These are changing times, everything is possible… so why not challenging some really big guys…

Poor little SimpleCom, surrounded by the Big Three, and in big danger…

Everyone knows Africa’s Big Five; the (ERP/)CPQ’s Big Three are SAP, Oracle and Microsoft with their corresponding products like LO-VC/IPC, CPQ Cloud, Dynamics, etc. — which BTW are really heavy tanks! They kinda dominate the CPQ market, with SAP as market leader (rule of thumb: SAP = Oracle + MS)… But, that could be over, sooner or later, because…. here come’s a new challenger: SimpleCom!

SimpleCom is a word composed of Simple and Com[mercial] — standing for a simple approach to describe commercial data; by…


There’re many shades of Gray, but can there be more Blacks than one?

Two or three shades of Black… obviously…

Today’s CPQ solutions are typically client-server based. Depending on some user interactions, the back-end does something and sends something back to the front-end, typically via the Internet. Easy as it can be… but the more content comes into play, the more round-trip optimizations might be required, because it’s all about the User Experience, isn’t?

For our heavy-weight 3D stuff we thus should think about incremental ways to reduce the data traffic after each configuration step. This becomes even more relevant in case of configuring multiple articles at…


No-one, really no-one, likes to do testing. But for complex models it’s simply a must-have!

Can you find the Easter Eggs? Two identical entries…

No matter if parametric or super parametric data (Episode #1), the implementation of real product life-cycles is challenging! Why is this?

On the one hand, there ALWAYS can happen something that makes your models not fully correctly working anymore:

  • Some unwanted change in the ERP data such as a modified id of a product, property or property value,
  • Some explicit change in the ERP data such as a modified id of a product, property or property value,
  • Some updated software component, directly or even indirectly,


Our Interactors really believe they live in a DOM. Hope they don’t read this Episode…

The World’s first Visual Unit Tests

You think, cross-platform 3D representations is the heavy part? Actually, cross-platform Interactions are much harder to implement! We now continue where Episode #7 did end…

There’re two general approaches to describe interactions in an abstract way: One approach defines a complete set of all possible interactions with their corresponding parameters, and each run-time environment needs to fully implement this. The other one is to specify an API that is capable of realizing interactive behavior and prescribe one (or more) languages that are used to implement…


Existing CPQ/ERP configurators are sooo powerful — sometimes, however, simply not powerful enough…

One Sideboard, out of Hundreds…

In a Perfect world, there’s a clean separation of commercial configurator and the visualization add-on. All non-visual content comes from the configurator and the visualization system does only focus on making this visible. Why should this be broken? Because there’s no perfect world? Yeah, maybe… but there’re also some serious reasons to provide an additional configuration layer outside the CPQ system (i.e. off shore):

  • The original CPQ data may simply not be suited for easy, intuitive user interfaces. For instance, if the user must navigate thru deep…


Mr. Ford did invent mass production for Cars. Here’s an assembly line for 3D products!

A few lines JSON + magic wand create some nice 3D

As we’ve learned in Episode #1, creating smart objects that adopt themselves to commercial configuration changes is not that easy, and there’re both parametric and super-parametric ways to achieve this. One option to implement super parametrics is programming. Another one, that even does not require programmers but some basic understanding in computer science, is presented in the following.

Going thru dozens of price lists we found more and more repeating entities, which are more or less similar but differ in variations. The higher the number…


Even the fattest client on Earth cannot compensate a slooooow downstream, or, maybe, it can… in some way?!

Low-footprint, real-time 3D… obviously…

Guest Episode by Eugen

Current client-server 3D applications face two major issues: limited download bandwidth and limited local resources. In theory, there’re adaptive approaches that consider both bandwidth and client parameters into account but there’re some drawbacks linked to them, too. For instance, if all quality levels must be available for [final] application — and not just for dynamic previewing — additional efforts and thus costs may apply. …


Whoever sez that he/she has fully implemented 3DS, OBJ, FBX import… is lying!

Teapot at left side but where’s Jason?

Proprietary 3D file formats were defined in the context of complex applications and did grow up with them. Over the decades, they became real monsters with unlimited functionality, incompatible versions and inofficial specifications. They even did break out of their original applications and became widely accepted exchange formats. Using them is some love-hate relationship ‘though… they surely provide some benefit but one never knows what’s inside such black boxes and full implementation is hard to achieve — if not impossible at all.

Meanwhile, in computer science, generic…


In future 3D applications, classic UI stuff such as combo boxes, is retiring. Maybe a stone-age technology can replace it?

Siri!… feeling Blue… create a proper VR world… please!

Guest Episode by Sebastian

Everyone remembers Patrick Stewart in his role as Captain Picard saying this to the replicator of the USS Enterprise and, a few seconds later, a perfectly prepared “cuppa tea” was generated. Wouldn’t it be nice to have such a device? But until CERN does figure out how to mass produce antimatter and make a computer transform it into tea, we’ll have to wait a while.

But, to take it a few steps down, how about generating…


Service-based Creation of 3D Data!? Go on to see if this is closer to either Rocket Science or Science Fiction…

To Assimilate or To Be Assilimated, That’s the Question!

In Episode #8 (It takes Two to Tango), we spoke about our Virtual CPQ/ERP Bridge, a secret thing, to us on the same level as the Coca-Cola recipe, google’s search algorithm, the firing order of the Ford Model T, etc.… In the pic above, you can see the bridge sub services playing all-together nicely.

On the left side, there’s the Catalog service presenting the configurable products available on the commercial system. Clicking one, creates an instance in the upper right…

HoloFox presents Smart3D

by intelligentgraphics, Germany

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