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Alternatives to Windchill for Creo CAD management


Alternatives to Windchill for Creo CAD management


I am looking for customer cases where either Enovia (Dassault) or Agile (Oracle) are being used as an alternative to Windchill, particularly CAD data management.

We are evaluating consolidation of PDMs as we own all three. I am specifically looking for what to expect as far as pitfalls, workarounds, limitations, etc. as pertaining to the use of Creo Parametric, Schematic, View, Illustrate, etc.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.


I am working on the latest Enovia V6 2013 version with Creo2 parametric. The install uses third party CAD integration tool (previoulsy known as MxPro). I have been told that our Enovia install has been heavily modified to function as it does. I am not sure what the Enovia out of the box feature set looks like, so I can judge only what I use against PDMlink:

1. Enovia Workspaces: File status not given. Only tells you folder status for content removed or added. Very different from what PTC Windchill calls workspace. No benefit for collaboration.

2. No direct (live) connection to the Enovia vault. You work from your hard drive through windows explorer.

3. Many operations to determine manipulate objects: OPEN window, UPDATE, CHECK STATUS and are in different windows.

4. Files must be copied from Enovia to HD and not moved from that folder to maintain link to database to perform updates/checkin files.

5. The OPEN screen is presented as the means to interface with the vault as you would in PDMlink workspace. Really, its just a "checkout" screen which means to get a copy from the vault.

6. ET AL.....

The summary of my interaction with Enovia: it has some of the tools that are available in PDMlink but the interface is inefficient which undermines users from following best practices and prevents truely collaborative efforts (especially with medium to large assemblies with several contributors). We found that most divisions utilize a CAD project manager position on each mechanical design project whose focus is maintenance of file changes/file status. Seems for the cost of a PLM system, that Enovia would step up and provide an out of the box pilot test install for you to gain some knowledge against the competition you have access. Kick the tires hard on this one


I would like to find out more about your experiences with Enovia V6 managing Creo 2 Parametric. I know somewhat about the integration I have seen some demos. Our parent company is moving to Enovia V6 and Catia V6 but we our primary CAD tool is Creo 2.0 Parametric. Can you share any information about your company / name? How large is your organization? We have quite a large user base ~ 300 engineers using Creo and our concern is the day to day interaction / performance of Enovia V6 and Creo. We have not made any decisions and could potentially use Windchill directly with Creo. Any information you can provide would be helpful. Thanks.


We are currently in purchasing process for a Plm solution who could work with creo 5 or 6, and also Catia for the other engineering department.
Our final choice will be between Windchill vs Enovia.
And for the moment the price is better for Enovia and our IT and Catia users are pushing for it.
I have already worked with windchill in previous company, and i liked it, but for Enovia i am a bit afraid of no full compatibility and maybe other things that I don't know.
That's why I am very interested of your feedback with enovia and creo?
Does it work well? Family table etc...?
Than you

What percentage of your users are Catia and what percentage are Creo. windchill works better with creo and that is what I recommend


Sorry but they were in the same configuration and that's very interesting for us, 2 years of feedback.
We will be 12 cad users on creo, and 15 cad users on Catia. The rest will be, Puchasing department, suppliers department and quality department.
I would like to use only Ptc softwares for creo, but the Headquarter will don't pay for two solution.
All the price difference is because we also want modification documents management with revision follow-up. And just for this option, we need to take Ebom windchill license, and that thing is rising the price for 20 000 euros each year.
Even if they know that if we will want to change creo version in the futur we will need to pay another time the updating ptc software for Enovia.

I don't know but I hope that maybe we could used only Windchill for creo users and their cad management, and using only Enovia for workfllow processing for documents management and pdf drawings.

Hate to say it but sounds like you need to go with Windchill

21-Topaz I

Using 2 different systems for the different types of CAD files will be a pain.  Which system does the user need to look at?  When you make changes to one can you make the same change to the other?  It's will be a pain to keep 2 systems maintained.

23-Emerald II

This should have been opened as a new thread, not hung off a 5 year old one!

CAD and PLM have changed significantly in 5 years.


Both programs are capable of storing data from the other CAD system. The problem with a third-party PLM is waiting for an update and synchronizing your updates so everyone is working together.



Hey Cameron,

I use Oracle Agile 9 in conjunction with the xPLM MCAD integration tool; it manages both our SolidWorks and Creo 2 CAD through the same software where the xPLM interface is near identical between each system. The main pit-fall i've seen with Agile lies with the user interface; neither the xPLM tool nor Agile itself is particularly training....


Agile can automatically update item BOMs, creates nonnative formats for CAD (.STEP, .IGS, etc.) and publish .PDFs for all the drawings; also it fills out the title block data for drawings.

(Like the Enovia system) CAD is updated on the user's local hard drive and then saved to the Agile server. The user's need to be trained to delete old CAD from their HD, before later accessing the CAD from the Agile server. This is especially important when comparing different versions of the same models.

Managing large assemblies without a unique part number from Agile for each component is messy (and files get lost). I have restricted the ability to save CAD to Agile unless a unique part number for each CAD file has already been created. It creates a lot of front-end work which the designers do not enjoy.

I needed to hire a third party to script a revision control function for CAD files. Out-of-the-Box function for CAD ("Design Objects") does not follow the same workflow/release as other items in Agile, and there is not an easy way to disallow "check-out" privilege for users. Now though, CAD designs directly follow the item workflows; and the system is extremely efficient for tracking and implementing changes.


are there any free-ish PDM systems for small teams for proe like Workgroup PDM for Solidworks (free)?

I do believe you just dropped the f-bomb. FREE!

PTC recently purchased NetIdeas to provide a hosted solution for PDMlink for small companies. We have been using this service since 2010 for 10-15 users. The cost is around $160 per user/month. There is a nominal setup fee. They do offer a workgroup manager that interfaces with other CAD products. I do not know the additonal cost for this.

do you mean that it is "in the cloud"?

That is confusing. Article on hosted vs cloud:

NetIdeas hosted access (remote servers running the PDMlink program with your data) is provided through a secure website connection that runs through the Internet to servers located in a remote location. In Creo, you link this server to Creo for seamless access to vault data.

Also....Two ways to use NetIdeas (😞 1) Your own company vault location running on a single instance of the program that is shared with other companies (limits setup time/costs but limits customization) and 2) an Enterprise install where you have much more setup control over how the program interacts with your users. We have the shared instance setup and have been provided sufficient flexibility to work with our procedures.

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