As I mentioned in my posting on the discussion thread : http://communities.ptc.com/message/181114#181114, I still cannot understand why PTC chose to provide such a short list of Windchill system attributes to the 3rd party CAD applications via the Workgroup Manager. The U-WGM clearly has the ability to add and populate SolidWorks File Properties with some Windchill system attributes immediately upon a Save to Workspace - so why can’t we choose to add any of the other ‘standard system attributes’ via some configuration files or Preferences, rather than having to resort to customisation ?
As a minimum we should be able to add these Windchill attributes to 3rd party CAD files as Parameters (aka File Properties):
PTC_WM_MODIFIED - ideally with a related display preference for the Boolean to select :
Yes/No, True/False, "+"/<blank>, <text1>/<text2>
It is clear that the WGM has the ability to add File Properties, and then populate or update the values of those Properties on a SolidWorks file in session (and presumably this can be done by a command in the Windows operating system, rather than in the CAD application's API ?) - so any changes will already be captured when the file is next saved to the Workspace, and no further Save-As or Update actions are required. However, if there is a performance hit for providing and updating more Attributes, then surely PTC should let their customers' system administrators decide how many to switch on or off, rather than confining them to a short list selected by PTC. It is very limiting and frustrating to be able to see infomation in the U-WGM but not pass it into the CAD file or application.
I understand that PTC don't want to have to change or update any of the 3rd party CAD file content during a check-in (as this may require access to 3rd party APIs, and could undermine the performance benefit of having the last saved file already stored in the server-side cache...), so they (PTC) say that the last one on the list above presents a problem. However, that problem could surely be overcome by using an operating system command to update one or two of the File Properties during check-in without opening and re-saving the file(s) (eg. perhaps using DSOFile.dll from MicroSoft ?). The latest correct information would then be 'in' the file ready for the next time it is downloaded and opened by any user, or indeed by the cadworker when it is given a copy of the file(s) to publish the viewables (with or without File/Content Sync enabled - TBC ?). Since the use of viewables that are generated automatically after check-in has replaced the use of preview images embedded in the file from the last save, the viewables would show PTC_WM_MODIFIED correctly as 'No', 'False', <blank>, etc, for any checked-in file.
See also ; http://communities.ptc.com/message/204854
for a brief discussion on the current (unsupported) Method being used in a customised download delegate
As I understand it, the reason the additional attributes you refer to are not able to be added without a customization is that they behave differently (even when added via customization) than the default system provided attributes. Namely, the customized attributes only update on a Download action and not on any Workspace Synchronization as do the default parameters. Why this is the case I do not know, but I imagine that to prevent confusion on why certain parameters are updated on certain actions and why others are not, PTC opted to require customization to enable the additional attributes. The customization is actually rather simple since there is the existing java code template. I recently ran through this customization successfully although the documentation is not completely accurate in a number of areas. I posted a comment and example screenshot showing the end result here: http://communities.ptc.com/message/181114.
I definitely agree with you that it would be fantastic to see all Windchill attributes update similarly such that the inclusion of any Windchill attribute as a CAD parameter could be driven by a preference or configuration setting. Vote+
Would be useful to parallel functionality in Creo Parametric for organizations with multiple CAD applications to have consistency in their processes. Also, the comment related to different behavior for certain attributes loses validity when the same attributes are available in Creo Parametric. The request should be to match Creo Parametric functionality in third party WGM so consistent processes can be implemented in any deployment - without this, non-Creo Parametric users will resort to workarounds including customization.
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