We recently visited PlanetPTC Live in Stuttgart to find out the latest developments and news for Windchill®. It was a very well attended show, with a lot of very interesting presentations. It is clearly aimed at the German market with many presentations in German, so it is a real shame that there are no events for the rest of Europe but in any case it was very interesting and a well run and presented conference.
The highlight of the show from a Windchill® perspective was a live presentation of the new IPad app, which allows users to access tasks and visualize CAD data. We especially liked the shake to disassemble feature, but in all seriousness the main areas of interest were new features and the road map of Windchill®.
Windchill® 10 was a main focus, as expected, and as we know from our experience with it, it is a step change for Windchill® and PTC are rightly proud of the new features that really improve the interface and flexibility. Upgrading to the version should be a real priority for customers that want to really take advantage of their investment in Windchill, but we have heard that some clients are waiting for M030 before they jump. Most of our customers are planning to upgrade in the new version as soon as possible.
Other news, we continue to hear of problems migrating data from other systems, so the Bulk Load Tool sounds interesting but we are not sure it solves the problem of complex data loading. Good news is some attention is being paid to the MPMLink™ interface which is being updated and more closely integrated into the 10 HTML interface. As it was always a heavy applet this put off many users and we look forward to seeing if the eBoM to mBoM connections are more visible in the standard interface.
PartsLink™ is such an important aspect of the product, but has in the past underperformed and it is good to hear a rewrite is planned, however we hope it will come sooner rather than later. We have customers with this module and it could do so much more for them. PDMLink and ProjectLink sharing is and will be further improved, which is important for almost all clients that need to share data to external partners whilst protecting IP a vital part of modern engineering. Options and Variants is continuing to be improved and again this is an important part of the value add of Windchill®, the UI is improved but the basic data model remains the same. We have already upgraded an O&V extension to R10 without issue.
Software is a clear strategic path for PTC, with the purchase of Integrity which has some interesting features. Not clear to us yet the strategy of this related to SoftwareLink, but the concept of a complete integrated Windchill software solution makes sense, but not in all client profiles.
On the whole a good show and Windchill® 10 is looking very good and for us, is performing well in a production environment. PTC are moving in the right direction and we are pleased in the overall direction that Windchill is taking.