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Are you using a datamanager other than PTC for Pro/E?

ptc-113113
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Are you using a datamanager other than PTC for Pro/E?

First my apologies for cross posting, but I am trying to reach a larger audience

What are the options for managing Pro/E data today?
Windchill PDMLink
Windchill Pro/INTRALINK
ProductPoint
Seimens PLM
Oracle/Agile PLM
(Subversion)??
(git?)
Enovia
Home grown software??
Open source workflow/content management software?

Given our first and foremost requirement is to maintain business continuity and replace Pro/INTRALINK 3.4:

We need a universal "workspace" where it understands the file types, but does not discriminate against the file types, i.e by not forcing users to manage the documents life cycles thru more than one tool set. I call this concept a "universal" workspace, which in fact what was implemented so beautifully in Pro/INTRALINK 3.4. All objects defined in the administrative console were managed using one tool set only.

Why would it be so difficult for PTC to allow users to manage MSOffice documents in the Pro/E workspace. The actions would be all the same, "Add to Workspace" Check out Check in, Modified status.

As it is we have hit a MAJOR roadblock in our Windchill implementation, as we have already trained our users to adopt the excellent version control in 3.4 for all our primary business documents (word excel, autocad, pro/e etc). We have identified that Windchills inability to manage all primary business documents in a workspace, is very detrimental to the ability of teammates to collaborate using the same LifeCycle management processes.

So I have to ask, is there a better solution out there?

Best Regards for the Holidays,

Andrew Amsden
CAD\PDM Administrator
Midmark Corporation
937-526-8770






15 REPLIES 15

Are you using a datamanager other than PTC for Pro/E?

You could set the ProE config.pro option allow_import_file_extension to
include .xls, .txt, etc., then upload those files as CAD Objects. You
could then link them to the CAD files (.prt, .asm, etc.) and get them in
your workspace.

I think you may have to do some extra effort (i.e. use a non-ProE
integrated browser) to download the file, edit it, then use an integrated
ProE browswer to upload a change, but it might do what you want.

Has anyone tried something like that? Would something like that work?

Al Anderson
Solar Turbines Incorporated






Andrew Amsden <->
12/15/2009 12:55 PM
Please respond to
Andrew Amsden <->


To
"-" <->,
"-" <->
cc

Subject
[solutions] - Are you using a datamanager other than PTC for Pro/E?




Caterpillar: Confidential Green Retain Until: 01/14/2010



First my apologies for cross posting, but I am trying to reach a larger
audience

What are the options for managing Pro/E data today?
Windchill PDMLink
Windchill Pro/INTRALINK
ProductPoint
Seimens PLM
Oracle/Agile PLM
(Subversion)??
(git?)
Enovia
Home grown software??
Open source workflow/content management software?

Given our first and foremost requirement is to maintain business
continuity and replace Pro/INTRALINK 3.4:

We need a universal ?workspace? where it understands the file types, but
does not discriminate against the file types, i.e by not forcing users to
manage the documents life cycles thru more than one tool set. I call this
concept a ?universal? workspace, which in fact what was implemented so
beautifully in Pro/INTRALINK 3.4. All objects defined in the
administrative console were managed using one tool set only.

Why would it be so difficult for PTC to allow users to manage MSOffice
documents in the Pro/E workspace. The actions would be all the same, ?Add
to Workspace? Check out Check in, Modified status.

As it is we have hit a MAJOR roadblock in our Windchill implementation, as
we have already trained our users to adopt the excellent version control
in 3.4 for all our primary business documents (word excel, autocad, pro/e
etc). We have identified that Windchills inability to manage all primary
business documents in a workspace, is very detrimental to the ability of
teammates to collaborate using the same LifeCycle management processes.

So I have to ask, is there a better solution out there?

Best Regards for the Holidays,

Andrew Amsden
CAD\PDM Administrator
Midmark Corporation
937-526-8770





Are you using a datamanager other than PTC for Pro/E?

While it might work, is it worth it? What benefits are you getting by doing
"Document Management" in a Workspace, that you can't live without?



To me, the main purpose of the Workspace in Intralink 3.x or one of the
Windchill products is to provide a "single level directory" like structure
to retrieve all of the necessary files that Pro/E (or any other CAD
application) would need to be able to open and regenerate the files. Back
in the days when you worked on a shared network drive, or locally you had to
setup Search Paths to make sure all the files could be retrieved. When the
Intralink came out, the Workspace solved this issue, the files were all
placed in the same "folder". (I can't remember if Pro/PDM worked the same
way, only played with it a couple of times)



Sure you could do other stuff in Ilink 3.x from a workspace, such as launch
a file and edit it, but is this truly necessary? To me it's giant overkill.
Will you need to retrain some of your users? Absolutely, even if you could
do Document Management operations from a Workspace you still need to retool
your users because no matter how pretty a picture is painted 9.x is not 3.x.
The sooner that lesson is accepted and acknowledge the sooner you can start
getting the benefits from 9.x



If Pro/E is your main CAD application, I don't think a 3rd party data
management solution will meet your needs. If your models are fairly
simplistic, don't use Family Tables, or use other advanced Pro/E
dependencies then maybe you could get away with a 3rd party package. You may
have some luck with ProductPoint, haven't used it myself and it is a fairly
new product. I don't think you'll have a Universal Workspace in that tool
either.



Maybe after hearing what else you are missing I would agree with you, but
from my perspective, it's more of a training issue and changing the clicks
people used to perform to match how the tool is designed vs. trying to fight
it.



Steve D.




Are you using a datamanager other than PTC for Pro/E?

Have you tried project link?
(PDMLink+ProjectLink)
Sincerely,
Raimondas


_____

Are you using a datamanager other than PTC for Pro/E?

Andrew, I have to agree with you, 3.X did provide a more complete solution
in that way.


Steve, to answer your question 'What are the benefits....?' IMHO, the 3.X
workspace gives the same revision AND ITERATION control for ANY object the
administrator decides. With 8.X and 9.X, Word and Excel documents are
downloaded to whichever directory the user decides ... exactly how much
control do we have over the document at that point? None, any file can be
checked in.

I don't think it's just a 'training issue' ... where I work we faced the
same problem as Andrew. We simply had to move to 8.0, so we had no choice
but to re-train the users. Does it work? Yes. Are we better off now? I
don't think so, we have lost some control.

With Windchill I think it goes deeper than workspaces though, as some recent
posts have been discussing, Documents and Pro/E objects must be promoted
separately.

I'm not sure we can do anything about it, other than raise enhancement
requests.



2009/12/16 Stephen Drzewiczewski <->

> While it might work, is it worth it? What benefits are you getting by
> doing “Document Management” in a Workspace, that you can’t live without?
>
>
>
> To me, the main purpose of the Workspace in Intralink 3.x or one of the
> Windchill products is to provide a “single level directory” like structure
> to retrieve all of the necessary files that Pro/E (or any other CAD
> application) would need to be able to open and regenerate the files. Back
> in the days when you worked on a shared network drive, or locally you had to
> setup Search Paths to make sure all the files could be retrieved. When the
> Intralink came out, the Workspace solved this issue, the files were all
> placed in the same “folder”. (I can’t remember if Pro/PDM worked the same
> way, only played with it a couple of times)
>
>
>
> Sure you could do other stuff in Ilink 3.x from a workspace, such as launch
> a file and edit it, but is this truly necessary? To me it’s giant overkill.
> Will you need to retrain some of your users? Absolutely, even if you could
> do Document Management operations from a Workspace you still need to retool
> your users because no matter how pretty a picture is painted 9.x is not 3.x.
> The sooner that lesson is accepted and acknowledge the sooner you can start
> getting the benefits from 9.x
>
>
>
> If Pro/E is your main CAD application, I don’t think a 3rd party data
> management solution will meet your needs. If your models are fairly
> simplistic, don’t use Family Tables, or use other advanced Pro/E
> dependencies then maybe you could get away with a 3rd party package. You
> may have some luck with ProductPoint, haven’t used it myself and it is a
> fairly new product. I don’t think you’ll have a Universal Workspace in that
> tool either.
>
>
>
> Maybe after hearing what else you are missing I would agree with you, but
> from my perspective, it’s more of a training issue and changing the clicks
> people used to perform to match how the tool is designed vs. trying to fight
> it.
>
>
>
> Steve D.
>
>
>
>
>
> *From:* Al X. Anderson [> -" <->
>
> cc
>
> Subject
>
> [solutions] - Are you using a datamanager other than PTC for Pro/E?
>
>
>
> Caterpillar: Confidential Green Retain Until: 01/14/2010
>
>
>
>
> First my apologies for cross posting, but I am trying to reach a larger
> audience
>
> What are the options for managing Pro/E data today?
> Windchill PDMLink
> Windchill Pro/INTRALINK
> ProductPoint
> Seimens PLM
> Oracle/Agile PLM
> (Subversion)??
> (git?)
> Enovia
> Home grown software??
> Open source workflow/content management software?
>
> Given our first and foremost requirement is to maintain business continuity
> and replace Pro/INTRALINK 3.4:
>
> We need a universal “workspace” where it understands the file types, but
> does not discriminate against the file types, i.e by not forcing users to
> manage the documents life cycles thru more than one tool set. I call this
> concept a “universal” workspace, which in fact what was implemented so
> beautifully in Pro/INTRALINK 3.4. All objects defined in the administrative
> console were managed using one tool set only.
>
> Why would it be so difficult for PTC to allow users to manage MSOffice
> documents in the Pro/E workspace. The actions would be all the same, “Add to
> Workspace” Check out Check in, Modified status.
>
> As it is we have hit a MAJOR roadblock in our Windchill implementation, as
> we have already trained our users to adopt the excellent version control in
> 3.4 for all our primary business documents (word excel, autocad, pro/e etc).
> We have identified that Windchills inability to manage all primary business
> documents in a workspace, is very detrimental to the ability of teammates to
> collaborate using the same LifeCycle management processes.
>
> So I have to ask, is there a better solution out there?
>
> Best Regards for the Holidays,
>
> Andrew Amsden
> CAD\PDM Administrator
> Midmark Corporation
> 937-526-8770
>
>
>
>
>
>
> * ________________________________ *
> ***** NOTICE *****
> If you are not the intended recipient of this email, you are notified that
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> contents of this email and any files transmitted with it is strictly
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RE: Are you using a datamanager other than PTC for Pro/E?

Hi

if the purpose is to promote WTdocument and EPMdocument at the same time under one flow, why not putting them together in a WTpart.

for the WTpart represents the definition of the "product" (product as information to manage not necessary as product we sale to our customers), the WTdocument and EPMdocument are only complementary information to fully define the WTpart.

When promoting the WTPart you can collect the dependencies (WTdoc and EPMdoc) and promote them all together.

Now, PTC has to improve something. If I have a WTpart in my workspace and do a Set State, The Set State window allows me to collect object. If I do a Set State from PDMLink, there is no collector. This is one amoung other inconsistency we found about PDMLink.

Regards

RE: Are you using a datamanager other than PTC for Pro/E?

Forgot to mention, as Raimondas said it. You can also use ProjectLink

Share or check out from PDM anything you need into your Project, create new and once the project is completed, send everything you need at once back to PDMLink

Really, I can't see the advantages in being able to add WTdocument into your ProE workspaces. I think it is down to working habits/methods

All best in finding your most suitable solution

Best regards

RE: Are you using a datamanager other than PTC for Pro/E?

With regards to your statement below are you using Ilink 9.x or PDMLink 9.x?

You can Promote CAD, Docs, and Parts at the same time. The only gotcha is you need to be able to select all the objects at the same time. There are several ways this can be accomplished.

  • You're lucky enough to have them all in the same folder. Select them all, click Edit > Promote
  • The files have a similar name or number and you can find the object using a Basic Context search. (will return multiple object types)
  • The objects have associations to one another and can be collected in. Do an Advanced Context Search for one of the object types, either CAD or Parts. You can add multiple Number fields to your search criteria, add as many fields as are necessary. From Context Search results Promote is an option. On Step 2 of the Promotion wizard use the collector to add the associated items, better yet set your Site or Organization preference to collect these automatically. Just because they are collected does not promote them. On Step 3 you must ensure all collected items are also selected to be Promoted.
  • From a Part's Details page, go to Structure (should be the default). Expand All, Select All, Click Show Documents. This will show CAD Docs and WT Docs. You can now select all the items that need to be promoted.

If the objects aren't related, it is very difficult to promote them together, unless they are in the same folder, similar name/number, or are of the same object type. There have been a couple of threads here before stating that it's generally a best practice to not promote unrelated items together. Of course every business has different reasons for doing what they do.

If all of these options don't get you what you need, and you are using PDMLink 9.0 or higher, you can use an ECN without an ECR, possibly soft typed if you want to have more control over "Production Changes" vs promotion type changes, which we would consider "Engineering Changes". The workflow may need to be modified and the process tweaked a bit, but the User Interface for ECNs allows greater flexibility in addition and removal of items to an ECN, even after it's already been created, it can be Reworked and items added and removed.


In Reply to Paul Marshall:

With Windchill I think it goes deeper than workspaces though, as some recent
posts have been discussing, Documents and Pro/E objects must be promoted
separately.

RE: Are you using a datamanager other than PTC for Pro/E?

Not sure if somebody is using any open source PDM system to manage CAD data. Definitely I can see some movement in that direction but the lack of common BOM data exchange information and process information does not help a lot (Especially for companies that are doing business internationally)


D

Are you using a datamanager other than PTC for Pro/E?

yes
but the problems get worse when we try to keep a project in sync with the pdmlink commonspace

Are you using a datamanager other than PTC for Pro/E?

been there done that
WT parts do not automatically stay synchronized, in Version, with their counterpart documents(nice touch eh?). In this scenario it becomes imperative to always remember to select the WT part with the document. The scenario to the users is they have to maintain two sets of data.

The first user will quickly realize this is more work, and will rightfully ask, what value does this give the corporation?

Unless we go 100% to full interface with ERP, I do not have an answer for this question except, "someday, we may be able to use your doubled efforts to improve our interface with ERP". "Maybe." "Someday."



Are you using a datamanager other than PTC for Pro/E?

You need to look at your Revise collectors, make sure you are collecting
the correct objects so they do stay synced together.


> been there done that
> WT parts do not automatically stay synchronized, in Version, with their
> counterpart documents(nice touch eh?). In this scenario it becomes
> imperative to always remember to select the WT part with the document. The
> scenario to the users is they have to maintain two sets of data.
>
> The first user will quickly realize this is more work, and will rightfully
> ask, what value does this give the corporation?
>
> Unless we go 100% to full interface with ERP, I do not have an answer for
> this question except, "someday, we may be able to use your doubled efforts
> to improve our interface with ERP". "Maybe." "Someday."
>
>
>
>

Are you using a datamanager other than PTC for Pro/E?

I think it boils down to this: "Are WT docs to be managed individually or in sets?"

If you have only a few WT docs that need to interface with Pro/E related structure and processes, then the current condition in Windchill is sufficient. Maybe you have 1 or 2 Word docs per product. So the concerns I have been documenting are likely not relevant to your organization.

Is your product defined by Pro/E data alone, or are other authoring applications used to define items in your product? Our Electrical Engineers are integrating ECAD data with Pro/E. Their product designs have the same needs as do designs in Pro/E. Should we not give them the same advantages to work in our team environment?
(ECAD WGM is not a solution, as it supports the wrong ECAD application)

Disregarding the ECAD scenario, we still have increasing needs to manage product data in a version controlled shared development environment. Windchill has a lot of proven capability to handle this, but forces an artificial "Document Divide"


But others like us, have already benefitted from the power and efficiency of a workspace, where ALL the product data can be shared and compared.

The big montra for PLM sales today is "Single source of product truth", "Product definition fully and digitally stored in one system" etc. Kinda a missed expectation when data types, used for the same purpose, cannot be managed using the same user workflow.


It is all about efficiency. In the early days, before CAD data managers, a network was a novel thing. Sharing project data on a shared folder was just fantastic! We all know the history. Data managers solved problems of team members overwriting each others iterations in the shared folder. But then we learned signaling the team members earlier with notification of changes, even pending changes could dramatically and beneficially affect the way we work. To lose this early notification and the ability to compare a set of project data is a step backwards in history.



If you want to be able to have the advantages of workspace technology applied to other non Pro/E objects, you are basically stuck. (WGMs for AutoCAD etc. notwithstanding)

Suppose I was a software engineer. ALL the individual files that have dependencies and are version controlled are controlled by the server (such as Visual Source Safe, or SVN etc)
As a software engineer I can build "assemblies" much the same way as in Pro/E. Client software exists that can take the entire set of user data and quickly compare the state of the user data. I can create and manage baselines and branches. I can know, literally at the push of a button, which of my files are out of date with respect to the data checked in on the server. A good client could even tell me who checked in what and when.

Pro/E has somewhere around 50 super secret intra-file dependencies.

Now really, which set of intra-dependencies and relationships is more complex, software or Pro/E?


Course, in a SVN system, there may not be all the powerful workflows and 3d visualization tools in a software version control system, but the analogy stands. You effectively have a workspace for ALL you project data. Software engineers would reject out of hand a SVN system that place artificial constraints on what could or could not be managed in their workspace.

We are finding out a lot about Wind-chill, it has been quite an education.

Golly this is turning into a rant.. got to go home and decorate the tree with the kids.

I hope we all find happy solutions to our Windchill issues!

Thanks to everyone for their valuable input to this thread!

Are you using a datamanager other than PTC for Pro/E?

I'm not sure I agree at all with these statements below.



How do you share data from a workspace? Data is shared from the Commonspace
in 3.x or the server in 8.x or 9.x. Just because a user can place multiple
object types into a workspace does not make it easier to share or compare
data. It may make it a bit easier to keep track of all his work. But you can
use the Java download mechanism in Windchill and specify a default download
folder so you'll always know where to get what you are working on.



Not sure what you mean by data types, used for the same purpose, cannot be
managed using the same user workflow? You can promote CAD, Docs, Parts
together using the same exact workflow in the same Promotion Notice. You can
create Problem Reports, Change Request, Change Notices, and Variances
against all three of those object types again at the same time.



Maybe I'm not understanding the points you are trying to make below.




RE: Are you using a datamanager other than PTC for Pro/E?

Working with workspaces is typically a CAD-approach, mostly to maintain the dependencies between the CADdocuments. CAD-users confronted with MSOffice documents wonder why they can't extent the workspace concept to these documents. For other users on the other hand, workspaces are an overkill.

I tell my users that CADdocuments are in workspaces, other documents are in the working folder. Actually the same thing, but not managed. I would like to have Windchill delete files from the working folder after a successfull check-in. But apart from that, a working folder does the job.

Another thing I also insist to users involved in document management, is to always upload their document after closing, even if they haven't finished it. If Windchill could provide us with an upload history of a document, you would have implicite tracking of your work without the burden of a workspace.

Just my 2cts.

Regards, Hugo.

<< ProE WF3 M190 - PDMLink 8.00 M040 >>

RE: Are you using a datamanager other than PTC for Pro/E?

Not sure how many customers they have, but there is one open source PDM that I am aware of: http://www.aras.com/

I have not used their software, but think that it is an interesting concept, and hope it succeeds.

-marc

In Reply to Dmitry Tkach:

Not sure if somebody is using any open source PDM system to manage CAD data. Definitely I can see some movement in that direction but the lack of common BOM data exchange information and process information does not help a lot (Especially for companies that are doing business internationally)


D
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