Polarion Integration for Windchill®

Polarion 19.2 was recently released. If you haven’t read about the new release you can do so here. But we have more to share with you. In today’s blog we want to provide some updates to our ALM / PLM integrations.

Here at Siemens we believe it’s important that engineering tools remain open and leverage industry integration standards, thereby allowing our customers flexibility and choice when it comes to integrating products. We also understand that when it comes to PLM, although we obviously believe that Siemens Teamcenter PLM is the best solution for our customers, there are times when alternative PLM products could have already been adopted.

To that end, we are pleased to welcome in to the Polarion family a new ALM-PLM integration for the PTC collaborative information management software, Windchill®.

Polarion Integration for Windchill® integrates Siemens Polarion ALM software with PTC Windchill® PLM software, offering ALM and PLM users access to cross-domain traceability without leaving their authoring environment, providing cross-system lifecycle synchronization and  Change Management process orchestration. The main capabilities are shown below:

Fig. Capabilities overview

The new integration leverages the industry-standard (Open Services Lifecycle Collaboration) OSLC technology, based on web and linked data, to bring generic Link & Trace capabilities to Windchill® – which does not natively supports this standard.

Built upon this basis, extended value-added capabilities are provided to effectively manage requirements authoring, sharing and their approval process in Windchill®. Not only objects, but also their lifeccyle can be linked across Polarion and Windchill® for a fully distributed process.

Remote Object linking allows the integration to support Change Management process orchestration  between PLM and ALM, where activities defined in PLM Change objects workflows  (PR, ECR, ECN..) can be delegated to  ALM users for actual execution while monitoring the global process from Windchill® tools.

Let’s jump into more details on each of these three areas:

Link and Trace

With the integration it is now possible to link elements across systems and expose the relationships in/from both Polarion and Windchill® systems. The link creation can be started either from Polarion or Windchill®, using Selection Dialogs tightly embedded into the native Interfaces. Bidirectional links are automatically created  to expose and leverage the relationships in both systems.  This remote linking  capability can be configured for any type of object type in Windchill® and any type of Workitem /LiveDocuments in Polarion.

Fig. Selection Dialog in Polarion

Once the links have been created, a built-in preview of the remote element is available in both systems so that ALM and PLM users can benefit from end-to-end traceability without leaving their preferred working environment. It brings an improved collaboration between separated teams, where the Preview gives access to the Remote Element content, attributes (such as the status, Checked Out by or last modifying user..) and even native links directly from the source application.

Fig. Polarion Workitem Preview in Windchill®

In order to easily assess the traceability and audit the history of the modifications, each integration action is tracked in native Data models and tools as Polarion revisions and Windchill® iterations, visible in the “history” in each system.

Requirement management:

As we have stated above in the Link & Trace section, remote linking can be configured for any type of ALM and PLM objects. In the context of Requirement Management, this typically means linking Requirements Specifications authored in Polarion to Windchill® Documents that can be approved and then shared with the extended enterprise.

Building upon the  same remote linking foundation, extended capabilities dedicated to Requirement Management are provided to support Polarion ALM as the main tool for storing, authoring and reviewing Product Requirements while complying products are managed in Windchill® PLM system:

  • Polarion users can upload local files directly to the linked Windchill® Document without leaving the Polarion application. Any file type can be updated; it could be for instance a PDF export of the main Polarion LiveDocument to make it available to extended enterprise users through Windchill®.
  • PLM workflows can be rather complex (and usually are!) , so a good ALM-PLM integration should be able to leverage existing business logic and shall not require to either move or completely rework proven workflows. The integration fully supports this approach by allowing ALM users to formally request PLM Lifecyle status change from Polarion transition. Configuration permits to define different changes using the same mechanisms and tools.
  • Automatic approval process can be configured to trigger a status change in Polarion from a Windchill® workflow; typically the PLM Document approval process can trigger the approval in Polarion automatically.

Change Management

Last but not least, the Windchill® integration supports orchestration of the Change Management process between PLM and ALM.

In the case where Windchill® is considered the Change Management process master, existing workflows may already be in place. These workflows may include complex/advanced logic to distribute the process and tasks between PLM users and roles – so this existing logic shall be leveraged.

On the other side, polarion offers task tracking mechanism using WorkItem workflows, that can be linked to the final elements to be changed (Requirement, software releases etc..).

Implementing a global process orchestration between ALM and PLM translates into creating a digital thread of the entire process, distributing work across teams and domains, whether it starts from a Problem Report or directly by a formal ChangeRequest in Windchill®, and monitoring the distributed process in and from both systems.

The integration supports the process orchestration concept by providing the tools necessary to delegate PLM tasks to ALM users, while monitoring the distributed process. User activities (Tasks in Windchill®) defined by the main Change object workflow can be delegated to Polarion by creating a delegated task included in the main workflow:

  • A new Task (workitem) in created in Polarion and automatically linked to the originating Change object in Windchill®
  • The Windchill® workflow is put on hold, with a Delegation Task created in Windchill® as well  to offer full visibility of the delegated task occurring in Polarion
  • Once the delegated task in Polarion is completed, the waiting task in Windchill® is automatically closed allowing the workflow to move to its next step.

Wrap-up

The new Polarion integration for Windchill® product offers state-of-the-art capabilities, built upon open standards OSLC, to support Cyber-physical systems, Requirement Engineering and Embedded software development in Polarion for companies using PTC Windchill® as their main PLM system.  It allows leveraging existing PLM standard process and applying them to distributed teams and environments, while offering full traceability of objects, their relationships and their lifecycle history across domains and tools for real-time audit readiness.

Please contact your Account Owner or Sales Representative for pricing and license questions or the Sales department directly, or simply go-to the extension’s portal (link below) and click on the “contact us” button.

You can find the very latest version of the integration (version 1.01) available for download from Siemens Product Support website (GTAC):

https://www.plm.automation.siemens.com/global/en/support/

Visit the Integration page on the Polarion extensions portal:

http://extensions.polarion.com/extensions/339-polarion-integration-for-windchill

Windchill® is a registered trademark of PTC

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