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Frustrations of Windchill

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Sapphire I

Frustrations of Windchill

Creating new objects in Windchill utilizes an Object Initialization Rule (OIR) to preset certain object characteristics. These include the object number, folder, versioning rules, team for access and some others. The OIR is an XML formatted file that is used to define the object characteristics at creation time.
PTC has specified certain rules with in WIndchill that allows customers to modify the OOTB rules for creating files so they can be tailored to each company’s needs and requirements. The one rule is critical in making the system work for each customer is that a lower level OIR will override a higher level one.
Let me explain the hierarchy of OIR rules, which also applies to other default settings. When Windchill is initially installed, PTC loads OIR files at the site level. The site level is the top of the WIndchill tree. These XML files are instantiated down through lower levels, if needed. When installed, WIndchill creates an Organization level of files. This sits below the site level and allows company-wide customizations. Below the Org level, we have established Products and Libraries.
These levels allow customization to be performed where the company sees the need. Taking the above paragraphs, a Library OIR for documents would override an Organization level document OIR which overrides the installed site one. A copy of the site level OIR is created at the lower level and modified for company use. We do not modify the site level files because a service pack or a system upgrade may replace the site level files and change remove the company changes.
I created a copy of the site OIR for documents at the Organization level and named it CTS Documents. Working with PTC, we modified this file to ask the user for the document number when they create a new document. By default, the number is an auto-generated sequential number pulled from an Oracle (the database behind WIndchill) sequential table and routine. After checking in the OIR changes, Windchill was not asking for the number. PTC said to disable the site level document OIR, which means only the organization level was active. This allowed the number field to be user entered.
However, when the document information was entered and then the Finish button pressed to complete the file entry to WIndchill, an error appeared. Researching the error, I found that it was known to PTC and they had issued a CS (Customer Support) document (CS50192) explaining what to do. This created an impasse! The CS article says that the information causing the error MUST be in a site level OIR and the site OIR enabled. Enabling the site OIR then made the number field auto-generated again.
This just one of the frustrations and delaying issues with implementing WIndchill. I would have thought a PTC support engineer would know that you cannot disable the site level OIR and know why the system is not picking up the organization level OIR as the documentation says it should. I tried a library level OIR and it did not work either. I do have an open call with PTC support for a WebEx so we can discuss this issue.