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CREO: true Windows Ribbon interface or "looks like Windows Ribbon Interface"


CREO: true Windows Ribbon interface or "looks like Windows Ribbon Interface"

I hear PTC marketing talk about how CREO will have the Microsoft Ribbon interface. But I have to it the true microsoft native ribbon interface code / objects, etc. or is PTC doing the their usual thing of mimicking the true microsoft components but via their own toolkit GUI. Yes, I know that PTC is a microsoft partner, etc. but that doesn't mean that porting the windows components to toolkit or java is good thing. The PTC GUI seems to be hampered by the toolkit vs. what can be done in native windows / ,NET, etc.

I would concede that it used to be the other way around, but...

Somone could cite the need for PTC to be platform independent, but being dependant on the windows OS hasn't exactly hurt solidworks, has it? I suppose some hope to run PTC on apple someday, but not sure that your IT department or even leaders of your company are going to be willing to switch you over to apple.

I think the larger point is that I hope CREO GUI is gonna be great. By great I mean that it has to be as good or better than solidworks and inventor's latest gui's. It is hard to imagine that PTC can match what these two are doing unless they "go native".

I could be wrong on this, but really it is going to take a PTC dev person to set me straight, not a marketing person

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Unless the migration to the Windows interface was completed in WF6 the marketing people AND users will be seriously disappointed with CREO.

Wildfire was supposed to see the migration of ProE to a Windows interface. Even at WF5 it is majorily incomplete - drawing is still riddled with menu manager and it was "rewritten". Lets hope it was completed in WF6 so CREO has a decent platform to move forward.

The introduction of the Ribbon interface in drawing has caused a major stir amoungst users - it shows a lot of promise but PTC need to get involved with experienced users and make it work smoothly. And they need to do this in WF5 because its likely to turn into a weeping sore if they leave it as is in CREO. I cant believe PTC are so poor at this - its not like writing a stable solid modelling kernal - even little companies can write wonderful interfaces.

I suspect the root of the problem lies with no one at PTC using their own product - all manager managers and kpi's. Can anyone at PTC turn out 50 drawings in a month - their product would be radically different if they had to.

As far as I understand, the root of the problem (and the tragedy of PTC) is that many years ago (at the end of 80s) the development of Pro/E was started on the Sun Solaris platform and until now this is the main development platform of the Pro/E team. Consequently, all the UI elements are hand-made for Solaris and ported to Windows - they are not a Windows native controls.

With such an approach there is no chance to obtain modern nice looking Windows interface. And, frankly speaking, it is not an easy problem to resolve, when the whole R&D is organized in the UNIX environment of Sun Solaris. This is the tragedy of the company with the glorious past, which dosn't allow them to move fast to the future.

At the end of 80s Sun Solaris was, perhaps, the only platform for developing 3D CAD - Windows was in its childhood (16-bit system with a poor graphics), while Solaris was already solid 32-bit graphics workstation. But now!... Sun is already dead and the future of Solaris is dark, while Windows 7 is the powerful system with the perfect graphics. Does PTC want to continue development on Solaris with the further porting to Windows?...

Actually, now it seems to be too late to think about moving from Solaris to Windows (SolidWorks did this brave step nearly 20 years ago and they were the winners). Now the agenda should be different. What about moving away from the desktop Windows applications to the web-based cloud applications? What about moving CAD to Windows Azure? To my mind, this is the mainstream of the software development for the next decade...

I find this discussion interesting and true. I can't believe how long it has taken to transition to a "windows like" environment, and it still isn't complete. It is sort of a running laugh among power users here.

It is hard to explain to my new users why certain commands revert to drop down menus, and how to navigate through them. In some ways it seems like the transition should have never started since the "old" way of drop down menus worked pretty darn good.

Maybe I am an idiot, but when I saw the CREO event. I originally though that CREO 1.0 was a brand new CAD software developed from the ground up by PTC for the Windows platform.

If this is not the case, I will be very disappointed. The UI and ease of use for Wildfire is terrible. We are in the 5th generation of Wildfire and the UI is still incomplete and the code is still based on some Unix.

When in modeling mode, you have two different UI's to deal with depending on what you are doing. You have the Wildfire UI and the Pro/E 2001 UI. You switch to drawing mode and you are now in a 3rd UI. It's like working with 3 different software tools.

We have core features that are still not converted to the Wildfire UI and some major usability issues all around. Wildfire needs to be distinguished and PTC needs to write new software from the ground up to compete with others in this space.

I can't get a straight answer from anyone at PTC about CREO 1.0

IS CREO 1.0 a new CAD software built from the ground up that can read the native Pro/E files of today or is it just another upgrade with the same code underneath?

It seems no one can answer that question. My hopes are that CREO is a brand new start with a modern engine for the Windows environment. They can toss everything up to this point in the fire (Pun intended) and give us something worth our maintenance dollars. Apple did this with OS X and it worked out great for them. I can only hope PTC does the same with CREO 1.0

If anyone can answer this question with a straight forward Yes or No, please let me know. It's not a difficult question and the answer is simply Yes, CREO is a brand new engine built for the Windows environment or NO, CREO is simply the next version of Wildfire with a new name.

Sorry if I sound frustrated but the truth is that I am.

Only PTC know what will be presented going forward

Frankly the upgrade path doesnt make much sense for the customer - there seems no point in upgrading to WF5 let alone CREO 1.0 and probably not the first version of CREO 2.0. That route will only be for the brave.

I cant understand the point of CREO1.0 - maybe its just WF6.

If PTC recycle menu manager and WF they will be left with a legacy WF4 customer base.

If CREO 1.0 is nothing more than WF6 rebranded. I will do everything in my power as the CAD Manager to move us and all our partners away from PTC and purchase SolidWorks.

I am sick and tired of half baked software when we pay good maintenance money.

CREO 1.0 needs to be a new CAD Software built from the gound up with native Windows code if PTC plans on competing with SolidWorks.

If you were at the PTC conference last summer you were able to get a initial look at the next major release of Pro/E not to be referred to as Wildfire 6. It was essentially creo 1.0 pre production.

Creo is a 2 decade strategy of evolving the current Pro/ENGINEER into the future. It also gives PTC the chance to market the standalone (Pro)Co/Create to the existing customer base with the promise of eventually being part of the unified system.

I doesn't hurt to investigate alternatives. Even Inventor is starting to look like a doable thing.



Thanks for the great information.

I have one question.

How do you evolve a CAD System into. the future when you never finished the initual eveloution from Pro/E 2001?

I will leave it at that or this can get ugly quick.


Well, just like a really bad fungus, it looks like PTC just can't get rid of the menu manager. According to the following link, it looks like it will still be in Creo 1.0.

theres also this on the Creo UI from Campbell

lets hope hes right!

Wildfire came out in 2002 with the promise of a new interface - it was never completed.

Lets hope we dont have to pay another 10 years maintenance for Menu Manager to go.

Creo 1.0 was made available for download yesterday. It seems to be a decent implementation of the Ribbon however I have yet to see any minitoolbar popups when any entity is selected in any mode (part, sheetmetal, assembly, or drawing).

All of the videos released up to this point have shown minitoolbars and a tristar demo I went to a few weeks ago also had it. I have looked for any option and in the new consolidated options dialog and can’t find anything to turn it on. They must have had to turn it off for production release. Minitoolbars are very nice because they make command available at the mouse cursor instead of moving all the way to the ribbon.

The botched WF5 drawing ribbon environment has been fixed.

Menu manager stuff can still be easily found through out, usually in commands hidden in ribbon group dropdowns.

It does seem to be very stable and performance seems to be improved over WF5. Even on my older laptop.

In general it is the next major release of Pro/ENGINEER. In general it is a much cleaner interface. I don’t believe it fully meets the marketing hype.

This weeks conference should be interesting.



To be fair they did release an implementation strategy that said things would not be fully implemented until Creo 2 and later which I think is currently sheduled for next spring.

This is basic ribbon environment stuff that has been shown in all of the demos I have seen so far. The context popup minitoolbars help to significantly reduce mouse travel.


I was refering more to the interface in general not necessarily to this one specific point. Just because something is in a demo doesn't mean it's going to make it into a release. Maybe it will be available later. This is the first production release afterall. At this point I'm more interested in does it work. Cosmetic items and creature comforts fall lower on my list of things I would like to see at this point. The problem I see is people have preconceived notions about how Creo is supposed to function and look like and they expect that it's all suppose to be implemented in this first release. Based what I've seen and read this is going to happen over years not overnight and not necessarily in Creo 1.

I was wrong about seeing the minitoolbars in the core packages. The minitoolbars are only in some of the new modules. Supposedly we will not see minitoolbars in the core packages until atleast Creo 3.0.

Sorry for my confusion


Creo 1.0 was made available for download yesterday.

Yes, really, Creo 1.0 has appeared in the list "PTC Software Download", however this date isn't present release in calendar PTC:

I just returned from Planet PTC Live and wanted to be fair with my previous comments.

Is Creo nothing more than Wildfire 6 with a new coat of lipstick?

Absolutely Not.

I got a chance to use Creo 1.0 at the conference and also spent a lot of time talking to the PTC staff about what it can do and what they have planned. I can honestly say that I was very impressed with Creo 1.0

After listening to the Executive Staff, I got a feeling that PTC is excited about their vision for Creo and Windchill. I never seent them so enthusiastic and proud of their products. As they demonstrated how great the new software products are, they kept talking about what is coming next and how they are excited to release even better functionality that is already under works.

I went to Planet PTC Live skeptical about the entire Creo and Windchill 10 hype and walked away with a smile on my face. Is it Perfect? No, no software is ever perfect but I do honeslty feel that PTC cares about making it the best product in the market.

This is a very short summary of what I experienced. PTC made me a beliver again on the company and their products.