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InfoQ Homepage News IBM, Red Hat and Cobuilder Develop OpenBuilt, a Platform for the Construction Industry

IBM, Red Hat and Cobuilder Develop OpenBuilt, a Platform for the Construction Industry

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IBM, Red Hat and Cobuilder recently announced a collaboration to develop OpenBuilt, a platform for the construction industry supply chains built on the hybrid cloud platform Red Hat OpenShift and running on IBM Cloud.

OpenBuilt is designed with the goal to allow companies across the construction industry, architects, building material suppliers, manufacturers and engineering firms to connect their technology platforms to partners and suppliers in their supply chain relying on a common cloud platform and infrastructure. Using OpenBuilt, construction companies will then have access to different applications and services from technology providers.

OpenBuilt currently plans three major components: Automate, a low code development platform to automate business processes, Exchange, a hub to connect manufacturers and customers, and Products, an application for creating and publishing product information. According to the OpenBuilt team:

Automate will enable businesses to connect disparate software and define rules on how the data is exchanged and manipulated so that manual effort is eliminated. It provides that glue to bind these systems together and because it is quick and easy to set up, it can also be easily updated and re-deployed. (...) Exchange will connect manufacturers and customers, providing a central hub where specifying a complex wall system will be almost as easy as booking a hotel.

The development will focus on three main areas: building OpenBuilt on top of the container application OpenShift, integrating existing solutions like IBM's Watson, Maximo, TRIRIGA, KITT dictionary, IBM Blockchain and Salesforce open APIs and developing new applications to search, filter and sort building product technical data. Paul Surin, global lead built environment at IBM, comments:

The built environment is a vibrant industry of diverse sectors, disciplines and business sizes. OpenBuilt Automate will enable businesses to connect disparate software and define rules on how the data is exchanged eliminating manual efforts. It provides the means to bind these systems together and because it is quick and easy to set up, it can also be easily updated and re-deployed. You won’t have to be a software developer to begin building applications that can automate your business processes.

In the Q&A "Construction is notoriously expensive. Can cloud platforms build a better future?", Mark Farmer, founding director & CEO at Cast, explains how an open platform can help:

Cloud platforms that enable people to collaborate in an open-source manner, such as OpenBuilt, could take the edge off the culture of opaqueness by enabling people to build interconnected ecosystems. It could build more trust in how we do construction and commercially contract.

OpenBuilt’s founding members include companies from the built environment like Cemex, EDIN Network, Backe, Sol Services and Element.

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