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Document Management - Compare MS Office File Content

Document Management - Compare MS Office File Content

Windchill does a great job of comparing meta data and relationships. However, it does not provide capabilities to compare content files between revisions.

Windchill manages lots of documents (Specs, Qualifications, etc...)in medical device industry. Currently, tracking changes via MS Office Track changes, reviewing the changes (via ECR/ECO) and accepting the changes afterwards (prior to the release) is the way to reliably know what has changed since last version.

It would make this process simpler if Windchill can provide ways to compare the content files between revisions and display them visually.

7 Comments

You can do this through Windchill Desktop Integration (DTI). This was added in 10.2 F000:

http://support.ptc.com/cs/help/windchill_hc/wc102_hc/WCUpgradeCFTR_DIEnhancementsDocumentComparisonA...

Thanks for pointing about DTI. This is a good option However we have few challenges with this approach.

     1) We need to deploy the DTI to several thousands of users

     2) Majority of our data is not organized in folders. When we tested the DTI, it would not refresh the screens and had lots of performance issues.

     3) Users will have to get out of regular Windchill screens (Change Notice), browse through folders, find the items in the mapped folder and launch teh compare. It will be nice to get this from the Properties page of a Document or Change.

Hmm. What version are you using?

Scott Morris‌ - can you comment?

Level 14

Creo has Drawing Compare and it works well specifically because the content is "known" to Windchill thru the published viewables.  How though can Windchill be expected to compare the content of say two Word documents when this is internal to the files only.  There are many excellent tools / methods to compare non-CAD files by directly accessing those files.  If PTC built / licensed some file compare capability it would still likely have to run outside Windchill, and be hard to maintain at the latest Rev levels.

There are many gotchas on file compare utilities.  For example - MS Word has a hard time showing changes to Tables.  Tough to expect a Windchill compare utility to provide all this.

I agree with you Mike that it is not a trivial task. However the latest Office Documents have better format to read and do this on the server side with the right technologies.  I believe that PTC has used pieces of the technology in other areas (ex: Parsing Requirements from a Word document and creating them as Requirement Objects, Reading Excel files to create Parts, BOM  on the server).

There are several existing ways to compare the documents but it would be nice to make it easier for end users.

We are using 10.2 M030

sm
Level 1

Raju Pulavarthi‌ can you clarify this request? The ability to compare MS Office documents was added to Windchill Desktop Integration some time ago and is supported in the Windows Explorer Integration also. Are you looking for an action you can invoke from the browser interface or is there a missing capability in the current DTI implementation?