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Compelling reason to migrate to Wildfire


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I've heard all the bashing of the Wildfire release. Putting that aside; there must be some compelling reason to go through the pain of migrating to a new release. Otherwise, why go through the pain of version skew, learning a new interface, the inevitable bugs, etc.

What's the killer app that makes (or would make) the switch worth while?

I can think of a couple of good things but they're really only applicable to a new user:

1) Since Wildfire is the future of Pro/E one might as well jump on board now and not have to relearn the interface and go throught the headache of converting files later.

2) The Online Help is greatly improved.
Each new release always seems like 3 steps forward and two back.

Can't believe they don't have Intralink released for Wildfire yet.

Remember R19 when they released it and it did not support ProPDM ??? Only fools repeat mistakes..
Most companies I have worked for have typicaly skipped revs. That is, only upgrading every other release. This keeps things flowing pretty good, as opposed to re-learning Pro every 6 months. Contracting PTC to come in and train everytime they make a few changes, is not very productive. Neither is changing software just when you start working out all the bugs. Although a lot of companies deal with outside vendors, and need the latest rev just to be compatable.
The cliff notes version:

Go to Wildfire when it makes sense for your company.

The LONG reply:

Sure, there are many reasons to switch to Wildfire. There are a few reasons not to switch too. Here are a few reasons not to go to Wildfire:

1. Our customers demand files returned to them in an earlier build of Pro/ENGINEER.

2. We use Pro/INTRALINK.

3. This is our busy season and we don't have time to upgrade now.

4. We have tested Wildfire and found some critical bugs for what we do on a daily basis. We have filed them with Tech support and are waiting for a fixed build.

So to balance it out, here are a few reasons to go to Wildfire.

1. Your company doesn't have or use Pro/INTRALINK.

2. You need to build your designs faster.

3. Engineering has a couple of slow weeks coming up due to... and can spend the time going through update training and practice using Wildfire.

4. You have new people who used any other 3D package and need to get them trained to use Pro/ENGINEER.

5. Yes, it is the future of Pro/ENGINEER and just like version 19 to 20, PTC isn't going back.

Most of the complaints you hear are from people like me who haven't had Wildfire explained to them. It looks alien. We don't like the color scheme that hasn't changed in 15 years. We can't find that @$@#&! feature that used to be in the Menu Manager. etc. etc. etc. These are vocal learning pains of self-taught users, not reasons to avoid Wildfire.

Switching to Wildfire is like switching from version 19 to version 20. It is a significant change. So PTC is recommending everyone go to update training. I've been using it since January and still haven't found all the functions I used in 2001. That doesn't mean they aren't there, they are just accessed differently. If I was starting with Wildfire now, I would take the update training. It is only 2 days. I spent more time than that trying to find where all the picks went. (And no, the Menu Mapper doesn't tell you where everything went.)

Efficiency is probably the best reason. I still change between 2001 and Wildfire on a weekly basis. Designing in Wildfire is significantly faster than 2001. This morning in 2001 I created a protrusion and wanted to change it to a surface. I had to delete it and recreate it. In Wildfire, I can redefine it and pick an icon to convert it to a surface. That's efficiency!

Skipping releases comes from a few years ago when major releases of the software came every six months. Before the new software was installed and users were comfortable with it, a new release was available! Companies weighed the benefits of the new release against staying put for another six months.

Now there are no benefits to skipping releases. PTC hasn't had a 6 month release scheme for over two years. In fact, 2001 has been the current release of Pro/ENGINEER since, well 2001.

In the end it is your decision. Good luck.
I thought the killer app was collaboration. They are at least two versions behind groove software and I still can't get the design conferencing to work. I have yet to see anybody request a test drive of the conferencing through these forums. If anybody has actually use design conferencing successfully I'd like to hear about it.

PS is anybody using groove 2.5 and wildfire?
I don't usually complain about a new Pro/ENGINEER module. But Design Conferencing appears to be less useable than metadata replication in Pro/INTRALINK, if that is possible.

I hadn't heard of Groove before collaboration was released. So I don't know anything about Groove versions. But I have set up and tested Design Conferencing.

There used to be issues with upgrading it. But I think those issues have been addressed now. Basically you had to uninstall everything related to Design Conferencing. Then you had to manually hack the registry to get rid of Groove before installing the upgrade.

Design Conferencing isn't very useful yet. First, you have to buy it. Originally it was going to be free. But PTC changed their minds before it was released. If you have what PTC calls a Flex 3C license or if you purchased it directly, you own it. If you just have Foundation, you don't own it.

You can set up the share directories and use the chat portion of Design Conferencing without a license. So you could use it to transfer files. But there are many technologies for transfering files.

Next it runs based on the trail file. So PTC doesn't even support using it between different builds of Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire. As partial proof of its usefullness, PTC uses Web-Ex to conference with customers. They don't even use their own product.

To temper this statement, Web-Ex works with 2001 and earlier releases where Design Conferencing cannot. But they don't want to use Design Conferencing when a customer is using Wildfire. The reason is they don't want to have to run every build of Pro/ENGINEER to match builds.

PTC is continually increasing its stability. But when I tested it the longest connected session was approximately 5 minutes. It is after all running a trail file. They rarely make it to completion before going out of sequence.

I hope PTC resolves these issues in the next release, Wildfire +1 (Version 25). But right now you really have to collaborate with the other people in your Design Collaboration sessions.

Hope this helps

The first build of Wildfire (290 I think) recked havock on drawing formats. All text in the format came in as default size and orientation when applying a template drawing. Any special formatting applied to the text in a format was ignored. This made drawing borders illegible. Fortunately no one makes drawings :). It was fixed in the second build of Wildfire.

Last build I checked (2003051), I couldn't make a rip connect in Sheetmetal (while converting a solid to sheetmetal). But I haven't tried the latest build of Wildfire. It is probably fixed now. There was also a sheetmetal issue with refreshing the screen. But that has been fixed too. I didn't do much in sheetmetal. I imagine PTC didn't do much testing of it either since they didn't change the code. I'd start here if I were looking for mission critical bugs and made sheetmetal parts.

I somehow created a datum on the fly the other day in Wildfire. I'm sure that is a bug, but I'm not telling Tech Support :). I just wish I could remember how I did it :(.

I blamed most of my problems with ISDX on bugs. But actually PTC just reversed the functionality of the [shift] and [alt] keys in Wildfire. I did find one issue in ISDX where I couldn't make a surface normal to a plane. But that has been fixed too.

One thing I always try to do is log calls on anything that appears broken. I've been educated by Tech Support on how to do some things that I thought were broken (like moving a table or creating a two sided hole). I've also had most of my bugs fixed within a build or two.

I haven't had the opportunity to play with the extended applications lately (piping, cabling, mold design, manufacturing...). This is where I would look if I was really on a bug hunt. The base functionality is very stable compared to any previous release at the same time frame. Let's face it. 2000i2 wasn't usable six months after it was released. Wildfire has only been out four months and I only have one bug which may already be resolved.

The tech support page has some new link in regards to updating software. I haven't been there yet, but thought it might list what bugs are fixed in each build. Does anybody know what this link does?

Happy bug hunting!
I am much faster in wildfire and would not want to go back to 2001.

I doubt its the same for everyone though.

I only use surfaces and my drawings are next to impossible to dimension.

I would probably wait for awhile unless there is a new feature that you absolutely cant live without.

Miked :)

I will measure everything J you created - with computer controlled measuring machine. I have use DEA for measuring Airframes created for Boeing and IAI. J Ok that is only one funny comment
Things that make me faster in wildfire:

new spin/pan/zoom let sme pick a spin center instead of relying on vehicle coord sys which is always at the wrong place for me.

extend surface is incredible and has a dynamic preview

ditto for the radius command which makes building variable rads simple and you get instant feedback thru the preview.

offset surf preview etc.

The main thing is that everything I use for surfacing is now simpler and way fewer menu clicks.

The biggest reason of all.... ISDX fully rendered with dynamic update. You want to tweak a highlight? Just drag your curves and the surface moves realtime and fully rendered not just shaded. Its magic.



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