Every process in a shipyard requires data. Despite numerous attempts, there is not now, and realistically never will be a single monolithic software program that is optimal for all tasks. In situations where the value of tight integration is paramount, an application from a single vendor is ideal but in situations where the performance disparity is too great compared to separate best-of-breed applications, external programs are used. This paper shows that the key to making a best-of-breed solution approach work, even in hybrid form, is the ease with which programs can be integrated. This requires software with open architecture.