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ECAD WGM in multi-user environment on UNIX server


ECAD WGM in multi-user environment on UNIX server

We use Mentor Graphis BoardStation tools running on UNIX servers, and are implementing WGM for ECAD. Our servers support multiple users at the same time.

We've noticed that WGM for ECAD doesn't work properly when more than one user on a given server tries to invoke the tool.

PTC is telling us that WGM for ECAD is a "client only" tool. It simply is not designed for more than one user on a single system.

I find it hard to believe we're the only site that has encountered this issue. Have you seen this? How did you solve this limitation?

Thanks for any insights.




How did your multi user problem described below turn out?

We are implementing the workgroup manager for Cadence. While populating the library, or checking in new designs, we are having trouble getting the library components to go into the library and the product board and schematic, etc to go into the Product. How did you guys deal with this issue?

Any other Lessons Learned or Best Practices that you could share?


Joe Meikle
Wildfire & PDMLink Consultant
Engineering Services & Support Dept
DRS Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition - FL Site
Office: 321 308 5125
Cell: 484 557 6609
Email: <u></u>

RE: ECAD WGM in multi-user environment on UNIX server

We were and areimplementing Mentor at Psion Teklogix and Com Dev respectively. We had the same issue and posed a possible solution, which is to work like before which is have the lead check out to a network drive where everyone has access to. Allow multiple individuals to modify their respective pages in the layout, schematic, etc. When complete, have the lead check in the package to PLM. You might need this solution to integrate with MCAD since ECAD number their boards and projects with the same number as MCAD.

RE: ECAD WGM in multi-user environment on UNIX server

In Reply to Patrick Chin:

We were and areimplementing Mentor at Psion Teklogix and Com Dev respectively.

Patrick -

Can you share which Mentor Graphics tool set is part of your implementation (i.e., BoardStation, Expedition Enterprise, PADS)?

I'd also appreciate any insights you can share in regard to how you're handing PCB component libraries, both within your Mentor Graphics environment, as well as within Windchill.


Phil Lindberg

RE: ECAD WGM in multi-user environment on UNIX server

Implementing ECAD:
ECAD with most Mentor Graphics uses DxDatabook which uses some form of a database (MSAccess, MYSQL, etc) to have tables of attributes for their classification of electrical components and list of AML/AVL. Some companies like to use excel spread sheets as the interface to manipulate and control the attributes. There is even a duplicated excel spread sheets to ensure that the values and orientation are not accidentally modified on the original.
Here are the assumptions of your implmentation:
· There is an electrical component engineer
· In Windchill there is a:
o Purchase Part Library with electrical components folders
o Electrical Library for commonality for reuse
· Partslink and Supplier Management are installed
· Options and Varients
Now, moving forward with possible solutions of ECAD integration with DxDatabook:

· One solution is to write some VB scripts to sync the part creation in the DxDatabook with Windchill by comparing the draft excel spread sheets to the originals. If different, apply the differences to PLM. But ignore deletes. This requires a lot of customization with VB scripts and java listeners for changes in a network directory where excels exist. This requires a multiple interfaces to manage for the component engineer. The excel and PartsLink must be managed to ensure attributes values and proper classification or reclassification. There is always a possibility to have a typo in excel.

· I would rather just create/move the database to the same database that Windchill exist. If the database is down, everything is down. Now you have to create an user interface to modify the data. This can be done either in Windchill or anyother (PHP, jsp, etc) . Your Mentor has to now point to this database and tables. Symbol files can be vaulted with pointers from the database.

· Or the most refined method is to create a new report/view table in windchill that is a combination of PartsLink attributes, supplier management and additional tables for:

o symbols and its orientation, symbol files can be vaulted

o Mapping for existing values attributes and it’s conversion

o Mappings for AMLs, location, MFG SCDs documentation

o to output the same as format as the excel/DxDatabook. Thus, when you create a new part in PartsLink, Windchill is the single interface and there is an approval process for a new part component. You don’t want released drawing that you import to change. If you don’t migrate your legacy data, you don’t need to create the mapping tables and just use Windchill values.

BOM Generation:

· Must create post hooks to remove the schematic and documents in the BOM. Usually, companies place documentation and place the quantity to 0.

· Need to customize part management to allow decimal places with reference designators

· Options and Varients:

o Require a pre-hook check-in to go through the schematic logic of options and map/create new in Windchill.

o You may need a C-code translator, it depends on the ECAD tool.

New EPM Indexes:

o Need the new EPM indexes to separate uniqueness between number, type, authoring tool, organizationid. Or else you will get errors when some methodologies are to number the project the same as the schematic or components as the board.

o When you include MCAD, this is when you really need the indexes. Most MCAD would number their drawings and 3-D rep board layouts as the same number as ECAD. Plus there is only one active association from the ECAD or MCAD EPM to the WTParts. With ECAD, the ECAD EPMs are the active association. The PCA viewable of the part should show the 3D viewable layout and the schematic like a drawing with a passive link. But, the board part should be hard linked to the PCB ECAD EPM. This association requires some additional hooks upon checkin. 99% of the cases, you will have a conflict of EPM numbers between ECAD with MCAD.

I didn't do this on my own, but got a ton of help from I just laid out the overall solution and the indexes. The new indexes will help you tons at least it will allow you to check in according to your numbering and naming methodology. Most companies do not number their objects with extension. That is the file name.

RE: ECAD WGM in multi-user environment on UNIX server

One more thing,

Have one lead checkout to a shared network location, so that the behavior of collaborating with multiple electrical engineers to update various drawing sheets still applies. When everything is done, you can have nightly checkins or have the lead check in. I prefer the nightly just in case you need to go back.

RE: ECAD WGM in multi-user environment on UNIX server

I would precreate the parts first in the Products, mostly just the PCA, the board and maybe some programmable assembly chips. Thus, using PartsLink with options and varients, you can have the logic predefined. Then use the WGM to check in the EPM for association in to the Electrical Library.


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