Product Data Management – what is it?

Product Data Management (PDM) usually means the PIM Software-based storage of data that come from product development. As a rule, these data include information that defines and presents the product. The product development data may consist of data records (of a database system) or documents coming from development systems. In addition to the data generated during development, Product Data Management systems also store information from later stages of a product life cycle, such as information from the production or logistics.



Diagram: Product Data Management (PDM) system in conjunction with other systems.

In most cases, Product Data Management in companies is based on a product model that has been developed for a specific industry or a single business. If not manually gathered, data for Product Data Management are acquired from the following upstream systems:

  • CAD (Computer-Aided Design) systems
  • These systems provide dimensions, components and material forms that are automatically or semi- automatically imported into the Product Data Management system.
  • PPC (Production Planning and Control)) systems
  • PPC provides data from the production area, such as data on raw materials etc., to Product Data Management.
  • ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems
  • ERP provides business information such as, for example, prices, packaging units and similar.
  • DAM (Document Asset Management) systems
  • DAM supplies Product Data Management with multimedia information, such as image data and videos.
  • Knowledge management systems
  • Provide internal information on the market situation, development, production processes and sales.
  • Other database systems

The foregoing reveals that Product Data Management is trying to generate a comprehensive picture of a product and its characteristics during the first phases of its lifecycle – aiming to provide information subsets for all downstream activities. Potential target systems include:

  • PIM (Product Information Management)
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
  • Project Management Systems
  • CMS (Content Management Systems)

Besides Product Data Management (PDM) another concept – Product Information Management (PIM) – has developed over the last years; the aim of this concept is to make product information available for marketing and sales activities. A PIM-System is used as a downstream system in this context.


>>> Goto Alterra Product Information Management (PIM)


Sepia GmbH & Co. KG

Ernst-Gnoss-Strasse 22
D-40219 Düsseldorf  - Germany

Phone: +49 211 51 419 75

Phone alternative: +49 211 74 958 712 0


Looking for consultation or a web demo?
Get it here.