Windchill SocialLink 2.0 Moves Beyond Social Software

This past fall PTC released the latest iteration of Windchill SocialLink, a product focused on bringing Web 2.0 concepts to PLM to benefit product teams.

Windchill SocialLink 2.0 exemplifies “social product development” and continues to separate itself from generic social software by focusing on product development processes and engineering use cases.

Windchill SocialLink is highly integrated with the Windchill PLM system and brings many of the great core concepts of Web 2.0 like communities, activity feeds, microblogging, wikis, and people profiles, to product development teams. But, Windchill SocialLink 2.0 does much more. There are tight ties to product development which make this system very different from generic social software. For example:

  • Windchill Product Event notifications appear in your activity feed (i.e. PLM events appear along with community and colleague events and posts in a single newsfeed)

  • Deep access to product information from a Product Community for product teams (i.e. ability to see metadata, viewables, and BOM’s in Windchill from the team’s Product Community collaboration space)

  • Ability to search the Windchill PLM system to quickly find product info from a team’s Product Community collaboration site

  • Crowdsourced ideas for new products and product improvements link to product data in Windchill (enables the front end of New Product Introduction (NPI) managed in Windchill

As you can see, there is a real focus on creating a “social product development” platform with deep ties to product development and support for engineering processes with Windchill SociaLink 2.0 (released in October 2011). If you would like to see some of this in action, you can check out the Windchill SocialLink 2.0 overview video.

PTC is very excited about these capabilities, but we are only just getting started. There are an incredible number of Web 2.0 use cases for product development PTC has on the drawing board and under active development. The best is yet to come.

Do you have any ideas on how to use Web 2.0 for product development?  We would like to hear your thoughts.

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5 thoughts on “Windchill SocialLink 2.0 Moves Beyond Social Software”

  1. Heath McCarthy says:

    This is interesting but why did you not build this on a social platform? Sharepoint is okay for documents but there are so many vendors out there (Like my employer IBM) that engineering and product development organizations are using for social interaction and collaboration.

    1. David Blair says:

      We built on SharePoint 2010 because it is a platform with all the basic web 2.0 building blocks. We see a lot of SharePoint adoption in the PTC customer base so it was a good place to start. We could entertain other platforms if there is enought customer demand. Thanks for the feedback.

  2. beyondplm says:

    David, do you think Microsoft or / and PTC will be creating a “social platform” for crowdsourced development. I can see some examples in recent SolidEdge Design1 announcement.

    Communities need better (and affordable) products. What is your take on this?

    Best, Oleg

    1. David Blair says:

      Oleg, I agree that we need to make communities as “frictionless”‘ as possible – that means everything from the experience of interacting with networks of people, to setting up new communiites, to better and affordable tools in order to contribute “content” to the community itself. The concept of crowdsourcing is a great one and we have started to scratch the surface with SocialLink 2.0. See video here: That said, there is lots of room to grow. I am not sure SocialLink will become a crowdsource platform for external development outside of the firewall in the near term as we are focused on trying to provide better collaboration tools, initially for the R&D teams within a company. Once we get this nailed we can come back to more platform oriented discussions, cloud approaches, etc.

  3. Tanja says:

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