Windchill 11.1 – PLM in the modern web

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Published on
2019-01-08
Written by
Nils Persson

Windchill 11.0 has been around for the last two years. With its release PTC started a journey to renew the interface of the system and with this update to more modern web technologies. In 10.2 a lot of compatibility issues arose when web browsers quickly had to steer away from java, due to security reasons. Leaving the Windchill user no choice but to run older versions of Internet Explorer to get java to work. This solution also only proved true if you accepted all security dialog’s that followed. The frenetic clicking to approve java security prompts and turning down update dialog’s from Internet Explorer caused any open landscape office of engineers to produce the sound of a rain fall hitting a tin roof.

Then all of a sudden Adobe Acrobat wanted an update and thunder rumbled in the far back of the office. But the rain has stopped and the sky is now clear.

My take on PTC Windchill PDMLink 11.1

11.0 started the journey with a huge improvement to the UI and I am pleased to say that with 11.1 the journey has reached its destination. It´s now a breeze to navigate the system. A fast and rational workflow for all roles. All java-based apps have been updated to modern HTML 5 technologies. Even the 3D thumbnails throughout the system now renders with WebGL that brings 3D representations to the web without any plugins. Pick your favourite browser – Chrome, Mozilla, Edge, IE 11, they all work flawlessly. If you can live without Creo View PTC even dares to through in support for Safari. Sunny days even for Mac OS users. The 11.1 release also has a lot of new features.

In this post I will highlight some of the once from the core product that I find interesting. I hope you will enjoy the reading and please send feedback if you have any.

Customizing the collector toolbar

All the actions of the collector tables have been available in a single toolbar. This may make it difficult to locate the required action among all icons. For improved usability of the collector toolbar, you can now customize it, making actions available by simply pinning or unpinning desired actions.

Changes are stored based on a per-user and per-user interface, regardless of the objects initially selected. For example, if you customize the toolbar while copying a part, then next time you use the Commonspace Save As user interface, with a CAD document initially selected, then it will reuse the same settings.

Cascading attributes

A common customer request has been cascading attributes. They allow the definition of rules that cause the value selected for one attribute to determine the available values for another attribute. The simplest cascading attribute rule is made up of an If condition and a Then clause.

For example, if the country=Sweden, then office = Stockholm, Helsingborg, Gothenburg, Skelleftea. More complex rules can be created by adding one or more And If conditions to the rule. This new logic help guide users when defining attributes in for example the creation of a new document.

Rich Text

A rich text editor is provided in several wizards like for example Promotion Request, Change, Variance and Problem report.

It includes all the formatting functions that you would expect from a modern interface and brings a nice touch when you open up your tasks.

 

Inline editing in Part structure

This is a great one! 11.1 brings the ability to multi edit attribute values directly from the part structure table. As in older releases the attributes presented in the table can be easily configured with different views. The attribute value for a given part is then easily edited by clicking the corresponding cell and adding the value. Values can be presented both as text fields or as a list depending on how the attribute is defined in the Type and Attribute Manager. Parts are automatically checked out when values are edited or added. A multi check in function is available from the My Checkouts action in the ribbon menu. Inline editing of attributes is also available within the parts usage table on the part structure page.

Saved filters in add to work space

As a user you can now create personal filters and use already created ones, in the add to workspace and check out operations. This can be utilized in both the basic and the advanced view. Additionally, administrators can create and share filters for all users.

A filter allows you to display only the parts of a collection or structure that interest you.

This addition help guide users in adding content to their workspaces.

 

Automatically Locking Objects in Workspace

Locking objects when adding them to the workspace have been part of the common methodology in some scenarios. Companies using family tables in Windchill would now. In previous releases, the Automatically Lock All Objects Added to Workspace option enabled you to lock objects that are not being checked out during Add to Workspace and Checkout operation. In addition to this preference you can now lock objects using the brand-new Smart Lock Objects in Workspace. This preference will let the system automatically add or remove the workspace lock to objects based on modify access, checked out status or if it´s not stored in the workspace context.

WVS enhancements

A great addition to the worker framework is the possibility to prevent multiple submissions of queue jobs. Big structures can have the worker busy for quite some time and will leave the rest of the queue waiting for it to finish. The last thing you want then is identical jobs in the queue stealing time for more important tasks. A publish job is considered as a duplicate if it has the same name, re-presentable instance, source (manual), queue configuration (priority and set) as another job that is processed. The user receives a message that the job was not submitted because the same job already exists in the queue.

AR Experience

The AR experience platform that has been available in Creo Parametric for a while now is also present in both Windchill and Creo View starting from this release. In Windchill you can publish an AR Experience of a CAD or Part object from its info page.

 

As mentioned, when introduced for Creo Parametric you get five experiences for free. The sixth will overwrite the first you made. The published experiences are available from the Quick Links menu under My AR Experiences.

PTC continues to work on their road map for the digital twin concept and I think it´s safe to say that we will see a lot of cool features in future releases of Windchill and Creo, that will change how we utilize AR in product development.

Language Configuration for Windchill User Interface

More and more of our customers turn global. With offices in all parts of the world and speaking several languages. Users can now easily set the language of choice from the Quick Links menu.

Allowing you to navigate the system in your first language.

Summary

I hope you have found this brief article of the news in Windchill 11.1 interesting. This article covered the base product but there is also a lot of news in the different modules for Windchill. Reach out to us if you’re interested in something in particular.

Thanks for reading!

Great Regards,

Nils Persson

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