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Windchill Document Manager vs Sharepoint


Windchill Document Manager vs Sharepoint


is there any one who has evaluated Sharepoint vs Windchill for document management for a pure capability point of view.

eg. Windchill can pass parameters directly into Word, I was told by a sharepoint consultant this is not possible.

Same thing with document structure.

I like to call sharepoint a file manager or an enhanced hard drive. Nonetheless, I have hard time to get Sharepoint users to accept that Windchill is easier, simplier more powerful.

Sometimes the argument goes to. "I do not need to buy new licences for new users for Sharepoint but I would need to for Windchill, so even if there are advantages it is not worth the cost"....

Is there anyone who has close a Sharepoint site to migrate to Windchill ? What was the argument for this ?

I am trying to sell Windchill has something much more than just supporting engineering. Managing documentation is an activity for all departments and functions. But sales, marketing, quality are happy with their own "developed" systems. See the picture ?

Any feedback welcome. Thank you


‌sounds like it was a stupid question to ask


Did you have any joy in evaluating sharepoint versus Windchill.

We currently have the same question.


Hello Antony,

I would not say that it was a very scientific and structure evaluation but yes.

The company I worked for (I changed a few months ago) had Office 365 and so IT wanted to use it, when I joined there were talked about using it for product documentation and some users started to upload files there.

Basically, what I have demonstrated is that Office 365 was just a enhanced office files manager. It does not support items, BOM, CAD etc...

Some level of collaboration is possible but really the default interface is very poor.

The bottom line was that the decision was made that all product related information would go to Windchill.

I can develop further if you want.

Best regards

Hi Chris,

Yes would be interested in some more detail.

This is our current situation...

HQ in China use Winddchill (WC)

We use it in the UK for Creo & also for uploading the odd document associated with the CAD parts.  We as an engine department would like to use more of it as we're overwhelmed with 100's of folder & docs in windows that are not properly managed.

BOM management is something we dont do very well at the moment.

Other departments such as electrical & project management are looking into promoting Sharepoint as a company standard doc management tool.

I think the license cost of WC is one of the things that scares management into fully adopting it.



The key thing, in my view is to understand the fundamental difference between a file manager and a document manager.

Microsoft has not helped in making this differences clear as a word file is called a document which is not the same as a document managed withing a document manager.

A document manager will support  Number, Description, Title, filename,  while the filemanager will in essence only understand the filename which is sometimes displayed as name without the extension. Of course additional parameters can be added (customisation) but they are not system parameters. Which is a pain for unique identifier such as Number.

PDMLink will handle in a much more effective ways  document type, associated parameters, workflow, access permissions, but also references (described by or refered by). Furthermore, if you are to manage the complete product definition, you need to be able to have under the same roof your CAD files, your other documentation (test reports, Functional Document Specification, material specs, coating specs, etc.....  as well as other "objects" such as your change requests, change notice/order etc.....), further more that information should also be related to any related projects. In other words, you should have only one place to be able to answer those questions







This is what I demonstrated that using Sharepoint you simply can't answer those questions without adding complexity to your process, unecessary duplication etc....

You should be able to get to a top level information (eg your End Item in PTC terminilogy) and cascade down to all the information following the dependencies between the different pieces of information and find the answers to the 5W + H.  Furthermore, if you come across a piece of information you should be able retrieve its position within the entire tree of information (upstream, downstream) .   If you find a test report, you should see without (and that is key) downloading and reading it,  where that report belong too, why it was created, etc... in other words a system like Windchill allows you from any piece of information to nagivate through the entire information net related to that piece of information.

If you think of Sharepoint,  you can do some of it but not all,

try to do a gap analysis and you will soon see the limit of sharepoint.

Hope this helps.

21-Topaz I

Not a stupid question at all.


Thanks Steve,

I find surprising though that there is no much debate about it. When I see the number of IT guys only talking about sharepoint and trying to impose it across the company without understanding a company really needs,

Often the company ends up with a hydrid mix of compromise between Sharepoint and Windchill (or any PLM of that level )

Regarding the cost.  I do understand it is a drive but it is all about value. What value sharepoint brings to the company vs Windchill.

This is where many fail to demonstrate.

I know it is a pain as some values are qualitative rather than quantitative but I would start with mapping the value stream of information management (see earliest post)

The value is also increased when then non traditional PDMLink users (such as quality, production, sales) start using PDMLink for their own document management rather than using PDMLink just to retrieve product data and then use something else to manage their own documents.

What are your views Steve ?


Sharepoint allows opening of Excel and word documents on browser.
Whereas, Windchill asks you to download the document you wish to access.


I am intrested in this discussion. For a company that uses both the platform, investment increases. I believe if there is a structured answer to it, with functionality of both, we may have some idea to comment.


I guess, #windchill @WindchillAdmin may provide us literature if any available.


And since it's Sharepoint thats more popular, Windchill team should try to pitch its product.



Hi I agree to a certain point,

There is always a certain type of download so when you view in sharepoint from the browser, the file is cached. Also often you end up having to have to open in Excel or Word because of some feature not supported.


In Windchill you can also configure your publisher so to view in creo view (you do not "download")


The real move for Windchill would be from my point of view and I have asked this as far back as in 2008 to be data driven so users can edit at the same time. You can do that in google docs since at least 2008. I recall at that time I was very impressed with the functionality. This is still not available in Windchill at least up to 10.2 I do not know enough version 11.


I think the main point about Windchill Document Manager vs Sharepoint is more about the management, collaboration and control of the information  (workflow, discussion, approval, change, document structure, link to product strucuture)



I became slightly more familiar with Sharepoint and with windchill as well. Now, Sharepoint, not only provides "list" - sort of a table with data (MS Access kind), as well as to store documents. Plus it has workflows, similar to Workflows we have in windchill, but it seems robust.


As regards to windchill, document you upload, say excel, the document data seems non accessible, but in Sharepoint, you can break it down into list form as well.


Another good feature I learnt about Windchill is Managed collection, hope that helps. It binds documents from various locations.


May be because I am not familiar with windchill customization as it is safely handled by our IT support / Windchill specialists, whereas Sharepoint customization, working, learning is out in open and accessible.


Somehow, I am tilted towards Sharepoint after seeing its wide acceptance and robustness.

I am in the same boat as Vkothari.  I am coming from a SharePoint team where I developed a document management system for a customer using forms and custom workflows and I will soon be leading a different team to implement a WindChill solution for a different customer with very similar requirements but the files will include larger CAD drawings in addition to typical office and xml documents.  I don't have my hands on the PTC software yet (In Procurement) but I do have the requirements and it feels like they need more of what SharePoint offers than WindChiil which is how I found this thread.  Windcill was selected in a bake-off done prior to my arrival here.  Here is what I have learned from experience and research:  I do see a huge advantage with windchill having files stored on a filesystem and the metadata stored in a database - SharePoint puts the whole thing in a database and does not support large files as well without third party products.  SharePoint out of the box is file manager......  But the framework is very powerful if you know it.  SharePoint's strength is with office files (Excel and Word) where it easily exposes metadata stored inside of those document's property tabs......  but you can get yourself into trouble with this if you are not careful.  Also, PowerBI, Project Server and DevOps can be included to make it more of a PLM platform if the product is software....  At an additional cost.  There are definite limitations to the number of files in a single library in SharePoint (2013) so you have to carefully plan your implementation and growth. 


I am curious - how well does PTC handle large files ( i.e. > 200MB ) and has anyone run into limitations associated with the number or size of files?  Also, has anyone developed custom applications inside of windchill (sort of like a small webpart) to expose different views of the data in a small window based on user role?  These are areas where I have not made a good comparison yet. 

22-Sapphire I

We also extensively use SharePoint for documents (as well as Teams, etc.).

In past company, we extensively used Windchill for Documents as well as CAD.


If you did not have CAD, I'd like likely lean toward SharePoint, but Windchill excels for CAD.  If documents need to be linked to CAD (ideally thru WTParts), then ideally use Windchill for all.
Make sure to check out Windchill DTI for Word / Excel.



I think, it all depends on the context. If we are talking about files used by Sales, or Marketing which have nothing to do with the product definition as such, then it does not matter where they are stored.

If we are talking about requirements, specifications, test plan/results, and so on. From an information management perspective it makes sense to manage their life in Windchill as it is very rare that a piece of information "lives" in isolation. So in order to manage its relationships and dependencies with the rest of the product definition (which can be parts, epmdocs, change objects, other docs), then Windchill is by far much more capable than Sharepoint.


In addition the version management of sharepoint is less powerful than in Windchill from my point of view. Also if you want to have a life cycle state that controls the authorisation and also have a proper revision management, you have to spend a BIG effort with sharepoint to make it work while it is OOTB in Windchill.


However, what is lacking in Windchill is concurrent editing. This is available in Google Drive since as far back as 2007 and more recently in sharepoint and teams. Unfortunately be it Windchill, TeamCentre, 3DExperience all the big PLM names, fail this functionality. They are still in the "Check Out/Download" mode even if you use the Windows Integration that make people think they are under a Windows environment.


I like the previous comment that says that Sharepoint is a file manager. I fully agree. To me that is the big different a PLM system such as Windchill is a document manager and Sharepoint a file manager. And to me that is the big difference.


Unfortunately Sharepoint is so well integrate in a business ecosystem (IT likes, business staff often are first exposed to it before a PLM system) that people still do not learn properly about information management that of course includes document management and file management. And of course sharepoint is free to start with so it is everywhere available and most company just stay that way.






I'm looking for information as to the benefits from a high level perspective of utilising an existing Windchill environment to carry out Change management as opposed to using sharepoint? I loosely know the answer but I'm hoping for some additional pointers as I really want to stress the benefits to those outside of an engineering environment in terms they understand. Just wondering if anyone has had to sell this internally?

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