the area of production engineering, Manufacturing BOMs (MBOMs) are typically created as a first step. This is followed by establishing a Routing object which lays out the specific steps for product manufacturing. Subsequently, components are allocated to these operations by users. In certain situations, users will first generate a Routing template, based on which they'll create MBOMs, and then delegate components using this template. Historically, the creation of both Routing and MBOMs involves a multi-step procedure. With the latest release we signficantly improved and harmonized these process steps. The new Routing Mode empowers users to not only create and link routing to a product, but also manage component allocation seamlessly. The outcome? These allocations metamorphose into BOM items in the workflow. With this integrated solution, customers now have a singular platform to construct the Manufacturing BOM and oversee component allocation. The result is a streamlined handover process.

Looking for more information?

You can find details and additional assets of each innovation in the SAP Road Map Explorer. Check out the SAP Help Portal for further documentation and ask your questions in our community. Be assured you will get the best possible answer by our community and experts in a fly! 

About the author

Ismail Serin is the Head of Product Management of SAP PLM. Follow him on LinkedIn to get the latest product news about our SAP PLM solutions at SAP.