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Download files from Windchill by Excel


Download files from Windchill by Excel

Dear Reader,

Our purchase department is spending hours downloading manuallya dxf file for each drawing beforesending it to the manufacturer.

We like to automate this manual downloadfrom Windchill and would like to work with Excel (and VBA).

The number of the drawing to look for could be entered in the Excel list and the vba code could download the dxf file attached to the drawing and place this in a folder.

Does anyone have experience with this and likes to share his code ?

Best regards,

Bernard Wielfaert


Hello Bernard ..

You could approach this as follows..

1) On the server side which is Windchill, write a REST ful web service,
which would take the number as input and return the dxf file attached as
content from the drawing over HTTP.

2) Your client side which could be anything from Flex / RIA based service
consumer to excel..Although I have no experience in developing excel as a
web service consumer but a quick search revealed that it should be quite
easy " by using a specialized web service add-in and by writing a small
amount of macro code. The first step is to download the Office Web Services
Toolkit, a free add-in that gives you the ability to call remote web
services from inside an Office document. To download the toolkit, surf to
the Microsoft Download Center and search for Office Web Services Toolkit.
You'll see two different versions: one that's designed for Office XP and
another that works with Office 2003. Once you install the toolkit, you're
ready to web-enable your worksheets." In other versions of excel the
approach might differ...

Shudh Datta
Written on Droid

Hi Bernard

OOTB package seems to be best approach for meeting your requirements. You
can keep track of the packages you shared with your manufacturer.

Please find the attached for another custom approach. All the drawing
numbers can be collected in a flat file and the flat file can be uploaded
into Windchill for downloading the drawings dxfs.

This approach is very handy if you want to navigate associations for
downloading the content.

Thank you and have a great time.

Best Regards

Swamy Senthil

Principal Solutions Architect, Swasen Inc; 909 800 8423(M); 973 324 2729(W); 866
908 6561(F);

Hi Bernard,

We had a similar requirement but it was for documents. I wrote a query
in report manager and embedded that query into excel. This allows the
users to query Windchill and download the content without having to go
to the information page for each object.

I'm using VB to control the buttons (Run Report, Clear, Download All
Content). This should be easy to re-create for EPMDocument attachments.

Let me know if you're interested in this option and I'll send you some
more detail.

Thank you,

Dax Williams
Engineering E-Tools Administrator
GE Healthcare OEC


Are these DXF files the drawing file or visualization representations? Are
you using WTParts as well?

I wrote a VB application that takes the .zip/.jar file from the WTPart
Export command. From a Part's details page click the Actions menu and Click
Export. One of the options has the option do download the Cad data as well.

My little application extracted the zip/jar,

Copied the part files to their own folder and renamed them with version and

Move the documents to their own folder

Found all the representation.jar files that were primary content of drawing
objects and extracted the PDFs to their own folder.

We happen to publish our Pro/E drawings to PDF.

This was relatively easy to do and more could probably be done with it, but
I don't have the time or need to expand it. I'm hoping that improvements in
Packages in 10 will negate the need for this tool to survive our upgrade.

Steve D.

Hi Shudh,

This seems to be a decent solution but requires heavy knowledge of the insides of Windchill which I do not have actually.

Can you shed some light on the REST full web service that needs to be written at the Windchill side ?

Best regards,

Bernard Wielfaert

Software Engineering

LVD Company NV Belgium

Hi Dax,

Yes, that sounds as a possible solution. Please send me more details.

Best regards,

Bernard Wielfaert

Software Engineering
LVD Company NV

Hi Swamy,

Thanks for your reply.
I gave the "packages" a try but find that there is still much operations (clicking and searching) involved before one can send a package.
Working with Excel enables also the possibility that the numbers are imported from an ERP system, so we prefer to work with Excel.

Best regards,

Bernard Wielfaert
Software Engineering
LVD Company NV

Hi Stephen,

The dxf file is a secondary contents attachment to the drawing, seeattached picture. We are using WTParts as well. The drawing and 3Dmodel are associated the the WTPart.

Best regards,

Bernard Wielfaert
Software Engineering
LVD Company NV

We do something similar. Wrote a Java application that allows the user to enter a pro e file name. The application searches the database for the product view files then copies them from the vault to the local machine renames them and launches Product View. We also have one that searches for DXF files since we publish to DXF.

Joe Kent
Engineering Systems Administrator
Structural Brand Development / Mold Manufacturing
"With Us, Ideas Take Shape"

What I don't like about my approach is that user's have to do the export. I'm sure I could write code to do that, but for the use case it didn't make sense. But the positive side is you get all the children's cad, docs and viewables in one download.

Steve D.

Sent from my iPad

Hi All,

Please see the attached presentation and example files for creating a
Windchill Report Interface in Excel. It's fairly straight forward but
please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.



Attached is the export (.qml file) for the report used in the example.
This may be helpful for those of you who haven't created a report using
Report Manager. You can import this .qml file into your development

Hope this helps,


Dax Williams

Do you know a way to automate logging into Windchill from Excel?   I have created a report and added it to Excel and would like to avoid having to log into the Windchill server when I refresh the report. 

If there is a way to log into the server with no manual interaction, that would be great.  I need to automate some reports for sharing with others, and need to get it to the point where once the Excel file is opened, it refreshes the web query automatically.



Hi Marc DeBower‌,

  I haven't attempted to bypass the login in Excel but I've heard it can be done. I believe Jered Larsen‌ figured out a way around the login. Maybe reach out to him and see if he still has this information?

  Just to note, once you open excel and login, you shouldn't need to login again if you refresh of the query. At lease not with the ones we've created. If you do get the information, please post it back to the report page so we don't have to figure it out ourselves.

Good Luck,



You can try this vb code, it seem to bypass basic authentication used by Apache:

Public Sub testPDS()

  DebugOn = True

  Set FSO = New Scripting.FileSystemObject

  Set XmlHttp = CreateObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP")

  USER_NAME = "xxxxxx"

  USER_PASSWORD = "xxxxxx"

  XmlHttp.Open "POST", "", False

  XmlHttp.setRequestHeader "Content-Type", "text/xml"

  XmlHttp.setRequestHeader "Authorization", "Basic " + Base64Encode(USER_NAME & ":" & USER_PASSWORD)

  XmlHttp.send ""

  If (DebugOn) Then

        MsgBox XmlHttp.responseText

  End If

End Sub

Let me know if this answers your question...


Thanks for uploading the code, when I run it, I get this:


...and it doesn't seem to work.

After a couple of days of research I found the answer and posted it here:


This is exactly what I am trying to do, but the link doesn't show up in Marc's last post.  Can you edit your post with the link Marc or give a brief explanation of what worked for you?





21-Topaz I

@mdebower wrote:

After a couple of days of research I found the answer and posted it here:




Your link didn't show up.  Can you repost it please?

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