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4310 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: Jul 15, 2014 3:46 PM by ptc-2108801 RSS
FrankS.Schiavone Platinum 1,363 posts since
Sep 8, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Dec 28, 2011 6:55 AM

Creating new revisions in Windchill

Because of the impossibility of actually being able to revise ONLY the dwg and the top assembly referenced by that dwg without HAL 9000 (i.e.:  Windchill)deciding to revise everything under those 2 files (without my direction, permission, or even knowledge until later), I'm going to propose for my company (and anyone else stuck with HAL) to NOT use the W/C revision system at ALL.  Instead, I'm going to propose creating a string parameter in Pro/E, and matching "attribute" in W/C that will be a "revision" parameter that will show up in our searches and formats.  This way the user will have full control of revisions, as he should, instead of HAL.  The rev level can be bumped back as needed if someone makes a mistake, and HAL can never take it upon itself to revise hundreds of unwanted files as has happened recently in my case.  Let's not forget that as it stands now, the initiation of advancing a revision is done manually anyways, not automatically upon check-out unless you make the fatal mistake of doing a "Revise and Check Out" in Pro/E.  So, in reality, what I'm suggesting is no different than currently done as far as the user ititiating the advance of the revision.  It is only in the execution that it is different, and far superior because of the flexibility afforded by this technique.  As it stands, now I have to try and specifically delete ONLY the last revision created by me on a huge number of files......and hope it works without deleting the entire file, or leave it alone and realize that a revision was wasted and revision traceability is now lost, perhaps forever.  Tons of man-hours have already and are going to be wasted.

 

Pretty pathetic that it's even gotten to this point, but if the software doesn't work, I'm going to find a Pro/WORKAROUND for it's deficiencies.  Sad, because Intralink worked so well in this regard, I wouldn't have to do this.  So much for this being an "upgrade".......

 

To say that I'm furious with "HAL" and the massive performance downgrade is the underestatement of the century.....

  • MikeLockwood Diamond 342 posts since
    May 7, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 28, 2011 9:29 AM (in response to FrankS.Schiavone)
    Re: Creating new revisions in Windchill

    If some consultant(s) helped you get started and migrated, you should ask for your $ back from them if they did not address this type of subject in detail.

     

    Best bet for now may be to set all the collector preferences related to Revise to "None" at least for now.

    This way, the system will not automatically collect anything, leaving it up to the users to select via collection tools.

     

    There are a very large number of preferences (see Site, Utilties, Preference Manager). Search for Revise, then see the collector under this heading.

      • BrianMartin Diamond 1,300 posts since
        Feb 1, 2011
        Currently Being Moderated
        Dec 28, 2011 10:50 PM (in response to FrankS.Schiavone)
        Re: Creating new revisions in Windchill

        Hi Frank...

         

        I feel your pain. Although I still think you can form that same kind of "truce" with Windchill. Remember how everyone UNIVERSALLY hated Pro/INTRALINK when it first came along? Everyone longed for the simplicity of Pro/PDM which even had some nice scripting abilities. Over time, Pro/INTRALINK got better until it worked really well... except for a few idiosyncrasies. I've used Windchill since its inception and it's gotten much, much better over time. Windchill 10 is getting us much closer to where we need to be... but I understand the path to get there has been painful.

         

        In my opinion, most of the migration consultants and VARs selling migration services are pretty bad. At my company we were extremely lucky to work with an amazing consultant who went far above and beyond to make sure our migration went perfectly. Even with training and the support of a fantastic consultant, we still faced problems like the ones you're describing.

         

        Mike's suggestion about looking through your preferences is definitely a good one. You should have the ability to manage some of the preferences yourself... others will be reserved for your system admins. Your best tool in working with Windchill is EDUCATION.  While you can circumvent the system with parameters, I'd advice against it.

         

        I've worked at many companies where they forbade use of certain tools in the name of keeping things simple for the less experienced users. For example, instead of using one complex feature, we were ordered to use 15 "simple" features to do the same job. My feeling is... why slow down your entire workforce? Why not train and mentor everyone to get better and make the most of the tools? It's the same with Windchill.

         

        If you skip the revision functions in Windchill, you're missing a huge benefit of having a PLM system in the first place. Manual parameters are always subject to human error. Human error and faking the rev means you can also fake the release giving you no confidence in the final copies you're creating.

         

        There's a fairly straightforward way to solve the problem you have:

         

        • Take Mike's suggestion and set the Revision collection preferences to "None". This minimizes the potential for a similar problem to occur again.
        • Educate everyone on how to select objects for revision and use the Advanced Object collector to add related drawings, parts, assemblies, and family table items.
        • Publish a brief, one-page document for all your users explaining the way the Revise command works. By default, the tool bumps the revision on everything related to your selection. Everything's getting revised to the next letter/number unless you EXCLUDE it from the item list. In the old Pro/INTRALINK, you had to manually set the next rev. In the new system, it's automatic.
        • Develop a simple cheat sheet for the "Delete" command. It can be confusing. There's definitely a way to roll back your data to before the problem occured. If you were able to bump hundreds of objects forward in a few moments, you can roll them back that quickly, too.

         

        I've been where you are and users at my company routinely hit these snags. Over the last few months we've really put a premium on education and mentoring. Support calls are down and users are getting comfortable with Windchill. At worst, we've made that truce with the software. We're moving forward and learning to use the tool for what it is while we voice our concerns to PTC. I really believe the software is getting better but it's a tough slog to make it through the initiat transition and get back to full productivity again.

         

        If you need help with any of the suggestions... or would like me to send you some sample documents explaining the revise or delete commands, send me an email. I can't publish these for the community but I can send them to you offline.

         

        Best regards,

        -Brian

          • BrianMartin Diamond 1,300 posts since
            Feb 1, 2011
            Currently Being Moderated
            Jan 3, 2012 12:19 PM (in response to FrankS.Schiavone)
            Re: Creating new revisions in Windchill

            Ah Frank...

             

            I don't know what to say. I've been working on the software since '91 on V.09 and I've seen it all, too. I don't really agree that PTC is concerned with selling training. I think they get caught up in trying to mimic the competition. I also think they don't have enough real world users advising them on interface changes.

             

            To that end... more real-world engineers and long time users need to join the PTC User Technical Committees. And PTC needs to do a much, much better job of outreach and communication with it's user base. Sharing Twitter stories of how great the new software is doesn't soothe the souls of long time PTC users who feel alienated when the company switches to some new whizbang interface that does little to increase productivity.

             

            I always love the marketing lines that tout how many mouse clicks we're supposed to save... "65% fewer mouse clicks!"  Yes... once you can find the commands you need buried under new layers of useless gloss and marked with different icons...you  might save a few clicks. But subtract points for the mapkeys that have been broken by the switch. Subtract points for the confusion created when the interface must be re-customized (again). Subtract points for losing the ability to put the dashboard where you want it. Subtract points for losing screen space for your model and losing it to more annoying menus. Subtract points for SLOWNESS caused by a bloated interface. Etc.  By the time you subtract all the negatives and factor in user confusion... you've ended up far worse than you were in the first place.\

             

            I need to sit down and buy you a beer Frank. I totally feel your pain on this. Maybe one day real world users... and long time Pro/E designers will get a seat at the table when these interface changes are discussed. One can only hope.

             

            Thanks!

            -Brian

              • magnus.salomonsson Bronze 76 posts since
                Sep 21, 2005
                Currently Being Moderated
                Jan 10, 2012 12:58 AM (in response to FrankS.Schiavone)
                Re: Creating new revisions in Windchill

                Frank, we use these settings for Revise where the important settings are not to include any dependent objects which will result in including all objects in an assembly.

                 

                Preferences Revise.jpg

                Preferences Revise zoom.jpg

                  • MatthewKnight Silver 258 posts since
                    Apr 29, 2009
                    Currently Being Moderated
                    Jan 10, 2012 8:56 AM (in response to FrankS.Schiavone)
                    Re: Creating new revisions in Windchill

                    Have you guys looked at the Performance Tuning Guide?  It won't address all of your concerns but it could help

                      • OliverDroop PTCEmployee 9 posts since
                        Oct 19, 2005
                        Currently Being Moderated
                        Jan 12, 2012 2:49 AM (in response to FrankS.Schiavone)
                        Re: Creating new revisions in Windchill

                        Frank,

                        it really looks like that you got bad consultancy which is unfortunately not uncommon in the US. I couldn´t figure out which version you are using but I assume Rev 10 for now.

                        Please make sure that at least the WCA (Windchill Configuration Assistant) was executed and provided with correct value. In the Windchill Help Center just search for WCA and you will find a detailed description.

                         

                        Further you talked about a migration and in this case it is very common that Oracle is not configured correctly. Check the SGA and PGA settings if they are sufficiently sized. Further the Optimizer settings should be set accordingly and the statistics up to date. Keep in mind that Windchill needs much more RAM on the db side compared to Intralink - up to 4 times is a good start.

                        If any specific functions are slow it might require an additional index in the db and you can ask tech support for help in that case.

                         

                        Regarding the revise you already got the right answers. Going forward with a manual approach will cause much more costly errors in the future and prevents you to grow to additional capabilites with Windchill over time. I feel with you but there is light at the tunnel - I had several customers complaining in the past but in 99% the cases these where solved. But I agree that sometimes it takes deep investigations into the issues to find a solution since every customer environment is a bit unique.

                        Hope you succeed.

                         

                        What the Windchill Configuration Assistant Does

                        The Windchill Configuration Assistant (WCA) examines system resource information for the server on which Windchill is installed and then calculates recommended values for Windchill properties to take maximum advantage of available memory and CPU resources. Additionally, the Windchill Configuration Assistant can recommend configuration changes for the Tomcat servlet engine.

                        Initial Windchill Configuration Assistant Run
                        The PTC Solution Installer (PSI) installs the Windchill Configuration Assistant and then runs the assistant after base data is loaded. The assistant runs without manual intervention and you cannot disable this run. However, if you do not load the base data with PSI, the assistant does not run. If the assistant has not run, the following messages are written to the method server startup log:
                        WARN : wt.server.manager.startup WINDCHILL CONFIGURATION ASSISTANT <WCA> HAS NOT BEEN USED!  WARN : wt.server.manager.startup PERFORAMANCE ISSUES MAY RESULT FROM FAILING TO USE WCA!  WARN : wt.server.manager.startup FOR OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE, WCA SHOULD BE USED PRIOR TO PRODUCT USAGE.  

                        This initial run establishes values for an initial set of properties based on the available memory and CPU resources of the server. These settings establish things like the following: 

                        • Percentage of memory to allocate to the method server heap and server manager heap 
                        • Number of foreground method servers 
                        • Number of background method servers 
                        • Heap sizes

                        To view the actual property values setare stored in a separate XCONF file located at <Windchill>/utilities/wca/conf/windchill/windchillconfigurator.xconf, where <Windchill> is the Windchill installation directory.

                        The Windchill Configuration Assistant installation adds the ConfigurationRef element to the site.xconf file to establish the link between site-managed property values and those values set as a result running the Windchill Configuration Assistant. In the initial run, these settings are propagated in your system through the use of the site.xconf file.

  • ptc-2108801 Silver 139 posts since
    May 24, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 15, 2014 3:46 PM (in response to FrankS.Schiavone)
    Re: Creating new revisions in Windchill

    Wow, with the difficulties that you have had with how your system was implemented, it makes our WC problems seem miniscule!  Revising is simple, easy, and works very well for us.  If that didn't work well I am sure I would be as frustrated as you sound!  I hope it working a lot better, since this your post is over 2.5 years ago!

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