Let’s start with the most obvious question: Why would you go through the headache of an upgrade to a newer version when you already have everything running smoothly?
To answer this, I would start by asking several questions:
Are you currently using a version of Agile prior to 9.3.2?
Do you currently use a custom-built approval matrix solution?
Are you managing projects using the latest Microsoft Project file and need better support for them in Agile?
Does your company require the ability to manage resourcing calendar schedules for multiple global locations?
Is there a need to be able to display rich text, URLs or images in your Agile PLM product record?
Are you not satisfied with Agile PLM’s current AXIS-based web services framework for your web service integration needs?
If the answer to one or more of these is yes, then it’s definitely worthwhile looking into an upgrade. Your next question: How exactly will upgrading help with these concerns? Let’s delve into more details of the features and enhancements you will benefit from:
Agile now comes with a built-in Approval Matrix feature which can be enabled and configured by the Admin. Functional teams can be configured for routable objects and each person on the functional team is assigned a job function. The workflow can be configured to use the selected job function for approval and can dynamically select the right person from the assigned functional team.
With the latest release of Agile, you can easily import and export the latest Microsoft Project 2010/2013 XML files. This allows you to use Microsoft Project for managing projects and to be able to use them easily in Agile PPM as well. There have been several improvements to the PPM GANTT editor with each new release as well. Time reporting and financial systems can now integrate easily with the Timesheet using the SDK. With Agile 9.3.5, you can even work with multiple PPM projects at the same time using the same GANTT session. In addition to over a dozen other miscellaneous usability enhancements, the Task Assignment view has also been improved significantly to allow managers to better manage resource assignments.
The new calendaring feature enables you to mark national or regional holidays and exceptions to normal working days and allow for more accurate resource management and scheduling in PPM projects.
Admins can now define new output formats for ACS and can load XSLT on the output format to convert Agile XML to their required custom formats. ACS can also publish information about change dependencies. ATOs now contain an Action Items tab as well which allows for failure indication in case the Transfer Order needs to be retransmitted.
FILE HANDLING IMPROVEMENTS
File uploads in Agile PLM now leverage the new HTML5 based Web components. This means you will receive an instantaneous response for the file upload window as well as support for drag and drop. The Java applet used in earlier Agile PLM file upload versions is no longer invoked. There is also a slick file upload progress indicator in the File Upload Manager window as well as on the main Agile PLM web interface screen, next to the Home button.
ENHANCED CONTENT AUTHORING: LARGE TEXT FIELD
One of the notable additions to the types of fields available for use on the product record is the Large Text Field. It can contain up to 2 million characters of data and can render HTML content. This allows you to use image reference tags and the ability to display images from external sources. It also allows storing and displaying rich text content in the product record.
WEB SERVICE STACK UPDATES
The web services stack has been revised to employ JAX-WS instead of the 3rd party library dependent AXIS framework. This means better reliability, performance and web services security management using Oracle Web Services Manager (OWSM).
NEW DESIGN FILE RELEASE PROCESS
The latest version of Agile introduces a new Change subclass called Design File Change Orders (DFCO) which has an Affected Files tab instead of an Affected Items tab. This subclass allows designers to route multiple designs for approval without first creating items.
SECURITY IMPROVEMENTS WITH THE LATEST VERSION OF JAVA
The latest version of Agile PLM supports the latest Java update. The 64-bit JDK 8u20+ can be used and you benefit from having the latest security updates that are available.
For more information on Finding out how you can easily upgrade to Agile PLM 9.3.5: