Long-term users of engineering product data are hampered by the ephemeral nature of CAD file formats and the applications that work with them. STEP, the Standard for the Exchange of Product Model Data (ISO 10303), promises to help with meeting this challenge, but is not without problems of its own. We present a complementary solution based on the use of lightweight file formats to preserve specific aspects of the product data, in conjunction with a registry of relevant representation information as defined by the Open Archival Information System Reference Model (ISO 14721). This registry is used to identify suitable destination file formats for different purposes, and provides a resource to aid in the recovery of information from these formats in the future.
Ball, A., Ding, L., & Patel, M. (2008). An approach to accessing product data across system and software revisions. Advanced Engineering Informatics, 22(2), 222-235. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aei.2007.10.003