What is PDM or Product Data Management to SAP? Product data is the foundation of your company. All the data and documents that define your product from idea to discontinuance. The three key categories of PDM are creating data, using data, and managing data. Creating data is all about the integration of authoring systems into SAP PLM to start the process of defining your product and then creating all the supporting data and documents to digitally define it. Using data is about sharing the engineering data with internal downstream users as well as outside suppliers in a visual and easy to consume way. And finally managing data is about managing the change process at the product level not just through R&D.
Components of SAP PLM include:
Specification data base - it allows to maintain chemical-physical, regulatory and toxicological data and the chemical composition of the product. It represents a chemical view on the product which can be used to create safety data sheets and labels highly automated and to support the management of dangerous goods.
DMS -- the Document Management System where supporting product documentation is securely stored
ECM -- Engineering Change Management -- a solution to manage both discrete and process changes at the full product level
RD -- Recipe Development where you can create and manage Recipes, Formulas, and the BOM's to create process based products
ACM -- Access Control Management where you can provide secure data access to suppliers for process collaboration
SAP’s definition of PLM is much broader than it's competitors but it's definition of PDM is focused on building a solid foundation using a single source of the truth and leveraging our integration to the back end processes in ECC. This is why SAP PLM and PDM are a necessary tools within the workplace.