Research efforts in two separate areas, intelligent user interfaces and product data models have in the past been carried out almost totally independently from each other. It would, however, seem that product models could be integrated into Intelligent Front-Ends and that results from Intelligent Front-End research could be used for building the user interfaces to database information stored according to product model schemas.
The paper starts with an introduction to data base theory and then moves on to present general features of product models. The presentation is on a general level but the examples are picked from the building domain. The international effort to define a standardized basic product model framework, the PDES/STEP project, and the data modeling methods used in it are also described. Work with prototype interfaces to product data models for the building domain is described as an example of the role Intelligent Front-Ends could play in product model based applications. The paper ends with a short discussion of the role product models could have in Intelligent Front-Ends.