Comparing the attachments associated to different versions of Documents.
Windchill does a great job of comparing the attributes (meta data) and relationships (Uses, References) between different versions / iterations of Documents and Parts.
I am looking for ways to compare content files (Actual file content not just file names) associated with multiple versions of documents.
Use Case: There is an intent to revise Specification documents and update the content of the primary and attachment files. During the review process, users have to track the changes on the newer revision (to make it easier for approvers) for review and apply all of teh changes at a later time.
It will be easier if we can just present the differences between two versions of file attachments (Just like how Software source control differences compute the differences in text of the software files).
In this case, I will know what files are involved. I am looking for a server side (Windchill / Doc Worker /Apache POI API/ Microft technologies etc..) technology that can accept teh files and publish the differences report that looks similar to Office Trach Changes functionality.
Re: Comparing the attachments associated to different versions of Documents.
OpenOffice is one of your viable options. We did not perform the exact feature but downloaded the doc to a workstation (similar to office worker. We installed OpenOffice on that workstation) and performed few changes, converted the doc to PDF and uploaded back into Windchill.
For this approach, I am envisioning a java code that uses OpenOffice APIs for comparing the docs, download the files to the workstation, a trigger for invoking the java code for the files comparison, upon completion add the doc with the changes tracked as a secondary attachment or a link on the compare UI.
If you need any specific details, please let me know.