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About Data Management in Creo
The Creo applications seamlessly integrate with product data management (Windchill PDM) operations in the various Windchill applications. With the integrated Windchill PDM functionality, you can manage and control your product data in the Creo applications.
What Is Product Data Management?
Product design generates a tremendous amount of data. To reduce a product's time to market, data needs to be shared so that multiple designers can work on a single product. It is difficult in such an environment to maintain control of your data while distributing it to other users. You may find multiple designers using different variations of the same data. This can result in inconsistent designs.
The integration of Creo applications with Windchill PDM allows you to control your data and take advantage of a concurrent engineering environment. To accomplish this, Windchill PDM stores all your data on a central server where all changes to your data are monitored, controlled, and recorded.
The Windchill PDM Server
The Windchill PDM server is the vault where your product data is stored and managed. It represents the underlying Windchill system. For users who are familiar with Windchill, the PDM server represents a collection of cabinets.
Checkout and Checkin Tasks
The Windchill PDM server allows designers to download the current version of a product design by default. In order to modify a design, you must check out the design and copy its dependent objects from the server. The process of checking out communicates to the server your intention to modify the design. Only the user who checked out the design can modify it. All other users can only download a read-only version of the design. This maintains the integrity of your data.
After you modify a design, you must check in the design to the server in order to share the modification with other users. The checkin process stores the object with your user name and date on the Windchill PDM server alongside the old data.
The Workspace
The Windchill PDM system provides an interface called the Workspace for communicating between the PDM server and a Creo session. The Workspace is a private area where you can manage multiple objects and perform basic PDM operations.
1. Windchill PDM Server
2. Workspace
3. Local Cache on Hard Disk
4. The Creo application
The Workspace is represented as a table. Each row of the table represents an object that you have downloaded or checked out while each column represents the object attributes. You can independently sort and filter columns to organize objects by attributes.
You can use the Workspace to check out designs from the PDM server and to check in the modified designs. The Workspace also allows you to:
Perform basic PDM operations such as upload new and modified objects to the server and download objects to the Workspace.
Display and sort objects that you have downloaded or checked out.
Configure the display of the new, downloaded, or checked out objects.
You can create multiple workspaces if you are working on several projects. You can create a workspace for each project and segregate the design data for each of your projects.
An Iteration
The Windchill PDM server tracks every modification that you make to an object. Each time you check in a modified object, the PDM server stores an iteration of the object. You can generate detailed reports with which you can review the design modifications made to an object. An object version can consist of many iterations.
A Version
A version identifies the revision and iteration of the part, for example, A.1.
CAD Documents
CAD documents are created when you create objects in Creo applications, associate them with parts, and save the objects to the workspace. In Windchill, a document is an object containing files in a specific application format. A CAD document is a Windchill object containing a CAD model which is a file or a set of files consisting of information in an application format. CAD documents have attributes and non-structured content that are only relevant to the external application. You can use CAD documents to manage Creo data in Windchill.
CAD documents:
Store CAD-generated files, for example, 3D models, drawings, and viewables.
Relate to parts and describe the associated parts.
Relate to other CAD documents to allow the representation of complex dependencies such as model-to-model and model-to-drawing relationships that are created and maintained by the authoring CAD systems.
In Windchill, a part is the main object that represents a component or a logical group of components of your product. A part represents a collection of CAD documents or a manufacturing operation that requires to be managed.
Uploading Objects
An upload transfers Creo files and any other dependencies from your local working directory to the Windchill PDM server. If the Creo file are new, the upload process automatically creates new CAD documents on the PDM server and places a checked out copy of the CAD documents in the active workspace.
An upload is used to:
Create new CAD documents on the Windchill PDM server for existing Creo files.
Transfer Creo files from your local file system to your personal cabinet on the Windchill server.
Store modified CAD files that have not been checked in to the Windchill PDM server.
Downloading Objects
A download transfers the contents of an object from the Windchill PDM server to your active workspace as a read-only object. If an object is checked out by another user, you can use the Download command to add the object to your workspace only for reference purposes. Downloaded objects are read-only. You cannot modify the downloaded objects because you will not be able to check in these objects to the Windchill PDM server.
Updating Out-of-Date Objects
Objects that you downloaded to your workspace without checking them out are out-of-date when changes to the object occur on the Windchill PDM server. You can use the Update command to synchronize the design data in your workspace with the design data on the PDM server.