Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Creo, My Take on It - Part 3

Part 3: Creo and “AnyRole Apps”

<<Part 2

One of the things you will hear PTC talk about in the context of Creo is AnyRole Apps. Creo is a scalable suit of right-sized, purpose-built, interoperable apps built on the common data model. It is all about providing the most appropriate and right-sized application for the task at hand. There, that’s the marketing stuff.

So, what value does the concept of AnyRole Apps bring to product development organizations and their development processes? The way I see it is that while AnyMode Modeling allows for creating engineering data in a variety of ways while maintaining consistency in the data model, AnyRole Apps is about allowing others to more easily consume, utilize and add to the engineering master.

Before Creo there were two choices for any potential contributor or consumer of engineering data:

  • Equip these people with the common heavy CAD tool that is used for core product development, including training and best practices. In many cases this tool was far more powerful and complex than what was actually required, depending on use cases.
  • Or – allow these people to use the most appropriate tool of choice with a high probability of disconnecting the downstream deliverables from the engineering master, resulting in potential interoperability issues and duplication of effort.

With PTC’s concepts around AnyRole Apps, the engineering master is maintained regardless of roles and the supporting applications that may be used. This concept certainly can be of high value to companies that have chosen the history tree and the resulting ordered model as the engineering master. It can also be of value to companies that have chosen direct modeling and geometry as the engineering master.

With the Creo apps, for example, you no longer need a full CAD tool just to render an image that is associated to the master data - or interrupt a busy CAD expert to have them generate the image for you. The Technical Publications department may no longer need to maintain a full CAD tool just to develop associated animations for the Service department.

My Understanding of Potential Creo Applications

Certainly a significant feature of the PTC Creo applications is that they will all have the same look and feel from a user experience point of view. They will also have the same look and feel from an IT perspective. But what I think really makes Creo unique is the potential to maintain the connection to the ordered model regardless of the app being used and the person using it. Higher individual and process productivity, improved interoperability, and reduced duplication of effort are all possible benefits.

My conclusion:

I’ve seen the slides from PTC that show the 4 big problems they claim to solve with Creo. If in fact they did is a decision you will have to make for yourself. For me it comes down to this. Use the tool that best fits your needs and enables you to be most productive - no need to be burdened with functionality that you will never use. Enable others, besides the CAD experts, to participate in the product development process with controlled contribution and interaction to the engineering master. Eliminate disconnects with the engineering master, and reduce the duplication of effort. Could it be that simple? Well, since Creo is not yet released, I guess we'll have to wait and see.

There is certainly much more to Creo than what I have covered here, but I hope it has given my readers a little better idea of what Creo is about - from my perspective anyway. Hope to give you a demo soon.



bcourter said...

I don't yet understand how Creo makes the round trip better than SpaceClaim. Are casual users making changes to the feature tree without understanding the repercussions? Are they adding direct modeling features at the end of the tree that will strangle regeneration? Will they ever make changes that need to violate the existing design intent?

If the answer to any of those questions is yes, it would be better for those users to just branch of the Pro/E model, perhaps ultimately round tripping a dumb chuck of geometry that specifies the right edits. Even the most experienced Pro/E users know this. As one customer who's also a Pro/E rock star just put it, "I use SpaceClaim when I need to get somebody out of my office. It helps me get home on a Friday afternoon."

Will adding more complexity accomplish that?

Paul Hamilton said...

Thanks for stopping by Blake. The situation you describe with SpaceClaim is the same with Creo Elements/Direct (CoCreate). Geometry easily survives the round trip, but the ordered modeling history does not. We both know that many companies are finding huge value with direct modeling even if the ordered modeling history does not survive the workflow. This “branch” workflow is very acceptable in many use cases. We’re seeing companies getting value from this workflow in many new ways every day.

With Creo Direct, PTC is simply providing the option to maintain ordered modeling history. With this option, casual users cannot make changes to the ordered modeling features/design intent. They can only append features. The Creo Parametric user has full control to accept or reject these additions. Design intent can’t be violated unless the Parametric user allows it. And regeneration is regeneration... It’s what it is. A few additional Flex Move features makes very little difference.

The survivability of the ordered modeling features as data goes from history-based to history-free and back is something entirely new. It will be interesting to see how companies take advantage of it. Certainly there is a lot of interest. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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