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Windchill WGM & CATIA sessions freezing for CAD users since upgrade from 11.0 to 12.0 (WGM 12.1.2.0)

GaryMansell
6-Contributor

Windchill WGM & CATIA sessions freezing for CAD users since upgrade from 11.0 to 12.0 (WGM 12.1.2.0)

We run loads of different CAD packages with our Windchill System but are having problems with just one of them - CATIA. Since our recent upgrade to WC 12.0.2 and WGM version 12.1.2.0 our CATIA (particularly V5-6R2017) users working on large assemblies are suffering continual freezing/lockups of the WGM and CATIA. Which stops them working until it unfreezes - ranging from 3 to 30 minutes with no warning. The WGM and CATIA usually come back (not always) but this intermittent, can affect just small bracket parts as well as large assys.  The CAD users say the behaviour has changed since WGM 12.1 as now CATIA freezes when the WGM freezes - whereas they could continue to work in CATIA at WC11.0 whilst the WGM was doing a background refresh.

 

We are not sure what the WGM &CATIA is doing to cause the freezing - it occurs on the regular half hour Workspace Refresh (sometimes these will complete in a second with no issue, then next time it will freeze for 5 minutes with the same models open). We also see long freezes in CATIA and WGM on Check-In / Check-Out and Opening. 

 

Our Windchill App & SQL Servers are fine and so are the network links - indeed Creo/NX users report no performance issues, it only affects CATIA users. We have tried tweaking the various WGM preferences for refresh, item rename etc. but to no avail). We use a new Workspaces at least once per day,

 

We suspect that this gets more frequent the more members in the team are Checking-In / Modifying data as we approach design Gateways that have to be met. We also wonder whether this has to do with inter-part linking - as we suspect that the WGM struggles with this (any best practices to recommend here?). We also wonder whether it could be to do with updating multiple child parts and their siblings across the design team without updating the assembly that contains them (any best practice to share here)?

 

Or, it could just be a problem with the new 12.1.x WGM...

 

 

26 REPLIES 26

Hello Gary,

 

I suppose you already aware about performance recommendations of PTC: https://www.ptc.com/en/support/article/cs303555 

 

In the compatibility matrix of Catia V5-6R2017, there is a discontinuity between 12.1.0.2 and 12.1.2.0. It is strange from my point of view. May be you should test with version V5-6R2022 of Catia.

 

https://www.ptc.com/support/-/media/support/refdocs/Windchill_PDMLink/compatibility/WWGMCompatibilityMatrix.pdf?sc_lang=en

Pascal_Brunet_0-1674210459225.png

 

Regards,

Pascal

 

 

 

 

@Pascal_Brunet 

The reason of the discontinuity is that 12.1.2.0 version is a long term support version. 

PetrH

Yes - this was frustrating for us. We were just about to upgrade to WC12 globally, with WGM 12.0.2.0, which we had validated against all our 15+ CAD packages & versions and then PTC dropped a security notice forcing us to have to deploy WGM 12.1.1.0 which did not "officially" support V5R26, 27 & 28 (but it works).

 

Then a month after the upgrade, they released 12.1.2.0 which did support these versions. But by this time we had done our upgrade and installed WGM 12.1.1.0 on 300+ CAD machines!

Hi Pascal,

 

Yes, we have tried all sorts of WGM performance/tuning settings but the freezing still occurs.

 

I have a call with PTC Tech support and have uploaded logs capturing the issues, but they have not been very forthcoming yet - so I thought I might raise this with the experts in the Community. Also, PTC are not likely to be experts at using CATIA with Windchill - us end-users may know more. 

 

Unfortunately, we have to work in our customer's CAD package and version (Ricardo is an Engineering Consultancy), so upgrading CATIA version is not a solution for us (I think it unlikely that this is a CATIA version specific issue FWIW).

 

We originally had the issue at 12.1.1.0 WGM, and have had to upgrade affected users to 12.1.2.0 WGM (so we were on a supported config) in case that fixed the issue (it didn't) and so that I could log a call with PTC about the issue.

 

Am a bit stuck really because the WGM is not very informative about what it is doing most times with CATIA - it just locks up and looks like it has crashed, but usually comes back in time (trouble is you don't know if it will, nor how long to give it before you crash it out). What is more frustrating for the users is the CATIA hang since WC12 - they tell me that at WC11, they could continue working in CATIA whilst the WGM was doing a workspace refresh, now they can't and they are at stop waiting for it to come back.

Hi Gary,

 

In my company, we have a few Catia designers, they don't have big assemblies but they don't have performance problems. Our Versions are:

- Windchill: 12.0.0.3

- WGM: 12.0.0.1

- Catia: V5-6R2019

 

In 2021, when we migrated Windchill from 10.2 to 12.0.0.3, we chose to upgrade Catia to R2019 because R2016 and R2017 were not compliant with WGM 12.0.0.0. Take a look of my old screen capture:

 

Pascal_Brunet_0-1674225133277.png

 

Windchill 12.0.0.0 is also not a long term version but i still think the compatibility of  R2016 and R2017 is strange. If i were you, i would install at least R2019 or latest R2022 on a test computer and check.

 

Just my thought,

Pascal

 

 

 

 

Hi Pascal,

 

Unfortunately, the design team is at full stretch trying to hit an urgent Gateway - so they don't have the capacity to take someone off of the team to save the Assembly as a different version of CATIA into our TEST Windchill system and then work with it to see if this fixes the issue. Especially as (even if it did fix the issue) we could not supply the customer with models in this newer version - the project has to be carried out in CATIA 2017 version.

 

Regards

 

Gary 

I was asked by the mod to update the status on this issue -- it is still outstanding and happening for our users.

 

Over the last few days we have managed to capture CATIA & WGM logs demonstrating the issue which have been passed to PTC for review - if I hear anything back from them, I will update this post.

 

Rgds

Gary

Hello @GaryMansell ,

 

 

Another potential cause of your issue: the embedded browser in your WGM which is Chromium.  Chromium is the core engine of Chrome and Edge. 

There is an issue about Edge and Chrome after version 109 and it looks similar than yours: https://www.ptc.com/en/support/article/CS000384616

 

You can check the installed version of Chromium by typing chrome://version in the URL box of WGM.

 

Test again with an old WGM which embed an old Chromium version. Older than 12.1.1.0 i would say.  This software matrix is here : https://www.ptc.com/en/support/article/CS321373

BR,

Pascal

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Pascal, that is interesting - thanks for bringing to my attention.

 

TBH, I don't think this is the same behaviour that my users are seeing - it seems to be related to WebGL (which is not involved in the WGM/CATIA), and my user's WGM's do (usually) come back from their freeze ups (eventually). 

 

Unfortunately, we cannot install/run any versions of WGM older than 12.1.1.0 - due to the three high severity Chromium embedded browser security issues which were fixed in that release, and which are present in all previous releases.

 

Regards

 

Gary  

Chromium is embedded to WGM. When you install WGM you also install Chromium.  If you install WGM 12.1.1.0 then you install an old version of Chromium: version 102.

 

BR?

Pascal

 

 

Yes, I realise that - our corporate IT security policies (correctly) do not allow us to install/run these older WGM versions with such dangerous (Chromium) security vulnerabilities in them.

 

WebGL is the 3D Graphics rendering engine in Chromium (and other browsers) that provides the interactive 3D Creo View model in the Structure Tab in the Windchill web page (per the article you linked to). WebGL is not used to render the the default /working view of the WGM to display workspace contents - so its unlikely to be related.

 

Rgds

 

Gary

About security issues: is this article ? https://www.ptc.com/en/support/article/CS366460

 

Yes - that's the one.

Try version 12.1.0.2 of WGM  :

 

1) it contains an old version of Chromium: version 100.

2) Chromium version 100 contains the fix of the 3 security issues.

3) it is compliant with Catia R2017.

I don't believe that the WebGL issue you are pointing to is anything to do with the problem I am seeing - so there is no point in installing this old version, but thanks for your input.

 

FWIW, I have just now had a response from PTC about the issue since R&D have had chance to review the logs I uploaded showing the issue - I have not digested it fully, but they seem to be saying that it is to do with the WGM needing to sync the user's workspace multiple times (hidden in the background) whilst a user is checking-in/out data... because other users on the design team are constantly checking in other related data in Common Space and the WGM needs to try and resolve all these links (with a sync) whilst doing the user's check-in/out... and sometimes it has to do this 2 or 3 times as people are constantly checking data into Common Space all the time.

 

So, it sounds like it might be expected behaviour - I have a ton of questions to ask them to get clarification/confirmation, not least why it seems much worse since Windchill 12 and why it is much worse in the afternoon than the morning..

 

I will update when I understand more.

Of course, it's much better to fix latest version than go back to old one.  

 

Don't hesitate to keep me update. I have to study an upgrade in 12.1

 

Good luck,

Pascal

 

 

 

 

PTC have accepted there is a problem in the WGM and have raised an SPR: SPR Details - 14400013 (ptc.com)

 

I am concerned that the description of the SPR does not cover the totality of the freezing issues that my users are experiencing - so I am pressing them further to confirm whether the discovered issue also explains the CAD Sessions freezing (for between 3 & 30 mins) every time the WGM background refresh occurs (every 30mins by default). It is the CAD sessions freezing whilst they are trying to work (and not even using the WGM) that is the main concern for us - as it interrupts CAD working for no apparent reason (they should be able to work asynchronously in CAD whilst the WGM does what it needs to do in the background).

 

Some information that I have discovered whilst working on this issue which might be useful to people:

 

Because the background WGM Workspace refresh/sync was locking up CAD sessions, when it runs every 30 minutes, users have been setting their “Update Commonspace Changes In Background” Preference to “No” (default is Yes). This has the benefit of reducing the occurrences of the CAD Session freezing whilst they are working in CAD. But, has the negative effect of causing subsequent CAD/WGM Check-In/Out or Upload operations to often take longer (also freezing the WGM and CAD Application) – this is because the WGM has to first Synchronise the local Workspace with Common Space in the background before it can do the requested Check-In/Out or Upload… and Common Space can be continually changing on larger projects approaching deadlines that have more CAD "churn” – so it might take multiple repeated background sync’s before it can successfully get the local Workspace synchronised with Common Space and then finally perform the requested Check-In/Out or Upload.

 

 

Thank you for the update.

 

Good news if you got SPR. This is something important to tell in next meeting.

 

Do you also reproduce this issue when WGM is in Offline mode ? i mean without connection to Windchill.

 

Regards,

Pascal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Offline Workspaces are only available for Creo Parametric - not CATIA via the WWGM

If you set <NO SERVER> as Primary server:

 

Pascal_Brunet_0-1675257310893.png

 

 

That is not working offline, it disconnects the WGM from the Windchill Server - so you would not be able to see your workspace, let alone reproduce the issue.

The idea is to reduce the time your designers lose every day with this issue.

 

I suppose that if your designer is disconnected from the server, then he doesn't have any freeze issue with Catia.

 

For example, each monday, they download in their local workspace every cad data they need for the complete week, after that they disconnect and friday they reconnect and checkin.

 

 

 

 

We have a large design team collaboratively working on a complex vehicle design across multiple sites, with a large Windchill BOM, change control and an electronic drawing check and release process - working outside of Windchill is not possible or desirable. 

 

Thanks for your suggestions, but I will wait to hear what PTC R&D have to say and will update this thread in case others are suffering similar issues.

YodaKim
13-Aquamarine
(To:GaryMansell)

Hi Gary,

 

I ran across this post today.

In case that you couldn't receive update on the issue you reported, here is what we're doing.

 

For short term solution, we identified there is inefficiency in propagating metadata synchronization around CATIA family table instances, that causes performance impact, we addressed it in Windchill Workgroup Manager 13.0.0.0. The SPR info (14400013) doesn't carry the right information because the bug was converted to product backlog. 

 

For long term solution, we are discussing a change in the background synchronization - not automatically applying Commonspace Changes to CAD session, but notify pending updates, then users can synchronize them at idle time. The pending updates will be synchronized when save happens from CAD session. This change will be applied to both Creo Parametric and 3rd party WGMs. Implementation is being delayed due to other priorities.

GaryMansell
6-Contributor
(To:YodaKim)

Hi @YodaKim , good to hear from you via this update and thanks with your support with resolving this issue.

 

I am glad that you are looking at a longer term solution as it's still a pretty major issue for us and we still see it at WGM 13.0.0.1 version (albeit marginally improved with the metadata sync changes that you had addressed in 13.0.0.0 as a result of my support ticket).

 

Your solution sounds like a sensible compromise - I appreciate the sync's need to happen at some point, so at least the CAD designer can chose when to force the pending changes to sync when they go for a coffee/lunch/end of day etc. rather than it just locking their CAD and WGM sessions whilst they are busy needing to work. 

 

Would be good if you could update this thread when the fix is in.

 

Gary

 

 

YodaKim
13-Aquamarine
(To:GaryMansell)

Sure, Gary, we'll let you know.

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