Windchill SocialLink 1.0 FAQ
- What's the news with this release?
- What versions of SharePoint and Windchill do I need to use Windchill SocialLink?
- If I have a SharePoint implementation, do I need to alter it or do anything special to accommodate Windchill SocialLink?
- If I have a SharePoint implementation, what additional social computing capabilities do I get with Windchill SocialLink?
- How is product information in Windchill accessed by Windchill SocialLink, and then associated with a community or user?
- Is my product data protected?
- How is Windchill ProjectLink different than Windchill SocialLink?
- Is community mentoring a challenging job?
- Can you get the social toolbar in other applications?
- Why do I need social computing?
- I already have a social collaboration tool or knowledge management initiative. What questions should I be asking?
- We already have community sites in SharePoint. How does Windchill SocialLink help?
- How can I use it with external customers, partners, and suppliers?
- Are Windchill SocialLink Communities customizable?
- Can we integrate with other social software platforms and other web 2.0 tools?
- How do we deal with information overload?
What's the news with this release?
Windchill 9.1 offers improved support for key product development processes, plus a range of improvements in enterprise product content management, usability, and supportability.
What versions of SharePoint and Windchill do I need to use Windchill SocialLink?
Windchill SocialLink requires Windchill 9.1 M060 and SharePoint Server 2010 (Enterprise CAL).
If I have a SharePoint implementation, do I need to alter it or do anything special to accommodate Windchill SocialLink?
No, Windchill SocialLink is deployed as a SharePoint site, so there are no special or added requirements to enable the social computing features found in Windchill SocialLink within the SharePoint environment.
If I have a SharePoint implementation, what additional social computing capabilities do I get with Windchill SocialLink?
SharePoint provides a fully featured enterprise-ready collaboration platform. However, it does not natively connect with Windchill nor enable communities and real-time conversations in the context of products that live in Windchill. Windchill SocialLink provides enhanced activity feeds, microblogging, and community sites on top of SharePoint, in addition to a desktop client for easy interaction with community sites.
How is product information in Windchill accessed by Windchill SocialLink, and then associated with a community or user?
Windchill SocialLink utilizes the integration capabilities of Windchill Web Parts for SharePoint, which leverages SharePoint 2010 Business Connectivity Services (BCS), in order to access Windchill product content and present it within the solution interface.
Is my product data protected?
Windchill leverages user access controls to enforce security of product data. If you do not have access rights to the data managed in Windchill you will not have the ability to get it with Windchill SocialLink. It is important to also note that engineers and others in the enterprise share images or comments about product data by pasting that information into Word documents or emails. It is important to document corporate security procedures and governance in order to educate the user base.
How is Windchill ProjectLink different than Windchill SocialLink?
Windchill ProjectLink and Windchill SocialLink differ widely in the way that they enable product development organizations to collaborate. Windchill ProjectLink, as an integral solution to the Windchill PLM suite, serves primarily as a workspace for project teams and also resource management tool to manage product development projects. Windchill SocialLink, also integral to the Product Development System, enables real-time collaboration, providing new methods to communicate, capture, and share knowledge across product teams and communities of experts by leveraging new capabilities enabled by web 2.0.
Is community mentoring a challenging job?
Adoption is crucial when talking about communities. People must see content that is useful to them and enables them to quickly engage; otherwise they will not return to using communities. Designating a community champion to promote the health of a community is highly recommended. Windchill SocialLink provides special administrative reporting tools for community champions to check the health and activity of their communities.
Can you get the social toolbar in other applications?
Windchill SocialLink 1.0 delivers a social toolbar within Windchill that enables users to quickly and easily engage via Web 2.0 technologies within their workspace. In the future, PTC will bring this functionality to all of its applications in our PDS (Product Development System).
Why do I need social computing?
Is complexity going up in your organization? – e.g. more acquisitions, more distributed workforce, more products, etc…. All lead to the need for better collaboration. Many times technology is focused on bring you new features to automate work. Windchill SocialLink is really focused on bringing you capabilities that will help you connect your product development workforce in ways that accelerate problem solving and enable rapid innovation of ideas.
I already have a social collaboration tool or knowledge management initiative. What questions should I be asking?
- Is it integrated with your PLM tool (i.e. Windchill)?
- Does it bring social computing into the workflow of your product development end users?
- Is it focused specifically on Product Development use cases?
We already have community sites in SharePoint. How does Windchill SocialLink help?
You can convert existing SharePoint sites into Windchill SocialLink Product Communities or Communities of Practices, gaining the activity stream, microblogging, and other features that are linked to the products you are building.
How can I use it with external customers, partners, and suppliers?
The product works with your existing SharePoint CAL’s. If you have them enabled for external people, you simply need to purchase enough Windchill SocialLink licenses to cover these users also.
Are Windchill SocialLink Communities customizable?
Of course, a community champion or admin can customize the look, feel, and functionality of Product Communities and Communities of Practice. PTC offers a number of web parts regarding product information that can be added to you community sites. Microsoft and other 3rd parties provide numerous SharePoint web parts that allow you to add the content you want to your community sites.
Can we integrate with other social software platforms and other web 2.0 tools?
SocialLink is optimized around SharePoint 2010. Many companies are adoption SP 2010 as a collaboration backbone and PTC is taking advantage of this. If there are other collaboration platforms in your enterprise, you may easily include links to other wikis, discussion forms, etc, in your new SocialLink communities. You can customize them how you want.
How do we deal with information overload?
One of the benefits of Windchill SocialLink is an activity feed that is continuously bringing you new information and insights to help with discovery. Sometimes this can be burdensome, so PTC implemented a notifications mechanism that will alert the user to events that are directly relevant for them.