This article details research to develop a distributed collaborative engineering environment (DCEE) system that will allow members of a geographically dispersed multidisciplinary team to collaborate during product development. This article addresses the problems of integrating the information that is generated during product development (product data) with a distributed virtual environment, and the problems of supporting multidisciplinary teams in the development process. The DCEE is an enhanced distributed virtual environment with a rich set of engineering applications and information as it provides an architecture and engineering tools that allow the direct sharing of standard product data among the users with immediate propagation of any changes. Each user has a local environment that can be configured with the tools and data that each specialist requires in the product development lifecycle. An implementation of the architecture has been built to demonstrate this approach, and its performance has also been evaluated.

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