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Challenges to the NII: The Barriers to Product Data Sharing



David A. Sauder, Mary Mitchell, Allison Barnard Feeney


Industry has a need to share data among functions within its own enterprise and among its suppliers and partners. A standard specification for manufacturing data is needed that can support the entire product development and support life-cycle. The emerging international standard called the Standard for the Exchange of Product Data (STEP) is addressing this need by specifying what data is needed within industrial application areas, how it should be represented, and how it should be exchanged. The Application Protocol Development Environment (APDE) is a software project under development at the National Institute of Standards and technology designed to facilitate the development, acceptance, and use of STEP. This paper discusses the status of STEP, barriers to the development, acceptance, and use of STEP, and the benefits of using STEP in industry. Aspects of the APDE project are also discussed including current status, plans for a STEP information base, use of the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) for facilitating the information base, barriers to the project, and expected benefits for STEP.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 5498
Report Number


data sharing, enterprise, manufacturing data, PDES, STEP


Sauder, D. , Mitchell, M. and Barnard, A. (1994), Challenges to the NII: The Barriers to Product Data Sharing, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 23, 2024)


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Created January 1, 1994, Updated November 10, 2018