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What are the different types of CMMS?

What are the different types of CMMS?

Tuesday 21 april 2020

CMMS or Computerized Maintenance Management System is a software solution that will manage your preventive and curative interventions on the equipment for which you are responsible, whether they are on your site or at a customer's, as well as schedules, spare parts stocks and purchases within your company. A CMMS can also include invoicing and estimates, as well as the management of regulatory forms.

> What is a CMMS?

The architecture of a CMMS

A CMMS is built around a database, for the most modern ones such as PostGreSQL, which allows an unlimited number of simultaneous accesses, to which processing must be associated in order to produce essential documents such as work reports, quotes, invoices, maintenance plans, etc. Parameterization and data entry must be as simple as possible in order to ensure a quick start and improve communication between the various stakeholders: administration, field teams, accounting, purchasing, and of course customer communication.

Three types of architecture dominate the operation of a CMMS:

  • The client/server model: the CMMS is installed on site, requests are sent between the different workstations, via a server that holds the database. This is the historical software model, dating from the 1980s. Beware of version upgrades...
  • The soft client model is an intermediate solution: only the screen, mouse movements and keystrokes are captured and transmitted to the server. What you see is therefore a reconstruction, an image of the CMMS. Wobbly solution that tends to disappear
  • The Full Web: no installation required! It is the publisher who takes care of hosting the solution and the data, preferably in the Cloud via a hosting provider such as AWS from Amazon (the leader and most efficient), Google or Azure from Microsoft. Internet access is then sufficient to use CMMS. Improvements are continuously delivered in a totally transparent way for users to notice. Essential for multi-site companies and highly recommended for all others!

At present, the Full-web dominates the market to a very large extent. It seduces by its flexibility, its speed of installation and handling, with no need for a dedicated IT team and, for the best CMMS solutions, it accompanies technicians everywhere in the field. 

Full-web, got it. Other distinctions still need to be made, with terms that can sometimes be confusing: cloud or server-based CMMS, open-source CMMS, SaaS CMMS? Outsourced CMMS? We'll help you to see things more clearly.

Cloud CMMS

When you choose your CMMS, you need to think about how you want to host it. You can choose a CMMS installed on your servers, provided you have the necessary IT team to ensure data security and the proper functioning of the servers.

Too complicated? Too expensive? Yes, it is. Turn to a Cloud CMMS instead. The data is stored by the editor of the application, without any installation on your part. You can access your CMMS at any time, from anywhere. This is the principle of drives, those storage spaces that allow the sharing of documents, photos or agendas between different people. Of course, these are intelligent drives and CMMS goes much further, allowing data processing and possible interactions. But access remains as simple as logging in to your favorite drive account.

Open source CMMS

Another term to understand: open source (and not open space...). An open-source CMMS is an application whose source code has been made public. This allows the most enthusiastic geeks to make their contributions and add lines of code to run a software that can be modified by everyone. Small precision: it is necessary to differentiate open-source from free software, which advocates free software.

Luckily, there is no such thing as an open-source CMMS. But this is not really a problem. The CMMS of the best editors are developed by teams of professional web developers, for the back (the background) and the front (the form), who work on it full time. That's something other than an application run by volunteers, who have a passion for CMMS and develop it on their own time, isn't it?


Now let's look at the cost of the software. Two formulas dominate the market: the purchase of licenses and SaaS (Software as a Service). SaaS is a cost-per-use model: the cost depends on the functionalities used and the number of users. The formula comes in the form of a monthly subscription, most often based on the model of Internet or telephony box packages. Software as a Service means Software as a Service and this last word is particularly important: updates, maintenance and support are automatically included in the subscription price.

In the context of a purchase, it is an investment. You pay right away for many years and if you are not satisfied with the usage, it's too late: now you have to write off or write off and you get stuck. Beware! The cost is often prohibitive and generally lacks transparency. It is absolutely essential to check the perimeter covered by the license and the evolutions included. Because updates are often billed in addition, you may end up with a software very quickly obsolete, to put in relation to the investment made for a license supposed to last many years...

To avoid this kind of situation, SaaS CMMS is ideal: you decide the duration of the commitment, the functional scope, the number of users, with possible modifications over time. In other words, you control your consumption and your budget. You are in a position and it is the editor who is under pressure. Not bad, isn't it?

Developing your CMMS

Finally, it may be tempting to develop your CMMS in-house. Because no one knows your business better than you do, because you've already imagined and dreamed up the features you need. But do you have the time, skills and budget? Not to discourage you, but most proprietary CMMS in-house development projects take forever to develop. Because designing a great CMMS isn't that simple.

Outsourcing the development and using a specialized editor ensures you have a dedicated team that is perfectly at ease with new technologies and that won't leave your company in the middle of the project. The choice of publisher is of course essential.

As you will have understood, the most up-to-date CMMS that will best meet your expectations are Cloud and SaaS. As for in-house development and open source, this is almost utopian. But don't rush headlong into it! With some CMMS you can test the application, refine your project and define the features you really need.

By the way, our ambition is to offer an unparalleled user experience. Check it out right away: try CMMS for free. Within 2 minutes, the time it takes to create your account, you'll discover what's newest in this category of software.

You can also benefit from a demonstration led by one of our consultants: book a videoconference

Good discovery and see you soon on Yuman.


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