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  The /Windchill/tmp/wrmfTransport directory get deleted randomly. Tried to exclude that folder from antivirus analysis but in vain. Can someone help on this please?    
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In my last blog post Productivity Enhancements on Windows Explorer Integration for Windchill Desktop Integration 10.2, Part I 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.     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.   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.     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.     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? …
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In my last blog post Productivity Enhancements on Windows Explorer Integration for Windchill Desktop Integration 10.2, Part I 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.     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.   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.     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.     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? …
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In Windchill 10.2 a lot of effort has been made to enhance and simplify the user experience when working with WTDocuments from your Microsoft Windows Desktop. In this blog I will show you some of the enhancements and how they can significantly simplify your interaction with documents stored in your company’s Windchill system.   Windows Explorer Integration   The PTC Windchill Desktop Integration plugin adds the Windchill Documents system folder to your local environment. You can you use that Windows Explorer Integration to find, open, access and download Windchill documents without the need to open the Windchill web application in a browser.   This will give you a variety of ways to easily access and interact with documents just like they had been stored on your local system:   by double clicking on a file in the Windows Explorer by using the context (right mouse button) menu on the Windchill node, any context folder or document in the Windows Explorer by the File > Open dialog of any local application (like Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat…) ...   But I do not want to miss the (in my opinion) most natural way of interacting with documents in Windows – Drag and Drop. As working with the Explorer Integration should just feel natural, Drag and Drop capabilities have been integrated and with Windchill 10.2 M010 these have even been enhanced. Dragging a document file from your local system to a context folder under the Windchill Documents node will trigger one of the following actions (depending on the area where you drop the document):   New Document / New Multiple Documents Check In Replace Content   The other direction is supported as well: Grabbing a document from a Windchill context folder and dragging it to your local system or another Windchill context will trigger corresponding actions depending if modifier keys (Shift and / or Ctrl) are applying and the target the document is dropped (possible actions are copy, move, create shortcut…).   Access to Windchill Functionality   Starting with Windchill 10.2 F000, the right-click menu in Windows Explorer includes a wider range of Windchill actions. While in previous releases only actions such as Open and View Information were available, this expanded to the most commonly used actions on the Windchill web application (even multiselect for Check in, Set State… have been implemented in 10.2 M030). The right mouse button menu is context sensitive and the actions availability will change depending on the object you open it on. Additional restrictions like access permissions, preferences and so on can have impact on the availability of actions. My personal highlight is the introduction of the Compare Document functionality in the Windows Explorer integration with Windchill 10.2 F000.   Compare Documents   Starting Windchill 10.2 F000 (and enhanced in 10.2 M010) the Desktop integration added compare capabilities. But different to the compare functionality available in the Windchill web application this will concentrate less on comparing metadata but more on comparing the content of the documents. Out of the box Windchill supports Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010 files and had been extended to Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint in Windchill 10.2 M010 (dedicated support matrix below).   Office Version Microsoft Excel Microsoft Word Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 No Yes No 2010 No Yes Yes 2013 Yes Yes Yes   Additional file compare tools can be registered based on the file extension in the Windchill Desktop Integration Configuration menu.   There are two different compare actions available:   Compare Document Versions This will allow you to compare the file content of two different versions of the same document (see screenshot) Compare Documents This will allow you to compare the content of two different objects, which need to be of the same file type.     Going forward   This was the first part of my post about productivity enhancements on Windows Explorer Integration. In the second part I will show you how easy it is to access Windchill Meta data in the Windows Explorer, how this can be adjusted to your needs and how simple it is to find any document with the integrated Windchill search.   If you are in the meantime interested in additional details on the Windchill Explorer Integration, you’ll find further information in the Windchill Help Center .   And as always any questions and comments are appreciated but I definitely would be very interested in your ideas:   What do you think about the enhanced functionality? Which functionality you like best? For which things do you use the Windows Explorer integration? …   Please let me and the community know about it.
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I’m sure that many of you have come across slow-performing searches in Windchill, especially when using wildcards. It might be snappier if you have Index Search installed, but only when the Keyword: field is used; as soon as you enter something in the Criteria section of Advanced Search, the system falls back to basic database queries. Under the hood, the bulk of the time and resources spent during wildcard search is in database queries containing something like "..AND NAME LIKE ‘%mypart%’…", i.e. with filters that include leading and/or trailing wildcards. New functionality was introduced in Windchill 10.2 to deal with this. The basic idea is that, for a given business object type and attribute, a separate table is created in the database that holds indexed columns with substrings of the current values. Windchill can then do exact searches of these substrings without using wildcards, which speeds things up significantly. We’ll go through an example here to illustrate how to use it.   Configuring it I’ll be adding a substring index for the attribute ‘name’ in the business object class wt.part.WTPartMaster.  The actual creation and maintenance of the substring index tables is done with the SubStringIndexTool, but before running it, it needs to be configured. The tool reads the configuration file <Windchill>/conf/subStringIndex.xml. This file does not exist in OOTB Windchill, so I’ll have to create it manually. For this example, the content of the file looks like this: The parameters className and attributeName are set to the class and attribute on which the substring index is created. I want the index table name to be JLAPARTINDX; if this is not specified, it will default to <table>$<attribute>$SSI, which is a bit long for my taste. I don’t want it to be case sensitive (caseSensitive=”false”) and the index length is set to 6 (indexLength=”6”). I’ll cover that later when we look at the results. I’m also enabling pre-query, which is one of two available approaches for applying the substring index during searches. The one chosen here means that Windchill first queries the substring index table for matching object IDs; these are then used to query the actual business object table. There are more details on this in the JavaDoc of the wt.pds.subStringIndex package. With the configuration done, we can run the tool to create the substring index.   Running the tool The substring index is created with the following command:   windchill wt.pds.subStringIndex.SubStringIndexTool create <user> <password>   where <user> and <password> is the Windchill database schema username and password. The result is a new table that looks something like this:     The ID column holds the object ID of the related WTPartMaster; the VALUE column holds the full values of the selected ‘name’ attribute. The SS* columns hold the substrings of the given lengths that have been found in the attribute values. This is where the ‘indexLength’ parameter comes in; it was set to 6, so it will generate six SS* columns. SS1 holds all substrings of length 1, SS2 holds the ones with length 2, and so on. For example, one of the attribute values is '01-51284.prt'. The substrings for this value start in row 13 above: as the POS value increases, you see the various length substrings for that value in the different SS* columns. So how does it work? Say a user does a search for *5128*. The substring between the wildcards is four characters long, so a fast, indexed search is done in the SS4 column for the exact value 5128. The query returns the ID column values, which are then used to find the matching entries in the original WTDOCUMENTMASTER table.   Maintaining it A separate table is being used for the substring indexes, which means that a mechanism is needed to keep it in sync with the original business object table. There are three options: Event-driven – sync is triggered insert, update and/or remove events in Windchill Scheduled – sync takes place at scheduled, regular intervals, triggered from a background queue. Manual – sync is done manually with the SubStringIndexTool This is configured in the subStringIndex.xml file mentioned earlier. Details on these and how to configure them can be found here.   Going forward If this looks interesting and you wish to implement substring indexes, you’ll find further information in the Windchill Help Center. The purpose of this blog entry was to raise awareness of its existence, as we have seen very few queries on it in Tech Support. Thank you for your time; as always, comments and feedback are greatly appreciated.
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Have you ever had an issue in Windchill for which you had to raise an Enterprise Down (EDOWN) case with PTC Technical Support? An EDOWN situation is the equivalent of an emergency room need: the Windchill server is down or unresponsive, productivity is crippled and the user community is impatiently waiting for updates on what’s going on and when the server is back up. It’s a pretty stressful environment. Having a support contract and the possibility of raising EDOWN cases is good to fall back on, but it’s similar to having doctors and dentists around: it’s comforting to know that they are there, but we’d rather prevent the need of their services in the first place. This is what this post is about.   General preventative measures We started doing analyses of Enterprise Down cases on a quarterly basis to get a better understanding of the underlying causes and see if we could work out some common practices that specifically targets these causes. Product improvements is one aspect that we are continuously working on (the Internet of Things opens up interesting possibilities), but there are actions that you can take right now to safeguard your server from some of the more common causes of EDOWN situations: Take regular backups – Daily incrementals is what you would normally strive for. We do occasionally get cases where production server backups are old or non-existent and a catastrophic hardware failure has led to data loss. Needless to say, this is beyond repair with possibly months or years of lost work as a consequence. Information on Windchill backup strategies can be found in the PTC Windchill Backup and Recovery Planning Technical Brief. Configure mail notifications – Windchill itself and some of its third-party components have built-in monitoring that can send out e-mail alerts when server performance indicators start drifting outside of their comfort zones. However, some configuration is needed for the alerts to be sent out. The configuration steps are described here. If you get a monitoring alert that you are unsure about, search in our Knowledge Base for information on the alert and what actions might be required in response to it. If no information is found, open a case with Technical Support. Set up a test server and use it – Any change to a Windchill server, no matter how small, can have unexpected side effects. There is a good chance that any adverse side effects will reveal themselves on the test server so that you know about them before applying them to the production system. It might not seem worth the extra cost and hassle to do this, but it makes troubleshooting so much easier for everyone involved so please reconsider if you don’t already have one. Other advantages include: Troubleshooting which requires verbose logging and/or frequent restarts does not disrupt the operation of the production server Reconfiguration for data capture does not disrupt production system. For example, profiling with the Windchill Profiler is greatly simplified with a single Method Server, which can be easily configured on a test server. Testing of potential fixes can be done without interfering with the production server. Monitor your server – use PSM if possible, or the out-of-the-box Site > Utilities > Server Status page. As a server administrator, keep the page (or an overview dashboard if using PSM) on a screen and check it regularly. This will make you familiar with the day-to-day load cycles on the server, including how user activity rises and falls on a daily basis and when background activities usually kick off. This makes it easier to spot unusual patterns that may indicate budding problems early. Server Status page: System Health dashboard in PSM: Going forward This was a brief overview of common measures that can be taken to avoid some EDOWNs. Some of this may seem basic and plain common sense to you; if so, excellent, hold on to that mindset. Nevertheless, we see a significant portion of EDOWN cases that may have been prevented with these measures, which is why they were covered here. On a final note, there is a new set of articles that outline the most common technical areas where EDOWNs occur and contain information including: Preventative actions Informative articles and resources Links to articles for the most common EDOWNs issues The main article is CS202168- How to avoid common Enterprise Down issues in Windchill, other related articles are linked from that one. These will be reviewed on a quarterly basis to ensure that they reflect the most recent EDOWN analysis results. Thank you for your time and as always, comments and feedback are greatly appreciated.
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