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Customer Support Guide

Installing and administering a Windchill Solution involves interacting with several third-party products, such as the RetrievalWare or InStream search engine, Oracle database, Rational Rose, Web servers, and Web browsers. PTC Technical Support provides varying levels of assistance for issues related to third-party products.

Installation

Issues related to the installation of third-party products supplied by PTC are supported by PTC Technical Support. Issues related to the installation of third-party products not supplied by PTC, such as mail servers, LDAP servers, or database servers are not supported by PTC. These third-party products must operate properly before any issues concerning this product are reported to Technical Support. Please see the section Supported and Nonsupported Third-Party Issues in this chapter for issues involving specific third-party products.

Configuration

For third-party products supplied by PTC, Technical Support provides assistance with issues configuring the third-party product to operate with Windchill. In the event a configuration change to the third-party product is required, Technical Support can supply specific instructions regarding the required configuration changes. Technical Support is not available when using these products for applications other than Windchill, and such uses may be prohibited by the license agreement.

For third-party products not supplied by PTC, Technical Support provides assistance configuring the Windchill software to interact with the third-party product. Technical Support may require a configuration change to a third-party product. It is the customer’s responsibility to implement these changes, and Technical Support cannot provide the instructions. For example, Technical Support may recommend a change to the configuration of an LDAP server to enable Windchill to authenticate users against this server. This change would be the customer’s responsibility.

To the extent that the configurations of supported third-party platforms and applications are transparent to Windchill's operation, they are supported for use by PTC. However, PTC cannot provide guidance on advanced or atypical configurations of third-party components other than those configurations that are currently documented in Windchill's software guides. If some aspect of the advanced or atypical configuration proves not to be transparent to Windchill's operation, you may be asked to seek support from the third-party application vendor. Such configurations include but are not limited to:

  • Database clustering
  • DNS resolution techniques
  • Firewalls
  • Hardware clustering
  • Load balancers
  • Proxy servers
  • Reverse proxy servers
  • Simultaneous use of the HTTP and HTTPS protocols
  • Single sign-on servers

Software Errors

Report errors in third-party products related to a Windchill Solution to Technical Support. A Software Performance Report (SPR) is opened to report the issue to Windchill Development and Product Management. For issues with the products bundled with a Windchill Solution, the error is reported to the corresponding third-party company. At that point, PTC decides how to address the issue. The result can range from a third-party fix, a correction in Windchill Solution software to accommodate the error, or a substitute product.

Supported and Non-Supported Third Party Issues

The next tables provide a brief overview of third-party products and issues supported by Technical Support. This list includes a sampling (for the purpose of example) of supported and nonsupported tasks. Direct manipulation of Windchill data in Oracle or LDAP is not supported. Manipulate data through Windchill APIs to ensure support.

Aphelion

Issues Supported

Issues Not Supported

Installing Aphelion and configuring Info*Engine to access Aphelion

Using the Aphelion database with other applications

Aphelion backup and restore process

Configuring Aphelion replication

Creating and managing users and groups using the Windchill interface

Creating and managing users and groups with other methods that Windchill interfaces

Cognos ReportNet

Issues Supported

Issues Not Supported

Installing Cognos and enabling access to Windchill

Querying data sources other than Windchill using Cognos

Executing created reports

Customizing ReportNet software

Database Servers

Issues Supported

Issues Not Supported

Creating the database schema for a Windchill Solution

Creating a database

Making changes to a database necessary for a Windchill Solution, such as creating a tablespace

Tuning general database performance based on observing a running system

Recommending specific database settings to improve Windchill Solution performance, such as which tables or attributes are good candidates for indexes
Note: For more specific database performance recommendations contact the PTC Global Services Organization

Repairing corruption of the Oracle instance, such as defective Oracle blocks

 

General database administration

IDE (Integrated Development Environment)

Issues Supported

Issues Not Supported

Using a Windchill JavaBean

Creating user interfaces using non-Windchill GUI components, such as AWT and Swing

Including the Windchill codebase in input/output path

Assisting in the debugging of code

Search and Indexing Servers

Issues Supported

Issues Not Supported

Creating Windchill Solution collections or libraries for Windchill Solution servers

Adding and maintaining collections or libraries for objects outside of a Windchill Solution

Bulk loading indexes

Customizing the index to use additional features or accessing the index vendor tools or other applications

Applying indexing rules to domains

 

Web Browsers

Issues Supported

Issues Not Supported

Providing basic setup assistance for interaction with a Windchill Solution, such as enabling Java or JavaScript

Using general browser settings

Enabling bootstrapping for faster loading of Java classes

Applying vendor recommended patches

Web Servers

Issues Supported

Issues Not Supported

Creating necessary aliases for a Windchill Solution

Configuring or compiling non-Windchill webserver modules (that is, mod_perl)

Applying access controls for authentication

Configuring additional web infrastructure such as proxy servers and load balancers

Support Contracts with Third Party Vendors

Support contracts vary with each third-party vendor. When planning your customization, set up support contracts as necessary.

  • Apache and Tomcat - The Apache Web server and Tomcat servlet engine ship with the Windchill Solutions. These third-party products are a free and out-of-the-box Web server and servlet engine solution. To ensure the quality of these solutions, PTC tests each Windchill release with the supported versions of these products. As a further level of support for Apache, PTC strives to release updated, recompiled Apache binaries to address significant security patches reported by the Apache user community.  As PTC is not the licensor of these products, the responsibility of PTC Technical Support is limited to the interaction between Windchill and the versions of these products shipped with Windchill. If you want to customize and recompile Apache or available modules yourself and need assistance, you would get support from the Apache user community, not PTC Technical Support.
  • Convera, RetrievalWare, Rational Rose, FAST InStream, Aphelion, and Cognos ReportNet, FAST InStream, Aphelion, and Cognos ReportNet - PTC is the official licensor of these products for use with Windchill. Therefore, you must contact PTC for support issues when using these products with Windchill. PTC Technical Support is responsible for issues involving these products and for contacting the vendors’ technical support organization when necessary. For Cognos ReportNet, only customers who have purchased Windchill Business Report Author capability can receive support for authoring new reports within Cognos ReportNet.
  • Info*Engine - You must establish a support contract with vendors of legacy databases that are accessed using Info*Engine.
  • Oracle for Windchill Foundation and PDM, Windchill ProjectLink, Windchill PDMLink, and FlexPLM - You must establish a support contract with Oracle to receive support including updates and patches necessary for using Oracle with Windchill. The Oracle database is one of the main components of a Windchill Solution and is critical for maintaining the integrity of data. PTC Technical Support is unable to provide assistance with Oracle issues unrelated to the Oracle database’s interaction with Windchill, including backup and recovery of the database.
  • Oracle for Pro/INTRALINK—For customers who purchased Oracle bundled with Pro/INTRALINK, PTC is the vendor for the Oracle Database Server. Contact PTC for support issues related to the Oracle database. If you purchased Oracle separately from Pro/INTRALINK, you must establish a support contract with Oracle to receive support including updates and patches necessary for using Oracle with Windchill. The Oracle database is one of the main components of a Windchill Solution and is critical for maintaining the integrity of data. PTC technical support is unable to provide assistance with Oracle issues unrelated to the Oracle database’s interaction with Windchill, including backup and recovery of the database.
  • SQL Server - You must establish a support contract with Microsoft to receive support, including updates and patches necessary for using SQL Server with Windchill. The SQL Server database is one of the main components of a Windchill Solution and is critical for maintaining the integrity of data. PTC technical support is unable to provide assistance with SQL Server issues unrelated to the SQL Server database’s interaction with Windchill, including backup and recovery of the database.
  • Productview - You can configure ProductView to visualize the geometry and product structure of CAD models from many vendors. These models can be accessed from the file system directly or from other PDM systems available on the market. You should establish a support contract with the vendors of those CAD or PDM systems, such as CATIA and I-DEAS.
  • Windchill MCAD and ECAD Integrations - You can configure Windchill to integrate with third-party CAD systems from many vendors. You should establish a support contracts with the vendors of those third-party CAD systems, such as CATIA and I-DEAS.