Everything you need to implement ThingWorx Navigate for PLM data

Build the App

Once you’ve installed ThingWorx Navigate, tailor views or begin custom app development. Use the documentation you’re developing to create training materials for end users.

01. Tailor views

If you’re developing a custom app, skip this step.

Tailor views for out-of-the-box (OOTB) apps after you’ve installed ThingWorx Navigate. To tailor means to configure or modify views in the app so the right users see the right data. Anyone with administrator permissions can tailor views—most likely the system admin, Windchill admin, and developers. Instructions on how to tailor views are available in the article, Tailor ThingWorx Navigate Tasks.

Refer to your technical design document and documented user groups to determine what to tailor. Tailor the views you’ll need to properly test the app. For example, if you’re using the “View Design Files” task, you can select which formats and design relationships users can see.

Since there are more tailoring options available than you may need to modify, focus on the needs outlined in your use case. Update documentation as you go, including any changes to user groups.

If tailoring OOTB apps does not offer enough customization to satisfy your use case, consider developing a custom app instead. PTC does not recommend customizing OOTB apps if it requires development. 

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02. Build the app

If you’re using OOTB apps only, skip this step.

After installation, start development for your custom app. Team members must be familiar with your technical design document and know the plan for source control. That will make the development process go smoothly.

Designers and/or developers build the app in ThingWorx Composer. Consider building with reusable components, especially if you may build more than one custom app. Documentation is available in the Help Center: Create a New Task from Scratch for ThingWorx Navigate.

Navigate Components improve and simplify application development because they can be used out-of-the-box to assemble into custom tasks. When you insert a component into a mashup, the component object type and/or behaviors should be further configured. This can be done via the configuration dropdown or JSON for advanced configuration. Some components have one or more predefined configurations available, which can be used for specialized applications with minimal additional configuration.

The Navigate component's predefined configurations use Windchill as their backend system. Thus, all access control settings, attribute visibility configurations, and security labels that are configured in Windchill are honored by ThingWorx Navigate components. As a result, users can only see what the Windchill rules allow them to see.

Designers and developers should communicate with one another often to create solutions in consistent ways. Follow best practices for developing in ThingWorx (login required). Update documentation continuously. Make sure documentation reflects how the app was built and the details of the final design. Include as many details about the design and user interface as possible.

When you’ve built the app, confirm whether it satisfies your use case and user requirements. Iterate as needed. Later, you'll test the app more thoroughly. 

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03. Create materials for end user training

Create training materials for end users as you tailor or build the app. Compile your documentation to help. The person or group planning organizational change management should lead this. Designers and developers should contribute documentation.

Refer to your organizational change management plan to determine what you need to create and for whom.

Materials for end user training should address:

  1. How to access and use the app
  2. How to get support
  3. How to report errors
  4. Where to access documentation
  5. How their job or role may be affected

Anticipate that there will be changes to the app as you test it. Make updates to training materials continuously so that they’re ready when you launch the app.

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