+33 (0)3 20 51 44 24

Definition and general


CMMS stands for Computer Aided Maintenance Management, and generally designates any method of managing operations and maintenance information using an IT tool. This mainly involves referencing equipment, planning operations and tracing past actions.

A simple computerized work order model can constitute computer-assisted maintenance management, so we often find among “house” CMMS solutions maintenance tables managed from spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice. org Calc or Lotus Spreadsheet. These solutions are still very present in small and medium-sized enterprises, although in sharp decline in recent years.

Today, the term CMMS more generally means shorthand for specialized maintenance management software. CMMS software can be either rigid standard software or specific tailor-made developments, but the most common solutions on the market today are configurable CMMS software providing a large number of tools but also latitude to adapt and optimize the software to the needs of each company.

CMMS software

CMMS software is a software package specializing in computer-assisted maintenance management. It was designed around the issue of maintenance management in its strategic, financial and / or operational aspects.

The most complete CMMS software provides management functionalities related to that of maintenance: after-sales service management (after-sales software), QHSE management or even purchase and store inventory management.

CMMS software allows you to:

Manage curative maintenance
Plan preventive maintenance
Track inventory and manage purchases of parts, consumables, etc.
Manage QHSE, monitor equipment compliance
Manage human resources (availability, authorizations, training …)
Analyze costs, follow budgets
Generate reports and ensure maintenance traceability

A term that extends to mobility and the Internet of Things

If in the CMMS term the “O” is for computer, we also use the same term to designate tools or extension of tools which we access from other platforms.

Thus, over the years, computerized maintenance management has extended its range of use to tablets and smartphones, mobile input devices and other portable computer terminals which are not computers. We are happy to talk about mobile CMMS today.

Finally, the CMMS is enriched with data from very different connected devices: badge readers, measuring device, computerized machine, computer programs, image analysis … So that we could practically speak of “GMAD”: Management of Maintenance Assisted by Data!

CMMS history

1970s: origins

The maintenance trades were still young trades, having really emerged in the 1970s with the complexity of industrial tools, from mechanics to electronics and robotics. Successor to the maintenance and repair trades, maintenance services occupy a rapidly growing place in an increasingly demanding industry (zero breakdowns, zero faults, zero delays …).

80s: the genesis

The computerization of the industry will benefit maintenance from the 1980s, with the appearance of the first maintenance management programs, involving heavy specific developments. The first “standard” software packages on the market began to appear around 1985, initially mainly intended for heavy industries and continuous process.

1990s: expansion

CMMS software from the 1990s was exclusively based on a local architecture or in a heavy-server client, requiring installation on each workstation and manual synchronization of information between the different client workstations.

It was during this period that maintenance, and therefore CMMS, gradually extended its activity to the tertiary sector, while continuing to develop in industry.


2000s: the advent of the web

The advent of the Web was arguably the most significant development in the history of CMMS software. By eliminating the need for installation on each workstation and reducing hardware investment, CMMS Full Web has notably made it possible to greatly reduce the cost of software while opening CMMS to new possibilities in terms of ergonomics and functionality.

CMMS Altair was a pioneer in CMMS Web by offering in 2003 a native full web software powerful and easy to use.

2010s: maturity in the cloud age

Since the beginning of the 2010s, maintenance management software has opened up to new perspectives, by offering an increasingly wide range of tools, by developing an ever richer user experience.

With the development of cloud computing technologies, Altair CMMS is among the first to offer CMMS software in SaaS, definitively freeing users from installing the software on site, and making it possible to develop subscription offers making CMMS accessible to companies with little investment capacity.

In 2012, the CMMS Altair Enterprise succeeded Altaïr with a complete overhaul of its code. Lighter, more efficient and offering more customization, Altair Enterprise is positioned as the perfect balance between flexibility, user-friendliness and reliability.

Launched the same year, DSDSystem’s CMMS Cloud already allows hundreds of users to more easily access the power of CMMS in France and worldwide.