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DesignDataManager vs Windchill


We are looking for a PDM system, and have been looking at both DDM and Windchill. We primarily need it for revision control, but we will be expanding it for document control, as well as communicating with suppliers & customers.

Has anybody used DDM or Windchill for these applications, and if so, why did you choose the software you did - especially if you evaluated both of them.


New member
I would steer clear of DDM. It is developed by Concurrent Systems Inc out of the UK. While it could be a nice product, they are not a PTC software partner which brings a whole bunch of stuff into the picture.

In general, I would be leery of any non-PTC company for a data management application. PTC has struggled coming up with robust applications and they have access to all the code. Even PTC Software Partners don't have that kind of access, and non-PTC partners have even less...

Just my angle.



New member
My company uses DDM. In a previous employement,I and my colleagues used to use Intralink/Windchill at a large multinational. In factwe implemented Intralink/Windchill at the UK site of this company as the pilot for a global rollout, so I guess we're familiar with both systems.

If you're with a small/medium sizedcompany, looking for a true out of the box PDM system, then DDM isthe serious contender. All I can say is that it works well. I understand rpassolts comments, but my understanding is that the DDM developers have been developing DDM since the days of PT modeller. It is easy to maintain too and if you've not got all that many users, you can run the database on MSDE, which is free!

I've not really used Windchill since 5.1 and at that it time was a very expensive method of rev control, but without document management. Think in terms of $mm for that implementation! You may also need a full time admin guy who is familiar with Oracle.

If you've any specific questions, feel free to contact me.

PS Ihave no connection with the developers of DDM.


New member
Dear All,

I am the Managing Director of CSI and would like to point out that CSI have a fully supported license of the PTC Integration toolkit. We where a PTC partners for six and a half years and DDM has been on the Market for nearly ten years. We have extensive experience of Pro/ENGINEER, Pro/Intralink and the PTC toolkits.

In order to keep this forum useful please can I request that unless you have first hand experience and knowledge of a product, please can we not make comments like "I would steer clear of DDM". We have an excellent solution that supports many CAD systems and also has office document management and project Management. We work very hard and I do not appreciate this negative comment.

Sorry to chip in, best regards to all, Joe McBurnie


New member
I appologize if my posting offended anyone for sounding negative. I was justgoing off my real world experieinceswith customers using systems likeMetaphase, Teamcenter, IMAN and others who claim to be able manage Pro/E files perfectly.

One company recently had to delay their Wildfire 2.0 roll-outfor4 months because of compatibility issues. Another client migrated away from one of these solutions because the application did nothing to enforce data integrity. Their users found ways to check-in files that could not regenerate and as a result they suffered daily inefficiencies that cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.

I have more examples, but everyone has horror stories, even PTC with Windchill and Intralink. It is just my belief that if you look at a PDM/PLM solution other than PTC then you are choosing one of PTC's competitors and PTC holds all the cards to the code. And funny things happen from release to release, heck funny things are happening from build code to build code.

With that said, I'm sure DDM is aperfectly goodsolution. It sounds likethey have a solid track record with plenty of happy customers. I will be sure to take some time to learn more about DDM fromthe CSI web site (it'll take more than that to change my belief though:).

Best Regards, Rick

Rick Passolt


New member
One of the very important things a PDM system should could handte is renaming without having anything in session in ProE.

I know that is very easy with Intralink, but I have heard that in many other pdm-solutions it is not possible or not working good.

I am not sure about DDM, but I have heard that it is not possible to do. Maybe Joe will comment on this


New member
"Dear All,

I am the Managing Director of CSI and would like to point out that CSI have a fully supported license of the PTC Integration toolkit. We where a PTC partners for six and a half years and DDM has been on the Market for nearly ten years. We have extensive experience of Pro/ENGINEER, Pro/Intralink and the PTC toolkits. "

well Joemcb1, do you have an answer to the "jnoval" comment?


New member
Is there a tutorial for windchill. We are looking at purchasing Windchill. PTC has

placed a demo copy on our system but no one knows how to use it and PTC did not

give use any documentation


New member
jnoval said:
One of the very important things a PDM system should could handte is renaming without having anything in session in ProE.

I know that is very easy with Intralink, but I have heard that in
many other pdm-solutions it is not possible or not working good.

I am not sure about DDM, but I have heard that it is not possible to do. Maybe Joe will comment on this

I agree, renaming data is absolutely fundamental...

The good news is that if you want to you can download a trial copy of
DDM from their website at
http://www.designdatamanager.com/products/products.html and try it for

Unfortunately, from what I can see it doesn't do renames! Has anyone else had any luck?


New member
I can verify this too. Mind you, I'm just a DDM user, not a PTC VAR like sdickinson, so I don't have an axe to grind.

However, this is definitely a feature needed in DesignDataManager.


New member
I don't deny I'm a PTC VAR... in fact, I'm an ex-PTC employee with a huge axe to grind! Grrr...
and data management is my biggest bug bear. I actually used to be the Product Manager for Pro/INTRALINK.

Just to tell you why I posted here... I've been working with
Pro/ENGINEER for 15+ years and I've seen it be both successful and also
a complete failure! And I've learnt one really important thing...

It doesn't matter how good the CAD tool is... if you can't manage your
data then you will get in a mess! I truely don't care what people buy
(I'm not a salesman, I'm pure technical). What I hate is seeing companies in difficulties with Pro/ENGINEER because their data management solution is a failure.

There are loads of companies that have made data management tools for
Pro/ENGINEER (and I include PTC in this). Some have been good, some
have been rubbish (does anyone remember Pro/PROJECT?)

Ultimately if the data management tool works for your data then that is perfect.

However I will tell you that PTC does not (and I suspect it never will)
release all of the required APIs to allow the 3rd party companies to
write a "full" data management tool.

Renaming "non" "in-session" data is one area where there isn't an easy
workaround for the 3rd party integrators (I actually don't believe any
company has managed this apart from PTC).

Also custom regeneration of "in session" assembly data (based the
access control rules as applied to the user of the current Pro/ENGINEER
session) is another area where PTC is holding it's cards very close to
it's chest.


New member
Good point! Iabsolutely agree with your statement about "no matter how good the CAD tool is etc."

It is unfortunate that PTC don't help other developers with renaming and copying non-in session data, but I suggest this is completely understandable.

We didn't take Intralink when we started the company in 2003 and worked with a folder system. PTC hinted to us that this was OK for a group of 3 users! As I'm sure you'll understand, DDM is a huge step forward for us. For theSME, DDM occupies a space that PTC data management products don't fill.


New member
I am currently working for a company that just recently incorporated the full blown Windchill throughout all of our processes, which includes PDM/Link and Project/Link.

I can honestlysay that there aren't very many people pleased with it. Here is a list of problems I am presenting that we have come across.

1 - Speed: Every single "click" we make takes forever. Files take VERY long to upload, because they are stored in a location about 2000 miles away. The time it takes to complete a simple task, such as "create a PPT", takes at least 3 times as long, if not longer.

2 - Complexity: There about "15" (exaggerating)more steps to complete a simple task, such as the one I mentioned above.

3 - CAD: Creating family tables and uploading family table parts are problematic, workspaces can get corrupted and you could loose all that you have worked on, the server could potentially go down for hours and be sitting there with nothing to do (which sometimes isn't all that bad :) ).

4 - Misc: The software may have to be taylored to meet your needs (we had to do this because of our ECOprocess), which in itself could be a problem.


New member

What version of Windchill did you implement? Windchill8 has significant performance improvement over Windchill7.

Pro E Bureau

New member
DDM v's Pro/PDM, Pro/Intralink, Windhcill, PDMLink...have I missed any?

I have used both DDM and Intralink as data-management tools as a designer and currently use Intralink every day. I have to say I am huge fan of Intralink but since it will only be supported until 2008...I will be using PDMLink later this year......if we can migrate the data ok!! (sdickinson probably see you when we have problems!)

They will all have some issue as all software does but I try to keep an open mind before seeing/using the datamanagement tools.

HopefullyCSI will be doing a DDM presentation at the Scottish User Group this summer so if you are a Pro/E user in Scotland keep an eye on our website for details..... www.proescotland.co.uk


New member

DDM is a tool designed to manage Pro/E files (as well as a number of other CAD formats) and does a brilliant job of managing most other forms of documentation. From what I understand customizable automatic part numbering and customizable ECR/ECN's are part of the new release out this month which further enhance the products capability.

I keep reading about the renaming in the database issue and while I agree it is a nice feature to have, it is not the be all and end all of DBMS systems. If anyone out there believes that it is then go and buy it and don't waste your time looking at anything else. I know that DDM product developers are working on a solution to eventually include this feature and I am absolutely positive that it is not far off.<br style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"><br style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;">One of DDM's superior strengths is total data management ie; The ability to control all engineering data and documentation, document linking to CAD data is absolutely brilliant, this is an area where PTC is sadly lacking. I don't know about the rest of you CAD users out there but I believe that any DBMS needs to control ALL engineering data and this is where DDM shines and leaves PTC in its wake.<br style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"><br style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;">Not only does DDM control cad data well but has an associated product (DDM Office) that is about half the price of DDM Pro (the CAD data manager) which can be used to control all other documentation and the ECR/ECN process. It might be worth mentioning that DDM office comes bundled with DDM Pro but can also be purchased separately.<br style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"><br style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;">In the past I have been guilty of the tunneled vision mentality but have slowly realized that when we evaluate a software product we have to weigh up the pro's and cons of the system for all potential users, not just us CAD users. As previously stated in earlier threads I have used Intralink since its inception and Pro/E for 14 years and I can confidently say that as an overall DBMS, DDM is by far the more versatile, user friendly and more complete package.<br style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"><br style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;">If price is the prime consideration, then after your evaluation of all the contenders then I am sure that a lot of users out there will agree DDM is offering more bang for the buck than anything else available. I must say in closing that the above probably sounds like a sales job for DDM and it probably is, but not for any monetary gain because I am not connected to DDM in any way accept for the fact that I am a user and I have suffered the DBMS pain already.I am just trying to get the message across so others don't fall down the same hole as I did.<br style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;"><br style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;">Regards,<br style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;">MW

Edited by: maxweston


New member
Just to add my views to this long and important discussion...

I have been responsible for introduing PDM systems into 5 companies now, all based around ProE from 2 up to 18 users.

I have introduced Intralink at 3 companies quite successfully although with the known limitations to working across WAN. Just last year I introduced a team in a start-up and put together a system of 5 ProE users and a local installation of PDMlink (Internet connection was not quick enough for OnDemand). This was fraught with problems and the importance of implementing an integrated PTC solution compared with a 3rd party toolkit with its known pitfalls changed my view significantly. PDMlink required huge amounts of time to understand and configure so left me with a feeling of being out-of-control so the attraction of an intuitive solution that is easy to grasp (like Intralink was) was appealing.

Now I have been given the chance to start again (currently no PDM system and in desparate need of one) I have installed the trial version of DDM; with a full understanding of its limitations.

Watch this space for my findings and conclusions!...