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

Community Tip - Help us improve the PTC Community by taking this short Community Survey! X

Windchill 11.1 Licensing Lessons Learned and Best Practices


Windchill 11.1 Licensing Lessons Learned and Best Practices



We have completed an upgrade from WC 10.1 to 11.1 and are now working through licensing. Our guestimate for licensing was defined last December while negotiating our renewal contract with PTC. Unfortunately, Windchill 10.1 does not have any license tools, so there was no way to know what the true need would be.


iRobot is a typical MCAD/ECAD/PLM customer running Creo and Windchill. The additional modules we have are Partslink, Supplier Management and Product Analytics for Cost.


Now that we've upgraded, a few things have come to light that are not apparent on the support pages. Most importantly, don't underestimate the true number of Author licenses you'll need. The Contributor license sounds good, but it is strictly limited to document checkout/checkin and participation in tasks.


  • Partslink and Supplier Management are required for every Author license
    (this is part of the purchase agreement)
  • Partslink and/or Supplier Management CANNOT be added to a Contributor license
    (they are required to have an Author license)
  • Mechanical Design I CANNOT be added to Contributor license
    (CAD viewers or consumers are required to have an Author license)
  • A Creo Parametric session cannot be connected to Windchill without an Author license
    (regardless of permissions or intent, you must have an Author license for CAD)
  • Users assigned the Contributor license will not be able to use Route in ProjectLink
    (document management users are required to have an Author license)
  • ECAD Data Management can only be added to an Author license
    (same rules as Creo, you must have an Author license for ECAD)

Besides these findings, we're also struggling with how to handle users with more than one account? Windchill does not allow you to add/remove permissions dynamically (like Atlassian), so we create second accounts for people. We have folks on a program team that also manage the program's container. Rather than putting their "regular" user account into the PM role, we create a second account prefixed with PM_. If they need to do some administrative task, they log in with their PM_ account to do it. Is this a valid use of the License Exclusion list?


Knowing what I know now, I'd highly recommend getting an 11.1+ system setup and start evaluating the licensing rules as soon as possible if you are considering an upgrade. You'll be surprised at how many licenses you'll really need.


If you're in the same situation or have other tips-n-tricks to share, please reply to this message to help out others. Maybe a macro or script to reformat the licensing report to a usable spread sheet 😉





I am still investigating, but it appears we can combine a Contributor license with a Partslink license. I have not found any definitive documentation from PTC on this, only PowerPoint presentations. The PowerPoint clearly calls out an Author license as a prerequisite for PartsLink, but they appear to be working.


If you have Partslink installed, plan to buy a license for every user. I was just hit up by the operations team last week for 15 Partslink licenses for Contributor users I never expected to need Partslink.


maybe this article can help you.



Thanks for the info on this, Scott.  I was following a fairly active discussion on this from last year, which was marked as solved.  I guess that is not the case, or more likely, each specific installation has a different mix of users, access requirements, add-ons, etc. which can make it difficult to plan licensing.  I just got word that I will be starting this journey with at least one customer very soon (like today lol), so appreciate your contribution!

These are the new Windchill packages





Author/Heavy user for any Creo Access to Windchill is an old (annoying) topic. We have users just viewing CAD files and creating renderings. No Upload to Windchill.


The last price update was quite heavy too. We don't need projectlink or business integration.


With 11.1 it should be possible to restrict a Creo connection to read-only with appropriate cheaper licenses.


br Bernhard

I am just wondering if there is any licensing requirement in order to use PartsLink information in Windchill e.g. light-user? I plan to buy some PartsLink licenses (20 author) but worried if the rest of Windchill PDMLink users (more than 500 users) would not be able to consume the information. 

Top Tags