Proactive Support Services FAQ



Getting Started

Proactive Support Services are the new generation of technical support that detects issues in your PTC systems before they become problems.

Traditionally, you are the one reaching out to Technical Support looking for assistance . With Proactive Support, PTC Technical Support reaches out to you to inform you about issues that we have detected in your systems and provide you with solutions.

As a result, you can look forward to early detection and notification of issues without any added effort or strain on your business. Our Proactive Monitoring and Support service will aid in expediting resolution of existing issues, as well as discovering issues before they become problems.

For additional information, see “What are the different services offered within Proactive Support Services?”

The backbone of Proactive Support Services is the health data recorded by your PTC products. Our technology, fueled by the technical knowledge of our support experts, is automatically analyzing this data in order to identify known problems and direct you to their solution.

We have tailored the Proactive Support Services into two experiences:

The first component is the On-Demand System Scan. This utility is available in the eSupport Portal and allows you to manually upload log or configuration files, and view a summary report of all findings after our system has analyzed them.

In order to ensure that your systems are constantly monitored for issues, we also created Proactive System Monitoring and Guidance. This service does not require any manual upload and automatically analyses other data streams, including:

  • Data streamed by PTC Smart and Connected products
  • Data that is attached to any of your Technical Support cases

To learn how to use these services, see “How do I use these Services?

Unlimited On-Demand System scans are available to all customers under a valid subscription or maintenance contract.

Proactive System Monitoring and Guidance requires a GOLDplus support level or above.

On Demand System Scan:

  • On Demand System Scans are available to customers with a valid SCN.
  • Navigate to the On Demand System Scan page in the eSupport Portal.
  • Enter a valid PTC SCN and click on 'Submit'. If the SCN is valid, then the "Product" selection will be made available.
  • Select the type of system data you want to scan (Windchill or Integrity).
  • Click on 'Select Files' to choose the file(s) you want to upload, or drag and drop the files into the upload section. See "What type of files should I send to PTC?"
  • Click on 'Launch Scan' to initiate a scan. The scan is processed in the background, and the results will be made available in the 'Previous Scans' table once the scan has completed and the results refreshed.

The scanning popup can be closed and the scan will still continue.

  • Once the scan is complete the session ID will appear in the 'Previous Scans' table.
  • Clicking on the Session ID will open the Scan report for that Scan session.
  • The Scan report will detail how many rules were checked against the uploaded data and how many issues were found.
  • The findings are listed in the report and saved as Recommendations that can be found in the eSupport Recommendation Tracker.

Proactive System Monitoring:

Case Scan:

Attachments to cases opened with a premium (GOLDplus or Platinum) SCN will be automatically scanned and any Recommendations made available in the eSupport Recommendation Tracker.

Performance Advisor Connected data:

All Performance Advisor bundles sent to PTC with a premium (GOLDplus or Platinum) SCN will be automatically scanned and any Recommendations made available in the eSupport Recommendation Tracker.
For additional information on these connected systems see "How do I connect my system or check it is properly connected?".

For additional information on understanding and interacting with Proactive Support Recommendations, see "How do I interpret my results? Do I need to talk to PTC Technical Support?" and "What are the possible interactions with the Proactive Recommendations?"

All Windchill based products (PDMLink, ProjectLink, FlexPLM, etc.) can be configured to periodically collect and send data to PTC since 10.2 M020 via the Windchill Performance Advisor.

The Proactive Support Services also support this data and will process all Windchill Performance Advisor data received by PTC, making all subsequent Recommendations available for review.

The steps to enable and configure Windchill Performance Advisor vary across the different versions of Windchill, so it is recommended to review the product documentation for the appropriate version of Windchill.

Once Windchill Performance Advisor is correctly enabled and configured, and Performance Advisor data for the system is available within the Performance Advisor dashboard, then Proactive Support Recommendations will be generated as appropriate.

A 'Welcome' recommendation is generated when data for a new Windchill Performance Advisor connected server is received for the first time.
Receiving this 'Welcome' recommendation is an indication that the Windchill Performance Advisor data for this given server is being monitored by Proactive Support Services.
Should we no longer receive data from this system for 45 days, we will generate a notice in the form of a Recommendation in case this was not intentional.

Windchill Performance Advisor installation / configuration documentation

Windchill 10.2

Help Center
How to apply the Windchill Performance Advisor Patch for Windchill 10.2

Windchill 11.0

Help Center

Windchill 11.1

Help Center

Windchill Performance Advisor FAQ

If your system is already sending data to PTC via the Performance Advisor, we recommend that you activate all reports and use a frequency of at least Weekly.
On Demand System Scans or the Case Attachment Scans support a broad range of files for Windchill and Integrity Lifecycle Manager.

Integrity Lifecycle Manager: The following files and file types are supported:

Logs:

Integrity Server Startup Log
Integrity Server Log File
Integrity Client Log File
Java Garbage Collector Log
Java Crash Log
Java Thread Dump File

Properties / configuration:

Integrity mksservice.conf File
Integrity is.properties File
Integrity si.properties File
Integrity Properties File
Integrity security.properties File
Integrity logger.properties File
Integrity Java Properties File
IntegrityClient.lax File
Integrity Server IntegrityClientSite.rc File
Integrity servicepack.policy File
Integrity global.events File

Reports:

Oracle AWR Report

Other:

Integrity Metrics File
Integrity Statistics
Integrity Database Statistics File
Integrity Database Index Fragmentation File

Integrity Support Packages are recommended, see: How to collect a Support Package for Integrity Lifecycle Manager

Windchill: The following files and file types are supported:

Logs:

ServerManager, MethodServer, BackgroundMethodserver
Apache error logs
Oracle Alert.log
Java Gc Logs

Properties / configuration:

wt.properties
db.properties
wvs.properties

Reports:

Vaulting report
Oracle / SQLServer Gather Info Script report
SQLServer report
Oracle Workflow Report

Other:

Performance Table exports

Windchill System Configuration Collector archives can be processed for the files contained that match the above.

Files can be uploaded individually or collected inside an archive file in one of the follow formats: Zip, Tar, Gzip, Rar, 7zip, Bzip2.
The scanning technology attempts to detect the file based on the content, so it supports files with custom names.

Get to Know Your Recommendations

Regardless of which Proactive Support Service scans the data, all findings are documented as Recommendations.
All Recommendations for your Customer Account can be viewed in the eSupport Portal via the Recommendation Tracker.
In addition, the findings for an On Demand System Scan are collected into an On Demand System Scan Report, which can be accessed from the On Demand System Scan page.

All historic Recommendations are kept by PTC, even when they are marked as Ignored or Completed.
All historic Recommendations for a Customer Account can be found in the eSupport Recommendation Tracker.

Historic On Demand System Scan reports can be found on the On Demand System Scan page.

All Proactive Support Services Recommendations, regardless of the source of the data they originate from, follow the same layout and provide the same type of information:

Description: The root cause or symptomatic condition in the data that triggered the recommendation.
Action that Needs to be Taken:How to address or remediate the problem presented in the Description.
Explanation: The impact of the problem to the system. This should help you understand how important the problem may be to your deployment.
Evidence of Problem: When available, this will provide a sample of data that triggered the recommendation. This may be the error message, the misconfigured property, or performance data.
Related Documents: Links to Technical Support Articles or other supporting documentation that provide additional details and information regarding the problem and its resolution.
Status: The current status of the Recommendation. For additional information on Recommendation States, see the topic "What are the possible interactions with the Proactive Recommendations?".
Origin: What data generated the Recommendation. The information will depend on the service:

On-Demand System Scan: Will list the session ID and the file in which the finding occurred.
Case Attachment Scan: Will indicate the Case that the finding was found in.
Connected System: No additional information is available.

Applies To: The PTC Product or Product family that the Recommendation applies to.
Occurrence: Occurrence provides information on how many times the problem has been detected. This will vary depending on the Proactive Service:

On Demand System Scan: Every scan will generate a unique Recommendation with only one occurrence.
Case Attachment Scan: If the same finding occurs in multiple files attached to the same case, then only one Recommendation is generated, but with multiple occurrences.
Connected System: If the same finding occurs in multiple packages from the same system GUID, then only one Recommendation is generated, with multiple occurrences.

Number: The number of occurrences that have been detected.
First: The date that first occurrence was detected.
Last: The date of the most recent occurrence.
Last File: The filename that the last occurrence of the problem was detected in.

Proactive Recommendations will generally fall into one of three major types:

Prescriptive Recommendations

The problem symptoms and root cause are well understood, so the actions required to address the problem can be clearly provided in summary in the Action field, and in some cases, in more detail in the linked article.
Any reasonably experienced administrator should be able to understand the problem and the steps necessary for remediation from the recommendation and any linked documents without need to refer to PTC Technical Support.

Investigative Recommendations

The problem symptoms are well understood, however the problem may have multiple root causes, so the actions required to address the problem may require additional investigation to properly determine a correct solution.
The information in the recommendation should allow an experienced administrator to understand the problem, and the linked article should provide the necessary steps to allow an experienced administrator to investigate and determine the correct steps to resolve the issue.
In some cases, the system may be presenting a set of symptoms with a root cause that is not yet well understood, so the documented steps to identify and resolve may not be able to address this root cause.
Additional information and assistance from PTC Technical Support may be necessary.

Notification

These recommendations provide information regarding the system that may or may not require additional actions (for example, the availability of a new release). The information within these recommendations and the linked article should provide sufficient clarity and answer most potential questions.

The recommendations that can be generated by Proactive Support Services and the information they and their linked articles contain are carefully reviewed and vetted before being made available to customers.
In the majority of cases, they should not require additional assistance from PTC Technical Support to understand or implement, however customers always have the option to open a case with PTC Technical Support if they have any additional questions or problems regarding any Proactive Support Servies Recommendations.

You can view a list of all available Recommendations generated for you from within the Recommendation Tracker.

From within this viewer you can view, sort and filter lists of your Recommendations for each product.

Double clicking on any Recommendation will open that item in a separate Recommendation Viewer to display the full details.

In addition to viewing the details of each Recommendation, you can perform management of your Recommendations via the Recommendation Status and the 'Mark As' buttons in the Viewer or the Status column in the Tracker.

Recommendation Status:

Recommendations and Notifications maintain a simple lifecycle that is reflected by the Status field.

When a Recommendation is first created, it will have the Status of "New".

The first time a Recommendation is viewed by any user within your company, its Status will be automatically set to "Viewed".

In addition there are a number of "Closed" states that can be set either automatically through expiration, or manually using the Mark As buttons.

Expiry:

Every Recommendation has an Expiry date.

For Recommendations, this is a date calculated from the timestamp of the last occurrence, and will be updated every time a new occurrence of the problem is detected.

For Recommendations generated from Performance Advisor data that is received regularly, an expired Recommendation therefore represents a problem that appears to be no longer occurring on the system.

For Notifications, this is a date calculated from the timestamp of the first occurrence, and will not be updated.

If a Recommendation reaches its Expiry date and is not already closed, it will be move to a Status of "Closed - Expired" so that it does not clutter the list of open Recommendations.

If there is a new occurrence of a problem after its Recommendation has be set to "Closed - Expired", then the Recommendation will be set back to a Status of "New".

For Recommendations generated from Performance Advisor data that is received regularly, this represents a problem that has started to re-occur after a period of time.

Notifications will be remain in the "Closed - Expired" Status.

Changing the Status

In order to track which actions still require attention we recommend that you manually manage the Status of a Recommendation using the Mark As buttons in the Viewer.

Completed

The Completed button is used to indicate that the Recommendation actions have been applied.

When the Completed button is selected, it will change the Status to "Closed - (Manually Completed)".

If there is a new occurrence of a problem after its Recommendation has be set to "Closed - (Manually Completed)", then the Recommendation will be set back to a Status of "New".

This allows you to be alerted that a problem may be continuing in spite of applying the remediations detailed in the Recommendation, or that possibly the changes have been reverted.

Notifications will be remain in the "Closed - (Manually Completed)" Status.

Ignore

The Ignore button is used to indicate that there are no plans to implement the actions described in the Recommendation.

When the Ignore button is selected it will change the Status to "Closed (Manually Ignored)".

Once a Recommendation is set to "Closed (Manually Ignored)" its Status will not change should new occurrences of the problem be detected.

New

The New button will appear if a Recommendation is in one of the "Closed" states.

Selecting the New button will change the Status back to "New".

Viewed

The Viewed button will appear if a Recommendation is in one of the "Closed" states.

Selecting the Viewed button will change the Status back to "Viewed".

Proactive Recommendations are generated from three different sources of data: Performance Advisor data, On-Demand System Scans, and case attachments.

The Recommendations are generated by processing the available data against rules that define known problems or issues that PTC want to make customers aware of, or that PTC can make suggestions on remediation actions that should be taken by the customer.

Performance Advisor Data

Performance Advisor data is configured by you, the customer, to be sent to PTC at intervals that you deem appropriate. These are usually daily, but can be weekly or monthly for some elements of the data collected.

Performance Advisor data bundles are processed and analyzed as they are received by PTC, and new or updated Recommendations are generated as soon as possible.

You can expect that any Recommendations from your Performance Advisor data will be available for review within 24 hours of sending the data to PTC.

On-Demand System Scan data

You may submit data for analysis at any time using the On-Demand System Scan webpage.

Data submitted for an On Demand System Scan is queued for processing in the order it is received.

The scan results will be made available once the scan has fully completed.

The length of time to complete a scan will depend on the number, size and complexity of the file(s) being submitted as well as the number of outstanding requests currently queued.

Smaller data sets should only take a few minutes to complete and the results made available.

Large, complex data sets may take a few hours to complete and the results made available.

Case Attachment data

A process within PTC will check for any new case attachments that have been added within the previous hour.

Any new attachments that meet the appropriate criteria will be queued for analysis.

Case attachment scans are prioritized lower than On Demand scans and may take longer for Recommendations to be made available.

You can expect that any Recommendations from your case attachments will be available for review within 24 hours of attaching the file to the case.

Windchill Performance Advisor, Windchill Performance System Monitoring and Proactive Support Services complement each other to ensure that your Windchill system is monitored as closely as possible.

Windchill Performance Advisor and Connected PSM allow Windchill and PTC System Monitor to collect and send data to PTC.
That data is used to drive a number of dashboards within the Windchill Performance Advisor web page and to generate simple performance related recommendations.

Proactive Support takes that same data and applies a set of problem detection rules to it in order to detect additional known problems in a number of categories.
The Proactive Support Services rules, and the resulting recommendations, come from PTC Technical Support product experts, and the infrastructure is designed to allow for continual and flexible improvements to the problems that can be detected and the recommendations that can be generated.

In addition, Proactive Support Services can process data submitted to PTC outside of Windchill Performance Advisor and Connected PSM allowing for a richer set of data that can be analyzed, and therefore a broader range of problems detected and recommendations made.

We would love to hear from you about this new service.

For each Support Recommendation that has been created, you have the opportunity to leave feedback from the recommendation viewer regarding this specific recommendation.
We review this feedback regularly in order to improve our recommendations systems.

Product Roadmap / What's New

Currently, Proactive Support Services focuses on Windchill and Integrity.

On-Demand System Scan accepts files for both products.
For Proactive System Monitoring and Guidance, Proactive Support Recommendations are created for case attachments for both products as well, but only Windchill Performance Advisor data is analyzed.

You can find more information on our roadmap in section “What are the future plans for this service?.

All the recommendations that you receive are generated by a modular framework where our support experts can fuel the automated tool with logical rules to detect issues and prescribe solutions.
In order to keep delivering you the highest possible value through this new support channel, we have processes in place to maintain this logic up-to-date with new use cases, new product releases and newly discovered issues.

We have the ambition to expand Proactive Support Service to other PTC product families like Creo or ThingWorx.

Where do you think we should go now? Please share your comments in an email to the Proactive Support Team

The various components of Proactive Support Services analyze the data regardless of the locale from which this data was generated, however all findings are generated in English.

The various tools for Proactive Support (On-Demand System Scan interface, Recommendation Tracker, etc.) are currently only available in English.
We plan to add localized versions, starting with this FAQ.
If you have any suggestion about where we should start, feel free to let us know in an email to the Proactive Support Team

Providing Feedback

Review the other topics within this FAQ to understand how the services are expected to work.

If you still think there is an issue, you can send an email to the Proactive Support Team.

We would love to hear from you about this new way to support you.

If you have a general question or comment about this service, we invite you to email the Proactive Support Team.

Privacy and Data

At PTC, we respect and protect your personal information: we follow a Privacy Policy, that explains the basis on which we process any personal data we collect from or about you, or that you or any third party provide to us.

For more information about the Performance Advisor / Smart & Connected Products Program, please refer to the ‘PTC Performance Advisor’ paragraph in the ‘Information we may Collect from or About You’ section in the  this Privacy Policy.

Regarding the Case Attachments Scanning service, we follow the general principles of the PTC Technical Support and the Privacy Policy above.

Regarding the On-Demand System Scan, be aware that we discard the file you uploaded once they have been scanned, and we do not store any personal information, in respect of the Privacy Policy mentioned above.

If you have questions regarding GDPR, refer to the PTC page: PTC Data Processing Terms and Conditions.

Customers that have the Performance Advisor option selected in their eSupport profile can view the complete list of Recommendations for their company in the Recommendation Tracker.

Customers that do not have the Performance Advisor option can still view individual Recommendations for their company if they are forwarded a link to the Recommendation.

All customers can view all the On-Demand System Scan Results for all SCNs in their company from the On-Demand System Scan page, including any resulting Recommendations.

In addition, all PTC Support employees can review a customer’s Recommendations.

To check your eSupport Profile, navigate to Manage My Web Account > eSupport Settings >Account Privileges > Product Diagnostics and Analytics.

You can also see if you have access from the Asset Advisor widget in the section "How Can I Check My Connected Systems ?" below.

The widget below (displayed only if you are logged in) gives you the list of your Connected Systems eligible for generating Recommendations.

You can view this list if you have access to Performance Advisor. If you do not have access, the widget displays a list of several Online Supervisors in your company who can grant you the access.

 

Within the Recommendation Viewer there are options to Share the link to the Recommendation, or to Copy the link, which can then be shared via alternate methods.
Any valid eSupport user under the company account can view the Recommendation from the link.

Not all data sent to PTC will be used to generate Recommendations.
This will depend on the specific Proactive Support Service:

Windchill Performance Advisor:

All files within the Windchill Performance Advisor bundle will generate Recommendations with the following exceptions:

  • Bundles from SCNs that do not have Platinum or GOLDplus entitlement
  • Bundles from Managed Systems currently hosted by PTC Cloud Services

On Demand System Scans:

All files uploaded will be processed and used to generate Recommendations

Case Attachment Scans:

All files attached to a case will generate Recommendations with the following exceptions:

  • Cases opened for an SCN that does not have Platinum or GOLDplus entitlement
  • Cases opened under NDA or ITAR
  • Files uploaded via FTP
  • The "will be scanned" option was unchecked during file upload
  • Files added from email domains outside the email address of the Case Contact
  • Cases opened for Managed Systems currently hosted by PTC Cloud Services