Linking manufacturing software with Microsoft Azure (not so surprising) and Office 365 (huh?) seems to be the new trend.

I wrote previously about GE Predix. People were curious if that was a statement about GE’s cloud. I thought maybe it was about linking to Office. Here is an announcement from Plex with a similar initiative.

[I’ve taken some vacation and am working on at least three intense projects. So my posts have slowed. Hopefully I pick it up soon.]

Here is the news about Plex.

Plex plus Microsoft

Plex Systems has announced an integration with Microsoft Corp. aimed at making it easy for companies to connect Microsoft’s desktop productivity applications to the Plex Manufacturing Cloud. Plex has also leveraged Microsoft’s Azure platform as the foundation for the Plex Developer Portal, the company’s new gateway for customers and partners using Plex’s growing portfolio of REST Application Program Interfaces (APIs).

The integration is part of Plex Connect, the company’s open integration framework that makes it easier for manufacturers to connect people, things and applications to the Plex Manufacturing Cloud.

Plex Connect: Microsoft Office 365

  • The new Plex Workcenter Lookup app is now available on the Microsoft store.
  • The app enables users to connect, view and analyze manufacturing data from Plex in Office 365, making it easier for business users to leverage that data for getting work done in the desktop applications they use every day.
  • Built using Plex Connect REST APIs, the app enables real-time lookups, while maintaining role-based security for customer data.
  • Leveraging Plex’s APIs, customers and partners can also create their own connections and applications to interact with the Plex Manufacturing Cloud in ways that support their unique business objectives.

Plex Connect: Developer Portal

  • Plex also launched the company’s new developer portal, providing customers and partners with secure access to the company’s expanding portfolio of RESTful APIs.
  • Leveraging Microsoft Azure, the Plex Developer Portal takes advantage of the platform’s scalability, tooling and managed services to support Plex customers’ growing requirements for enterprise connectivity.
  • The Plex Developer Portal provides sample code, sandbox capabilities, documentation and other resources to help customers and partners build secure, robust connections between the Plex Manufacturing Cloud and third-party applications.

“Microsoft’s desktop productivity applications are fundamental to business, providing people and teams with flexible tools for running their day-to-day operations,” said Karl Ederle, group vice president, products at Plex Systems. “Our goal with Plex Connect is to make it easy for manufacturers to achieve a completely connected enterprise, with rich data always available to support business and customer objectives, whether through desktop applications or connections to other enterprise systems. The Azure platform is an ideal foundation for Plex Connect as we scale to meet the needs of global manufacturers.”

“Microsoft Office 365 and Plex Manufacturing Cloud are more valuable for our joint customers when we bring them together,” said Rob Howard, director, Office 365 Ecosystem, Microsoft. “The power to quickly pull real-time data from Plex’s manufacturing system of record directly into a tool like Excel enables professionals to use and analyze data in ways that support today’s most dynamic work environments.”

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