Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!


The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

The shocking news from day one of PTC Live is that PTC want's to "absorb" the mail exploder into their on-line communities forum. you'll see the announcement of this at the top of the page.

I went up to Ron and Dan durning the break and said what are you doing to my mail exploder. The answer was there was pressure to only have one source of communication instead of some stuff on the forum and some via the mail exploder. They are having discussions next week on how to transfer the data from ptcuser to the ptc site.

I asked if I was still going to get emails and the answer was no.

I'm sorry but this is killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

Make no mistake, if you don't raise your voice on this issue the mail exploder will disappear.

Dave Haigh

119 REPLIES 119

Personally, I think this is a lamentable development. The difference between the two sources of information was precisely that
'For the past twenty-five years PTC/USER has been recognized as the independent voice for users of software produced by PTC'
and that was very much the dependent one.
In most cases, it has made very little difference, but, like a free press, I believe the existence of both has tended to help moderate the one and to 'objectify' the other.
I don't think a single, combined system is particularly healthy.
Nothing I can do about it, though, it's a done deal long before the announcement is made...

5-Regular Member

I am with Steve (and apparently everyone else) on this. I get far more help, far faster on the PTC/User site than I do thru PTC Community or the dreaded call to PTC support.
I also rely on PTC/User posts for heads up on issues, it has far more info of issues people have encountered in upgrades, it is an all-around better site for user help.
I hope that they don't mess things up and get rid of this just for the sake of driving site traffic to their slow and less helpful corporate site.

Adam M Dorsch
CAD Supervisor
Alliance Laundry Systems LLC
Shepard Street P.O. Box 990
Ripon, WI 54971-0990
ph 920.748.4554<">>

Many are talking like it's a done deal. Okay, for sake of assumption, let's say it does get absorbed. How do we stay a free and independent user base? How do we retain 25 years of know-how and experience? What suggestions do you all have? What medium would be the best case scenario?

Another vote to keep the exploder. From my point of view I'm not very concerned whether or not PTC controls it since I've never seen any sign of censorship by them. It's the e-mail interface I don't want to lose...

Mike Foster

Very good point. My preference is to keep the two separate, but if it is merged, keep the email portion, as it is much more convenient.


I don't chime in as much as I used to as I've been relegated to more management, much less active use, but I've always found the email system to be the cleanest way to get quick answers. I don't want to be following a forum for an actual problem, and the exploder has always been the fastest way to get solutions to normal, and unusual problems.. Absorption will just limit the usefulness in my mind.

I'd vote to keep it also.

Dorian Ferrari|Director|Digital Development & Model Services|310-252-4007
5-Regular Member

Also my preference is to keep the two separate, but if it is merged, keep the email portion, as it is much more convenient.

With kind Regards,

Bert Busschers

Sr. Mechanical Designer/CAD Administrator
ME/ID Department

Benchmark Electronics Almelo
Lelyweg 10 - 7602 EA Almelo - The Netherlands
+31 546 535209 (tel)
+31 546 535299 (fax)<">><">>

MCAD Mananger Benchmark

Thanks for the heads up. This is very bad news. This exploder has been the BEST source of information for leaning Pro/E since I started using the software in '98. You typically get quick answers from users who understand the situation better than a programmer or applications person who might not be in tune with actual usage in the real world. It is also nice to be able to help others with knowledge gained from experience or from coworkers or where ever. Some of these issues are even hard to research and some smaller organizations don't pony up with funds needed to get training or online services. It is also great in that you can learn things you aren't even having an issue with at the time.

Please do not touch this exploder as it is an extremely valuable tool for using this software.

Mark A. Peterson
Design Engineer and Pro/E user for 16 years


I absolutely agree. I don't think they are trying to censor anything, but the email is simply a better interface. I do get notifications from the community forum and I have responded, but frankly it is a pain to have to log into ptc to respond. Didn't we go through some of these issues years ago when they switched the email service type? Newer users tended to want a forum, and us old timers tended to want the email. In today's market, there seriously isn't something that can handle both? This is a high tech software company we are talking about right? I don't expect a full up Pro to Creo project, just a little consideration for what is certainly the more popular format.

Rob Reifsnyder
Mechanical Design Engineer/ Producibility Engineer / Components Engineer / Pro/E SME / Pro/E Librarian
5-Regular Member

I sent the email below on June of last year:

"I never liked the idea of PTC taking over our independent Pro/E user community. I believe that we (the large community) were never asked if we wanted to give away our independence.
We as an independent group would have much more to say about who can see the presentations.
Why don't we separate from PTC's control and regain our freedom?"

How is it possible that our ptcusers directors make these important decisions without the users vote?
What a shame!!!

Ronnie Shand

As a long-time exploder user I am shocked, shocked that PTC is trying to
pull the plug on this critical user lifeline. HAHA! Well, not really
shocked at much of anything anymore.

I was one of the initial users when Don Patterson set up the exploder on his
server at Harris. Does anyone other than David Haigh remember that's how we
started this thing? I may not respond as much as in the past, but I still
read the emails daily. However, I never go to the forum. If I have to go
somewhere to read info, rather than having it come to me, I'm much less
likely to participate.

I keep user emails on topics that interest me so that I can go back & review
later, or maybe even keep forever as reference. I can typically find
whatever I'm looking for in a couple seconds. If I don't find what I'm
looking for then I can go to the exploder and search for it. The delete
button is for all the other topics that I don't need . Does anyone just
browse the on-line community forum?

One of the things we spoke of in the early days of the user group (yes, I
know I'm now an old fart) was that we were supposed to be independent from
PTC. Yes, there was a PTC liaison but they didn't "run" the organization.
PTC "supported" the user group by sending a few people to the conference but
the user group board of directors made sure everything was done. And now?

Rob Gremly once called me a Pro/E evangelist. These days I can't (or
won't?) defend my belief of PTC products as the best in the industry.

Thanks for the memories,



One thing to remember, a forum is NOT a one-sided discussion. If the
Exploder was gobbled up by PTC, then the content would also be "constrained"
(to use a PTC term).

Michael P. Locascio


Just read through all the responses; No one thinks this is a good idea. I

Like many of those responders I have also been a long time member of the
mail exploder and it is SIMPLY THE BEST PLACE to get an answer quickly.
Whenever we hit a snag the first thing I do is search the archive of the
exploder as I don't want to bother the other members with a question that
has already been answered. Most often I don't need to post the query because
I have the answer already from the archive.

Of course we all hope that the mass of knowledge in the archive is retained
and it can be searched through PTC/Community. That's not the point; it is
the immediacy of email that is the value of the exploder. I skim every mail
and most of my in depth knowledge of the software comes from the exploder.
Very often learning things which have no direct impact on our capabilities
on that day but comes in handy later. I simply will not remember to take
the time to log in and skim the day's posts on PTC/Community. Therefore any
input I may have to a query will be lost.

We are in South Africa so calling tech support in the USA is not an option
and even our local software vendor now has a call centre. When we can't
find the solution through the exploder and have to log a call by the time
they get back to us with any sort of response we have already found a work
around and moved onto the next job or phase of the design.

5-Regular Member

Hi All,

As all have said in reply to this post, PLEASE LEAVE THIS THE WAY IT IS!

Like many, I use this for Real User contributed info & at least 1-2 times per week come here from the e-mail link when I see a topic (subject line)of interest for current projects or might use in the future. I haven't ever contributed buthave usedthe info posted by others.

I believe Communication of any type (print/web/forum)is Key to doing your best, but that doesn't mean you should always change where or how you find it. This many times just adds another layer to filter thru to find the infoyou need.

(Changing something doesn't always mean you are "adding value")



I vote to keep the exploder - this is most convenient for me to use - I
don't have time for the PTC site. If necessary, the exploder should be
maintained separately as a non-PTC function which might be better anyway to
ensure its independence...

On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 7:52 PM, David Haigh <->

> The shocking news from day one of PTC Live is that PTC want's to "absorb"
> the mail exploder into their on-line communities forum.

[X] Exploder
[ ] Online Forum

How could the Exploder cost PTC money? They obviously do not bother
monitoring it, or we would have seen official work arounds, fixed problems
we've uncovered and made at least some of the enhancements we've offered
over the years.

I urge PTC to not de-evolve our user based support system into an even more
disfunctional, disconnected online forum system that we will not use.

What I think we really need is a single simple e-mail bounce system like
Landfill was and a single moderator like Peter to run it.

This is my personal opinion, and may not reflect that of my employer.
Glen R Wisham
EW Design and Analysis
Space and Airborne Systems
Raytheon Company

+1 805.879.3359(office)
+1 805.879.3017(fax)
561.3359(tie line)

6380 Hollister Avenue
Goleta CA 93117-3114 USA

Follow Raytheon On

Raytheon Sustainability

This message contains information that may be confidential and privileged.
Unless you are the addressee (or authorized to receive mail for the
addressee), you should not use, copy or disclose to anyone this message or
any information contained in this message. If you have received this
message in error, please so advise the sender by reply e-mail and delete
this message. Thank you for your cooperation.


This email exploder has been an invaluable resource, going waaaaay back to when I was just a pup. I still have solutions, tips, techniques, etc. from threads archived on my computer to this day.

If PTCuser is shuttered... I sure hope someone starts up something else for all of us. PTC's tech support is a joke.

The tell them to get rid of the ptc communities. The last 2 problems I opened with tech support set open with no word from tech support for days after the initial response. The problems got answered through the exploder in a matter of hours. Of course they want to take away something that works, because it makes us less dependent on them.





Recently I had a VAR tell me that the User's Group forums were just a bunch
of wanna-bees that should be trained better (or something like that). I
listened to this guy rant and rave with his usual expletives.

I must admit that about 70 - 80% of my email comes from this group. This is
a community that needs to be supported and maintained. IF PTC would
GUARANTEE that their tech support was American for Americans I "might" say
that this group is not necessary. But I have found some good input here and
I don't have to run it through the translator.

Michael P. Locascio

The only way I can see to stop this is to call your Sales Rep. I know PTC
does monitor the exploder, as I have received several direct emails and
phone calls from questions in the past. This won't cut it, however. The
most effective way to get our voice heard is through the sales weanies, as
they carry up the food chain faster than all others combined.

I pay a ton of money for maintenance, and up till now, my calls are limited
because the exploder takes care of 90% of problems. Take it to the sales
force like this - "Can you imagine how many calls you are about to get?"

Personally, I logged into their other group, and quickly forgot my login and
password. I, as many others, are too busy to wade through it all when
there's a resource like the exploder.

I'm calling PTC.

Anthony R. Benitez
Senior Mechanical Designer - Supervisor
Applied Research Laboratories - The University of Texas at Austin

PTC and the PTC/User Board of Directors have already decided our fate.
On the PTC Community side, this was the response from Ryan Kelley who is the PTC Web Marketing & Community Manager:
(notice no spell check in the post)

* ryankelley<">> Jun 17, 2014 1:08 PM<">
Thanks for all the feedback, gang. Good or bad it will bad it will certainly inform a lot of the plans we've made and will continue to update you on. To give some additional context, yesterday's announcement was the culmination of months of conversation between PTC Community management and the PTC/USER Board of Directors, as a direction we've both had interest in moving towards for quite some time, as Dan<">> and others can attest to.

The majority of the feedback we received from PTC/USER members at the event yesterday was overwhelmingly positive, one member even mentioning that at the time of Ron and Dan's announcement that he was compelled to stand up and applaud. Others related to the frustration of having to search two different sites each time they had a specific issue they needed to address during the corse of their day and were excited about having one destination for all users. For both PTC Community and PTC/USER this as an opportunity to provide one source of knowledge sharing for all PTC customers.

All of the same functionality and email notifications you use on PTC Community will remain and in the months to come we anticipate a big upgrade to our community software, which covers a lot of the feedback and feature requests we've been hearing from regular members for quite some time, drag and drop attachements and mobile friendly browsing cheif among them.

We're committed to making PTC Community a destination where your feedback is heard and acted upon, which is why we'll be leveraging the product ideas section within Community Help<">> to collect and report back on the features that everyone has to share.

We need to take it to a NON-PTC site... like someone suggested...


It could easily be on Facebook. But - I know some people refuse to
accept this medium. It would be brought into the "real world". Could
also be done with a "wordpress" site quite nicely.


Good suggestions Wayne-O!


I'd gladly volunteer to be a a team for this effort.


"on a team"....that is.


That would be GREAT! We need a good team here. We could call it Team Victory.

PTC & PTC/User Leave the list alone!!
Even if I'm not posting, I'm reading, and I save the ones I think might be

But, if we have to go:


I PREFER not to have to go to any Yahoo(s) group. Too many problems there...

Business Continuity with Creo: Learn more about it here.