Glossary of Common Windchill Terms


WTParts are objects to build product structures. They are associated with any object type in Windchill and do not contain CAD Documents objects, but reference the CAD documents. WTParts can also reference each other in a hierarchy called the product structure. They are symbolized in Windchill by using a gear icon.

End Item

End Items are special kinds of WTPart that represent an item or a unit of functionality that is assembled and delivered on its own. An End Item may itself contain other End Items, for example, an engine can be an End Item that has a structure including WTParts and the car can be another End Item that includes a structure containing the engine End Item. The engine End Item is a finished item that can be delivered to a customer without having a car.


WTDocuments are Windchill objects containing any file type that is produced by third party none CAD applications, such as Microsoft Office products, Open Office products, text files, sound files, photos, recording files, etc.

CAD Document - back to top

CAD Documents are Windchill objects that store content of CAD files. They are containers that include the CAD file, visualization file, and a third content. CAD Documents objects can have relationships with other primary business objects, such as WTParts, Change Items, and to other CAD Documents. They are not the CAD file but contain the CAD file to relate to other native Windchill objects.

CAD File - back to top

CAD files are the files that are produced by a CAD application tool, such as Creo, Solid Works, Inventor, Solid Edge, UG, AutoCAD, etc.

Structure - back to top

Structure is a hierarchy of WTParts,CAD Documents, or Documents.Many times the structure is refered to as a Bill of Materials, or Structure of Materials.

Change Items - back to top

Change items are Windchill objects that are used in the change management process. The change items include, problem reports, change request, and change notices.

  • Problem Report: Completed by anyone who would like to suggest a change.
  • Change Request: Used to compile common problems reports and submit a formal request for a change.
  • Change Notice: can be used to assign and implement changes.

Product & Libray - back to top

Products and Libraries are contexts or containers that store all data objects used by a user. Each Product and Library container can have their own access control permissions, preferences, teams, folders, life cycle definitions, workflows, domains, etc.

  • Product: Stores all design content for production.
  • Library: Stores all content that are used across the Products and are controlled by a library manager.Typically, the content is vendor items and items that are not manufacture by the company. Examples of library objects are bolts, nuts, washers, and screws.

Principals - back to top

Principals are users, organizations, and groups.

Life Cylce - back to top

Life Cycles define the stages or states of maturity for a data object. It provides visible status to the community. Business administers apply business logic and access control permissions to the life cycle states. Life Cycles include transitions that are predefined actions that provide business logic and enable life cycle movement. Most transitions are performed by users from the actions menu.

Object Initialization Rules (OIR) - back to top

Object Initialization Rules control the behavior of the Windchill objects. Business administrators configures the OIR to set the behaviors and associations of an object. The rules are written in XML, assigned to a specific object class, and can be defined a all contexts. The OIR affect the object attributes, numbering , versionsing, folder path, life cycle association, and team template association.

Roles - back to top

Roles are used to assign access control permission to users in a team. The domain policies or rules setup by the business administers are applied to a role. Users are mapped to the roles within a context team to determine what the users can do within the product or library. Examples of roles are members, designers, product manager, and engineers.

Context Team - back to top

Context teams map principals to context roles and are used to apply product and library specific access control and business process role resolutions. They are in every product and library contexts.

Workflow - back to top

Workflows define the business process and establish the specific events and tasks that occur typically during a change or promotion request. Workflows can be built to define the process for a single life cycle state or entire business process. Life cycle templates associate the workflow template to a given object. Workflows include connectors, activities, and robots for a business process. They define the deliverables and tasks that a user will be performing. They can be defined at any context.

Workflow Robots - back to top

Robots automate tasks within a workflow to enforce process consistency and improve process performance and enabling a business administrator to automate many common process tasks. Robots enable to notify users, perform a standard set of functions, execute time delays, launch a server application, execute a Java Expression, synchronize a process to an event or java expression, and communicate with another server using a URL.

Soft Types - back to top

Soft types are Windchill objects that are instances of the out-of-the-box business objects. They augment a primary business object by adding additional attributes, or by adding new object types with different attributes sets without changing the object model and writing extensive code. The soft type objects are created at runtime not requiring recompiling or interrupting operations, and are none-modeled. They allow to set type specific polices; configure rules that govern the business behavior of each object type. Business administrator’s has the capability of customizing the information capture in the system by using soft types.