Due to enormous pressure from national and international marketplaces, computer integrated manufacturing (cim) has become a tremendously important area for both research and development. However, the current state of the art is still characterized by islands of automation. In order to connect these islands, appropriate frameworks have to be developed to integrate heterogeneous computer aided design (cad) tools. We present in this paper a federated approach to tool integration in distributed and heterogeneous environments making tools evolve in an autonomous way. We have experimented this approach by integrating propel1 and spex2 cad tools in the dmms (design management and manufacturing system) environment backed by a common pcte3 repository.