Flexible information exchange is critical to successful design-analysis integration, but current top-down, standards-based and model-oriented strategies impose restrictions that contradicts this flexibility. In this article we present a bottom-up, user-controlled and process-oriented approach to linking design and analysis applications that is more responsive to the varied needs of designers and design teams. Drawing on research into scientific workflows, we present a framework for integration that capitalises on advances in cloud computing to connect discrete tools via flexible and distributed process networks. We then discuss how a shared mapping process that is flexible and user friendly supports non-programmers in creating these custom connections. Adopting a services-oriented system architecture, we propose a web-based platform that enables data, semantics and models to be shared on the fly. We then discuss potential challenges and opportunities for its development as a flexible, visual, collaborative, scalable and open system
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