Inside eQube®
Subscribe to our blogs
Featured blog


Establishing a Digital Thread

eQube<sup>®</sup>- Data As a Service (DaaS) based Digital Thread

Digital Thread is an integrated Digital Information map of the entire life cycle of a product or process. This digital information map is established as the data / information flows through various systems in the product’s life cycle or process.

A product’s life cycle consists of various stages: concept capture, requirements, system architecture design, engineering design, simulation, development, manufacturing planning and operations, supply chain, quality management, MRO, CRM, and product retirement. 

Some of the examples of enterprise processes are:

  1. ‘Customer delight process’ that begins with marketing efforts to capture leads or new customers leading to sales cycle, delivery of product or service and after-sales service for customer delight.  It encompasses the entire life cycle of customer capture and customers’ experience with the company. 
  2. ‘New program capture process’ that involves capturing requirements and deliverables of the new program through proposal development leveraging prior experience data (engineering, technical, sustainment operations and cost, financial, competitive data, etc.) through submittal and win. 

Using eQube®- Data As a Service (DaaS), a digital persistence schema can be defined to capture minimum but necessary information about each key entity from each of the participating systems and its association with other entities.  With its 75+ released connectors, eQube platform is capable of connecting to any system (homegrown – any database or COTS – ALM, PLM, ERP, MES, planning, asset management or sensory data / big data) with data in any format, with unique object models, APIs, and speed of data. As the data flows through the product or process life cycle, relevant actual information is captured for each node in the digital persistence repository.  Connections are established (automatically or manually) across the nodes delivering the Digital Thread. 


Leveraging eQube® analytics suite, the Digital Thread can be intuitively visualized with an ability to identify orphan threads, or nodes associated with a product, project, program, or a system.  Impact of change at a particular node can easily be visualized across the upstream and downstream systems.  It delivers navigable relationships across the product life cycle or process.

In summary, having a comprehensive Digital Thread substantially helps any organization to be highly effective and efficient in delivering products or processes that are game changing in terms of speed, quality, cost, and profitability.  For some organizations it may help with first mover advantage for their products underpinning sustained competitive advantage.

A digital thread solution has the following core capabilities:

  • Provides ability to define various “contributing systems” (application set) and their corresponding data-elements and associations.
  • Provides the ability to version it and establish the definition of that version.
  • Has ability to configure various system-events which would indicate changes in the system, leading to:
    • Creating and updating digital thread elements and linkages amongst these elements in an automated fashion.
    • Creating notification (s) when “released” thread’s boundaries are violated.
  • Provides APIs and user experience for augmenting (add/mod/soft delete of elements and linkages) it with complete auditing capabilities.
  • Provides “where used” and “impact analysis” for complete traceability.
  • Provides intuitive visualizations which would assist the business in utilizing “digital thread” capabilities to the fullest.

eQ’s approach for establishing a comprehensive digital thread using eQube® Platform is based on following key tenets:

  • It is not owned by any application/systems/repositories (System of Record - SoR) which is supporting and performing a specific business function. For example, ALM, PLM, MES systems do not own digital-thread/digital-twin unless the entire entity-set is within their own deployed instance.
  • It spans multiple entities and relations within a SoR or across multiple SoRs.
  • Data flows can inherently become the sources for automating and advancing it. That is the reason eQube platform uses data-model-mappings between SoRs for defining dataflows, defining entity associations, and persisting in a graphDB.
  • No customization should be used to support extensions to the digital thread.
    • None of the conventional point-to-point integrations (custom or otherwise) can support these extensions unless additional customizations are incorporated. Whereas digital thread persistence and extension are a norm for any eQube platform-based solution/integration
  • It should be persisted in a graph database for ease of navigation and fast search / retrieval.
    • eQube platform has in-built capabilities for “digital-persistence” in the form of a graph, and that capability is necessary for creating “digital-thread” solution. This basic capability along with 75+ connectors allow eQ to define digital thread across the enterprise in a uniform and consistent manner.
  • Solution should provide roll-out flexibility for the customers.
    • eQube based digital thread solution allows a customer to define and roll-out its functionality in a phased manner supporting subset of entities and applications in each release.

More Blog Entries