cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Managing Creo Setup Files in Windchill Headaches

lhoogeveen
Pearl

Managing Creo Setup Files in Windchill Headaches

We've been trying to manage our Creo Start/Setup Files (Creo Templates, Formats, Materials, Notes, Symbols, etc.) in Windchill...

 

Benefits to using Windchill:

  • Windchill provides lower latency versus using network drives when trying to access Creo start/setup files from multiple countries (with Windchill replication servers).
  • Windchill provides a history of the files with check in comments.

Headaches to using Windchill (over a network drive)

  • If users don't name the Windchill server exactly (case sensitive) as setup in the config.pro, none of the setup files are available. Example: start_model_dir wtpub://PDMLink... Is there a way around this? We've create a Creo mapkey to add the Windchill server but users don't always use that.
  • Adding/Editing files must be done through a Creo Workspace>Import and creates a Windchill Type = 'Other' CAD Document.
    • Creo must have the allow_import_file_extension txt,tbl,mat,mtl,sym set to allow importing the various Creo setup files.
    • Since these files are managed as some sort of Creo CAD file in Windchill, cannot have a space in the same otherwise the import fails.
    • Creo cannot see regular WTDocuments even if the file content is a Text File or some other file type Creo can use outside of Windchill.
  • Not surprising, you can only have the same file name once in Windchill. Using network drives, it's possible to put the same file in multiple locations if desired.

Any tips? Best way manage these files? Windchill? Network drives? Other?

4 REPLIES 4

Re: Managing Creo Setup Files in Windchill Headaches

“If users don't name the Windchill server exactly (case sensitive) as setup in the config.pro, none of the setup files are available. Example: start_model_dir wtpub://PDMLink... Is there a way around this? We've created a Creo mapkey to add the Windchill server but users don't always use that.”

 

We don’t have to force a common server registration entry name.  We can extract whatever name they used.  Users need to launch Creo, register it with Windchill, and then restart Creo for this to work.

 

Use a Creo launch command to:

  1. Track down the server registry information for your deployed version of Creo: https://www.ptc.com/en/support/article/CS99914

This file may not exist if the server registration was deleted or Creo hasn’t been registered yet.

Creo 3.0: %PTC_WF_ROOT%\ .ssappd\ServerMgr\.srv_mgr_db3.fldx

Creo 4.0: “appdata%\PTC\Creo\Platform\ServerMgr\.srv_mgr_db3.fldx

 

  1. Extract the registered server name from the server registration file and set a Windows environment variable (e.g. %ActiveServerName%)  to its value.
    1. If the server registration file doesn’t exist:  Tell the user to register the Windchill server, suggest a name if desired, and restart Creo.
    2. If the server registration file exists:  Read the file and extract the active server name.

The structure of this file can vary, especially if there are multiple registered servers or if users regularly take Creo online/offline.  Also, we don’t want to modify the file.  Altering it can corrupt the server registry.  We just want to read out the values we need.

Hint: Powershell is good at parsing XML documents and extracting the information we want (e.g. active_server.name and active_server.location).

set WCActiveServerName={value extracted from .srv_mgr_db3.fldx}

set wc_stds=wtpub://%WCActiveServerName%

 

  1. Convert all URLs in company standard config.pro/sup to use the variable.

start_model_dir $wc_stds/…

Re: Managing Creo Setup Files in Windchill Headaches

Agree this is frustrating.. I'd like to use Windchill, but it doesn't work well for this. 

Here's the solution we've implemented:

  1. All users who install Creo map a network drive with the same letter. 
  2. Creo startup runs a script to robocopy settings from the mapped network drive to a directory on the local machine. (This happens before Creo is launched).
  3. Config settings all point to the local directory for all files

The advantage of this is that if a user is working offline or doesn't have access to Windchill, they still have access to all the settings and templates. Every time they start Creo, their system will get any updates (so long as they have network access).

The only exception to this is our formats - those are managed in Windchill. We had issues with copies of formats getting checked in. 

Re: Managing Creo Setup Files in Windchill Headaches

@joe_morton Do you have to also run a script to delete any removed files from the users computers? Our IT was able to write a script to copy Creo setup files when a person starts their computer but removing copied files is harder than copying. They can also manually launch the script.

 

We have locations across the globe which results in high latency access to network drives. If you are copying hundreds of small files (Creo material files, ModelCheck files, etc.), copying can take several minutes... which would be undesirable to use at Creo startup.

Re: Managing Creo Setup Files in Windchill Headaches

There's a flag you can use on robocopy - /purge - which will delete any files from the local directory that isn't in the network drive. Robocopy will need to check each file, but "By default Robocopy will only copy a file if the source and destination have different time stamps or different file sizes."

Also, I highly recommend setting retries to 0 - /r:0 - otherwise, robocopy will try up to a million times to download the file until it gets it.

Here's all the details on robocopy: https://ss64.com/nt/robocopy.html

 

For our setup, we have several network drives semi-local to our different sites. I make sure to update all the network locations (eventually I want to get this scripted so it's automatic), but then the users have a more or less local network drive to get their files from. It's basically like manually maintaining a replicated vault. 

Announcements