STEP Extended Architecture STEP Extended Architecture

The objective of this web page is to provide an overview of the ISO STEP Extended Architecture project, supported by the ASD SSG. It covers:

  • Goal and benefits of the STEP Extended Architecture project,
  • Project managed by ISO /TC 184 /SC 4 ,
  • Objective of the project,
  • Information scope overview of main STEP standards of interest for European A&D,
  • First planned deployments of the results of the “new” STEP architecture,
  • Next workshop organised on the 29 – 30 June 2015, at Toulouse, France.

Goals and benefits of the STEP Extended Architecture

The goal of the STEP Extended Architecture project is to answer to the increasing needs of the industries, governmental agencies and PLM vendors / integrators to use a set of efficient and consistent international standards for product and process information interoperability.

Several initiatives of development of PLM interoperability standards are progressing, but most of them are fragmented, either limited to a specific technical domain (e.g., requirement management, electrical harness), to a type of industries, or to a specific function (visualisation, integration/sharing).

For the European Aerospace and Defence industries, with products developed with a worldwide supply chain, with a very long life (> 70 years), and a very high level of security, it is crucial to rely on ISO standards having a broad scope, capable to be enhanced and maintained through the time.


  • ASD SSG “Though Life Cycle Interoperability” web page
  • First recommendation of the report “Through Life Cycle Interoperability” (June 2014): “Strengthen the STEP architecture approach to 1) ensure interoperability between STEP standards and 2) provide unambiguous implementation methods (including for new information technologies, e.g. OSLC).”

Project managed by ISO/TC 184/SC 4

The status of progress and orientations of the STEP Extended Architecture” project is managed by the ISO/TC 184/SC 4 organisation. It is documented and approved via the WG 12 and WG 21 of the Subcommittee 4.

Objectives of the project

This project aims at enhancing the existing module-based STEP standard architecture, in order to deliver more benefits and easier implementation and usage by the international community.

  • Business benefits:
    • Ensure consistent product information models through the different product life cycles and technical disciplines (ref.: results of the ASD SSG “Through life cycle interoperability” WG).
    • Ensure the smooth evolution and the longevity / upward compatibility of the STEP modular standards.
    • Speed up the adoption of the STEP based standards, by the proper management of a set of consistent standards, sharing the same principles and common subsets (modules).
  • Technical benefits:
    • Update and refine the STEP standards development framework,
    • Promote a consistent, modular and flexible interoperability architecture framework to support new specific implementation technologies:
      • Data exchange and long term archiving based on files
      • Data sharing and integration based on web services
      • Data visualisation and consultation,
      • Linked data based on web services,
    • Define the principles of interdependencies between the ISO standards and the other standardisation projects completing the standards, such as the Implementer Forums.

Overview of the main related STEP standards of interest for the European A&D industries

The current STEP architecture covers the following Application Protocols (APs), organised in 2 categories, modular and non-modular, but sharing in any case the same generic implementation constructs (“Application Resources” and “Integrated Resources”, in STEP terminology):

Modular Application Protocols:

ISO 10303-209 ed. 2 – “Multidisciplinary analysis and design”2014
ISO 10303-210 ed. 3 – “Electronic assembly, interconnect and packaging design”2014
ISO 10303-242 ed. 1 – “Managed model-based 3D engineering”2014
ISO 10303-233 ed. 1 – “Systems Engineering”2012
ISO 10303-239 ed. 2 – “Product Life Cycle Support” (PLCS)2011
Possibly: 10303-239 ed. 3 – Product Life Cycle SupportNWI

Non modular Application Protocols:

ISO 10303-235 ed. 1 – “Engineering Properties for product design & verification”2009
ISO 10303-238 ed. 1 – “Integrated Command Numerical Controller machining” (STEP-NC)2007
Possibly modular: 10303-238 ed. 2 – “an integrated model for digital manufacturing”Proposed project


The next figure illustrates the information scope of these standards.


First planned deployments of the results of the STEP Extended Architecture

The STEP architecture is enhanced in a phased approach, taken into account the lessons learnt from the past STEP standards implementation, and of the new business and Information Systems technology needs.

The first major evolution of the STEP architecture are planned to be implemented at short term for the development of the following Application protocols:

 Target publication date
ISO 10303-242 edition 2 – “Managed model-based 3D engineering”Early 2020
ISO 10303-239 edition 3 – “Product Life Cycle Support” (PLCS)2021
Possibly, 10303-238 edition 2 – “an integrated model for digital manufacturingTBD



To join this project, please contact: Jean Brangé, Frederic Darre, Jean-Yves Delaunay