DE Editor’s Pick of the Week: Design Solutions Extend PTC Windchill and PTC Creo

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I’ve wanted to talk about ETRAGE for a long time. ETRAGE develops software that enhances and extends the enterprise and engineering applications you use in your mechanical design processes. More precisely, they develop the tough automation, data migration and integration applications that make your work in the trenches easier and that no one else wants to tackle. They’re technology partners with the major mechanical CAD, ERP (enterprise resource planning), data translation and similar developers.

ETRAGE has a particular expertise working with PTC-related products. And, risking understatement, these people were busy before and during last month’s PTC Live Global conference:

They announced and demonstrated five new products for the PTC user community. And that makes today’s Pick of the Week write-up a roundup of the five new solutions.

While you can call any of ETRAGE’s announcements big, perhaps the biggest of the lot is the PTC Windchill – SharePoint integration application. The gist of this application is that it enables bidirectional exchange of your design data between Microsoft SharePoint and Windchill PLM (product lifecycle management). It provides out-of-box functionality for things ike automatic detection of lifecycle or revision changes and automatic detection of objects in Windchill at check-in. The company says that PTC is discontinuing support for Web Parts for SharePoint in PTC Windchill 10.2, so this integration application represents a key tool for your continuing change management strategy, efficiency and productivity. This technology can also be extended for other third-party enterprise system integrations.

Next up is Windchill EasySearch. This tool gives you an optimized mechanism for delivering design data, for example, to clients and suppliers, while restricting their access to critical or confidential design data. It has customizable search mechanisms, and users can list, view and download representation files and secondary files. You can define user access rights through Windchill context roles and Windchill profiles.

ETRAGE SmartPDF helps you with inspection documents. You know how numbered notes and instructions are usually collated and stuck on the first drawing sheet, making it cumbersome to find and read notes and instructions when you’re deep into a document? SmartPDF gives you the ability to read referenced text any time you put your mouse on an annotation symbol in a PDF. As an aside, SmartPDF extends ETRAGE Plot Service for PTC Windchill, an application you use to create representations of product and engineering data from Windchill for distributing beyond design and engineering.

Drawing Notes Search for PTC Creo Parametric in Windchill sounds neat. What this web-based application does is help you create a reference resource for notes in PTC Creo drawings. It provides an automated method for capturing notes in PTC Creo drawings and storing them in a MySQL or Oracle database. You can search and manage drawing notes through the web interface, read drawings managed by Windchill as well as those stored in Windows directories and automatically monitor Windchill for lifecycle, revision and check-in changes.

Finally, the WXML Universal Integrator for Windchill was announced. This is an enterprise communications conduit that enables you to share data among your company’s departments. ETRAGE describes it as designed for companies looking for an easy to deploy, out-of-the-box program to integrate Windchill with an ERP system. It allows for the automatic export of BOM (bill of materials) metadata and viewable files from Windchill in structured XML and PDF format files.

You can learn more about ETRAGE’s PTC Windchill – SharePoint integration and all the recently announced applications in today’s Pick of the Week write-up and from the links after the main text. ETRAGE also provides services like systems integration, design process automation, data migration and customization of PLM/PDM, ERP systems and 3D solid modeling mechanical CAD systems. We focused on product today, but make sure to hit that link to details on their services to get an idea of the depth and breadth of this company.

Thanks, pal. — Lockwood


Anthony J. Lockwood,
Editor at Large,
Desktop Engineering
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