FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

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Introduction

This FAQ is to assist customers and partners understand the Windchill Extension program.


General

How do I get started?

Navigate to Getting Started with Windchill Extensions


Is this related to ThingWorx or Navigate?

They’re complementary to Navigate, without overlap. Navigate generally targets workflows outside of the Windchill UI. Windchill Extensions generally augment workflows within the Windchill UI.


An extension does not have a feature I need?

Log your issue with support and it will be added to the product improvement suggestion. There is a good chance that some of these requests could be treated as general “improvements” and delivered very quickly for general use. The “Quick PDF” has been updated multiple times already based on suggestions.

For true customization needs, the customer (or PTC on the customer’s behalf) would contract with Wincom to provide the customization on top of the subscribed extension


What can and cannot be in an extension?

An extension can become part of the Windchill without the user ever knowing this is not core Windchill. We can add menus, listeners, new columns. Extensions can also provide non-Windchill interface giving a more modern mobile/tablet friendly interface.


Can customers or partners create extensions?

Not yet but there are plans to release a development platform in the future.


How does the “hot” deployment work?

After the platform is install Windchill will not need to be stopped to deploy, undeploy and ungrade and extension; our aim is to make the concept of “Go-Live” a thing of the past.


How is further customization of the extensions handled? i.e. it does 90% of what our customer wants to do but needs a few tweaks specific to them only

a. It is possible to work on specific cases

b. Also, there is a good chance that some of these requests could be treated as “improvements” and delivered very quickly for general use. The “Quick PDF” has been updated 8 times already based on suggestions.

c. For true customization needs, the customer (or PTC on the customer’s behalf) would contract with Wincom to provide the customization on top of the subscribed extension


Is there a plan that customer specific customizations (let’s say Frymaster) can be ported on that portal, and that only Frymaster’s admin can see/download those extensions?

This is the direction we’d like to go in, but we’re not quite there yet. Realistically, we’ll have some more guidance on this in autumn.


Is hot deployment proprietary to Wincom?

Yes, it is.


Cloud


Is the use of the Wincom extensions approved for use by the PTC Cloud portfolio team?

Yes, but not by default. A request to the cloud team is required to have the platform installed and made available. The extension manager can be authorized to be used by non-site users giving autonomous control on deployment, undeployment and configuration.


Will there be special considerations required for our FedRamp Cloud environment?

For hybrid cloud solutions e.g. watermarkinga, there is an option to provide a self contained solution to avoid accessing an external server. See the “Watermark Server Manager” extension.


Is the use of the Wincom extensions approved for use by the PTC Cloud portfolio team? / are extensions supported/allowed by PTC Cloud?

a. Technically, Cloud Ops likes what they see. We doubt we need any technical enhancements to the program to get approved by Cloud. b. It is waiting for the final “stamp” for general use c. Some cloud customers are already using it, wrapped in custom engagements for the moment.


Will there be special considerations required for our FedRamp Cloud environment? for example, the Watermark Servers probably won’t be accessible

There is an option to provide a self contained solution to avoid accessing an external server. See the “Watermark Server Manager” extension on the WEX Center.

If used by our cloud customers, who manages the install, etc., customer admin, or cloud admin?

The Extension Platform supports both, the model needs to be decided by Cloud when the final approval is done



Support


Does Wincom provide the support for any published extensions or is that the responsibility of PTC?

For support, customers contact PTC like any other PTC-contracted product. PTC TS provides “Level 1” support, and coordinates with Wincom for Level 2.


Also does Wincom provide the support for any published extensions or is that the responsibility of PTC TS?

For support, customers contact PTC like any other PTC-contracted product. PTC TS provides “Level 1” support, and coordinates with Wincom for Level 2.



Pricing


How does pricing work?

a. Pricing information is directly available in the Extension Center. Pay attention to the bundle options, convenient!


Are there extra charges for my development environment?

No, we just charge if an extension is used in production.


Any gotcha’s on the free or trial extensions?

None! Neither is even logged in PTC’s accounting system, so neither would ever result in automated conversion to subscription or be subject to compliance checks. Truly no strings attached on free or trial extensions.


I usually buy PTC software through a partner. May I buy these extensions through them?

Yes, of course. You have 2 methods. First, you may request a quote from the Windchill Extension Center. In the note, indicate the partner you’d like to contract through. PTC will route it to your partner for quoting. Alternatively, you may simply contact your partner directly, and they’ll contract through their usual process.


How does pricing / selling work? I have a customer that could get value out of several of these extensions, in order for me to position the extensions vs customizations, it is helpful to understand the cost for the extensions. Follow up, does that license per user model work for just a sub set of users in the Windchill user base?

a. Pricing information is directly available in the Extension Center. Pay attention to the bundle options, convenient!

b. There are suggestions to estimate the number of licenses depending of the type of users for each extension (some are for general use, others could be only for a percentage of the users)


Security/Risk


How secure are these?

These are very secure! The extensions are contained outside of Windchill with additional safeguards as well. When you log into the Windchill Extension Center, you can access the knowledge base.

Here are 2 links to reassure you of the security System Admin Guide and Security for extensions


Who validates the security/scalability/efficiency of these extensions?

Wincom and PTC have a joint R&D, QA and Security approach. Wincom’s security policy is reviewed by PTC. Wincom of course tests the extensions for each release, using builds shared by R&D. PTC also adds validation with each release QA cycle, and we also do recurring security checks


How can I be sure Windchill performance is not affected

Each extension is verified for performance, however any query that is added to the system that might affect performance due to underlying database issues has a choke, meaning that if it underperforms the kernel will put a error message on server as a warning and prevent the call being remade. This is primarily a feature that we anticipate when the platform will be released as a development environment. The kernel is passive and does not impact server startup time and availability.


Who validates the security/scalability/efficiency of these extensions?

a. Wincom and PTC have a joint R&D, QA and Security approach. Wincom’s security policy is reviewed by PTC. Wincom of course tests the extensions for each release, using builds shared by R&D. PTC also adds validation with each release QA cycle, and we also do recurring security checks


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Article details:
Published date: 11/03/2020 3:51PM
Last updated: 10/11/2020 6:28PM (author@wincom-plm.com - author@wincom-plm.com)
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Author: Simon Heath (simonh@wincom-consulting.com)
Permalink: https://wex.wincom-plm.com/kb/articles/extensions-faq