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Part II Enhancements on Windows Explorer Integration for Windchill Desktop Integration 10.2

Part II Enhancements on Windows Explorer Integration for Windchill Desktop Integration 10.2

In my last blog post Productivity Enhancements on Windows Explorer Integration for Windchill Desktop Integration 10.2, Pa... I discussed the possibilities and enhancements around the Windchill Documents system folder in the Windows Explorer.

This blog will show you how easy it is to display Windchill Meta data information in the Windows Explorer Integration.

I will also discuss the integrated Windchill search and how leverage the Windchill Index Search functionality.

 

View Windchill Information

 

Windchill metadata information of your documents can be displayed in the Windows Explorer without opening a browser to access the Windchill web application. Even applying filters is possible.

To do so, you have to navigate from the Windchill Documents node to the context that you are interested. On the right hand pane you will see the stored documents.

You may add or remove attributes by right-clicking a Windows Explorer column heading to see a drop down menu of additional columns available.

 

Columns.png

 

Is the attribute still not available in the out of the box list?

No problem, since Windchill 10.2 F000 you can select Windchill folder views to add columns that appear in the list. With Windchill 10.2 M010 even the filters on these views will affect the data displayed in the object list.

 

ExplorerTableViews.png

This allows you to configure which documents will be show in the folder. E.g. if you only want to display the latest document version, then apply filter settings on the Windchill table view (in the Set Filter step select Revision and Version attributes and set them to Latest).

 

Folder Search for Windows Explorer

 

All the features that I showed until now required that you exactly know where the documents are located in your Windchill system but this unfortunately is not always the case. While manual navigating through the folder structure is cumbersome and annoying to find a document, there is a simpler way to find your documents.

Starting in Windchill PDM Link 10.2 F000 you can search for any Windchill document using the Windchill Search action. This is a quick and easy way to search for your documents inside of the Windows Explorer Integration without the need to open the Windchill web application.

The search can be initiated from context, container or folder level within the Windchill Documents node. This will allow you to search by Name or Number on this context level and all sub-contexts.

 

Click Search.png

 

Please note that the search is case-insensitive and wildcards are allowed. Add asterisk (*) as a wildcard character to indicate that one or more characters can appear in that position.

 

Search.png

 

For Windchill systems with Index Search enabled, even document content will be taken into account when calculating the results if the option “Include search within content (only if index search is enabled)” is selected.

The native Windows Explorer search field (in the top right corner of the Windows Explorer) can also be used to perform a search but this will yield slightly different results. The search will only be performed on the current folder / context and not on any sub-context.

In case you are also interested in the location of document in the folder structure, you can use the right mouse button menu to select “Open File Location”. This will open the Windchill context or folder in which the object is stored.

 

Conclusion

 

This was the last part of my post about productivity enhancements on Windows Explorer Integration.

I hope that you liked this brief tour on the Windows Explorer Integration if you are interested in more details, you’ll find further information in the Windchill Help Center.

Thank you also for your many comments on part I.

As always let me and the community here about your thoughts and questions:

 

  • What do you like about the Windows Explorer Integration and what do you think is missing?

  • In which scenarios you are using the Windchill Explorer Integration?

33 REPLIES 33

Re: Getting the most from the WVS Job Scheduler

Thanks for this post. I run exactly many times into this problem, that PTC recommends to set the query limits to e.g. in the performance case https://support.ptc.com/appserver/cs/view/solution.jsp?source=subscription&n=CS153338

So all the default schedule jobs don't work anymore. This is just a little bit weird to have recommendations to limit the queries but on the other side some schedule jobs don't work anymore. I know that I can rewrite these jobs, but it would be great to have PTC done that for all customer. For me it wouldn't be a problem to have two different jobs: One with query limits and one without.

Thanks and regards

Björn

Re: Getting the most from the WVS Job Scheduler

Hello Björn and thanks for your post.

I'm not 100% certain what your concerns are, but you appear to be asking for the WVS Scheduler code to explicitly set the wt.pom.queryLimit before executing the method... this is not technically possible, I'm afraid.

The Performance / Runtime article CS153338 you mention does not explicitly instruct you to set the wt.pom.queryLimit and this is something that is very difficult to be precise about without a clear understanding of all the variables that might affect the maximum query size, but does make recommendations; whereas WVS article CS124149 is advising you to increase this limit to allow particularly large contexts to be processed by a WVS Scheduler method, without providing any specific guidance regarding the value you should set.

One thing is clear, if setting the queryLimit up to ~500,000 still does not allow the code to execute and / or you need to set it to -1 so there is no limit, then there is an argument to request performance optimization of the implicated scheduler code.  If this is the case, I'd recommend you open a Windchill Performance case to have this code reviewed for optimization.

Re: Getting the most from the WVS Job Scheduler

Bjorn,

One of the main reasons for this article is to provide a solution to publish from a list of objects.  The ability to publish the defaults as shown in the picture below should remain in tact as additional options. (these don't work for us!)

I'm hoping the process Gary has outlined can be an option for every company that is trying to generate lightweight images.  Basic steps:

  1. Search for the objects or utilize the power of a queryreport.
  2. Take this list of objects found and send them to the publisher for generation of lightweight images.

Capture.JPG

Re: Getting the most from the WVS Job Scheduler

Hi Gary

Thanks for the reply. I just wanted to know the other user, that this is common problem. When you're coding such jobs, you have to know the amount of the possible process objects. Otherwise the job doesn't work.

Most customers which has a global setup it's not that easy just to reset the query limits.  A Windchill restart is not possible so you should have the possibilities to run also the standard jobs without having switching this limit in the property files.

I do like your post and I'm hoping that's not you last one!

Thanks

Björn

Re: Getting the most from the WVS Job Scheduler

Bill Ryan‌‌,

One of the main reasons for this article is to provide a solution to publish from a list of objects.

That might be the reason, but the actual solution was never provided.  Gary Jackson‌ said, (emphasis mine)

One approach, that allows you to be in complete control over what is and is not published, is to create a custom method that simply processes a list of OID's from a text file you created.  With basic Windchill customization skills, this should not be difficult to implement...

He clearly states at the end that an actual solution has not been provided:

... maybe one of you has already achieved this and is willing to share the code here...

There has been lot's of talk about the theoretical program flow, but nothing has actually been provided (by PTC or anyone else) that will DO it.  We don't have Java programmers or any type of customization.  We really need someone who understands Java and the Windchill API to build this, or at least provide a working example that we can tweak.

Also, Steps 2 and 3 seem overly complicated.  If I'm going to extract the OID's from the database manually, why put that data back into Windchill as a WTDoc, just to need to re-locate it and parse it.  Seems like it'd be much easier to simply drop a text file on disk somewhere and let the custom scheduler read that.  (But, I'm no Java programmer!)

Re: Getting the most from the WVS Job Scheduler

Tom,

You are correct, this is not a solution but rather a recommended approach but one I discussed and ratified with the help of the WVS Product Owner, in order to confirm it's validity.

Like you. I am no Java programmer nor Windchill customization engineer and I was unable to source within PTC sample code for a scheduler method that already performs the task of reading the input file and processing its contents.  I am, however, in discussion with a Tech Support colleague who is a Java programmer and is dabbling in Windchill customization; we are looking to see how much effort it would take to provide a sample method that you might then use as a basis for your implementation.

Regarding steps 2 and 3, the purpose was to support the use case where an admin user does not have access to the Windchill server (an all too common situation with secure Windchill implementations these days).  By making the scheduler method get the file input from a WTDoc, we then allow a Windchill admin to upload the file on the WTDoc from their client mchine prior to executing the scheduler method on the server.

To be honest, if you were going to take the input from a file directly from the Windchill server's file system, a WVS Scheduler method is not the way to go and I would instead have recommended a command-line utility that could be executed directly on the server.

Re: Getting the most from the WVS Job Scheduler

To be honest, if you were going to take the input from a file directly from the Windchill server's file system, a WVS Scheduler method is not the way to go and I would instead have recommended a command-line utility that could be executed directly on the server.

Does such a utility exist, or would that have to be custom coded as well?

Thanks!

Re: Getting the most from the WVS Job Scheduler

If this is a common requirement, then someone somewhere will have written such a utility but I've looked within PTC for such a sample and have not found one yet.  As I mentioned, however, we are looking to provide sample code, along the lines of the approach I mentioned, that you could use but this may not be available in immediately.

You might want to contact PTC Global Services if this is something that you would like assistance with... it's possible that they have a library customization that they can provide but this is unlikely to be free.

Re: Getting the most from the WVS Job Scheduler